Did you ever think email marketing may actually be costly for your business? It is a statistic that email subscribers will spend eight seconds or less on most email messages before clicking through or navigating away, and will likely not return to your email.  And your email may end in the Trash Folder before it’s actually read.

Marketing objectives will surely be challenged to depths of uncertainty if lack of speed and clarity are limiting your chances of engaging readers. To grab your readers attention in the shortest time span, you want to give your readers what I call the billboard effect for maximum impact in your subject line. Surely you’ve driven by a highway billboard and have had a mere few seconds to digest the headline.

How do you construct a billboard headline for your email topic? Here are three quick tips to developing a billboard headline and some examples.

1. Be readable.

Readability refers to how easily something can be read. To have a topic be readable, it has to be interesting and engaging.

Don’t do this: Buy 1, Get 1 offer ends TODAY! Register today!

Do this: Take Your Boss to the Conference at Half Price—Offer Ends at 5 PM Today

2.  Be relevant.

Relevance is a relationship between your subject matter and your audience. To have relevance, the subject must also be applicable to readers.

Don’t do this: Workforce Alliance e-Newsletter, January 2011

Do this: News of County Employment Growth; Best Seller Author Speaker Series, January 2011

3. Be resourceful.

Resourceful may simply mean offering pertinent sources of information.

Don’t do this: Creating More Value with Corporate Strategy

Do this: Survey Shows Why Corporate Strategy Requires Creating More Value

And finally, remember to start with a vision of the end result and work backwards. Creating readable, relevant, and resourcesful headlines for your email subject line will achieve a bigger, billboard effect for your marketing budget.