How Strong Are Your LinkedIn Contacts?

5 Guidelines for creating almost perfect email subject lines

Ah subject lines…

Those less than ten-word phrases that can entice your potential reader to actually chose your email out of the long list of email in the inbox.

Ah subject lines… aren’t they a joy to create?

I wish I could tell you that somewhere out there is the perfect subject line, one that could ensure your emails are opened.  However, I can tell you that creating almost perfect subject lines is possible and it starts with understanding certain guidelines about your readers 5 guidelines to be exact.

1. People do NOT like to have their time wasted

I don’t need to tell you how much people value their time. When it comes to your emails, you have at most, only a few minutes to get your message across. When it comes to your subject line, you have only a few seconds to capture their attention. It’s no surprise then that subject lines with less than 50 characters have open rates 12.5% higher than those with 50 or more, and click-through rates are 75% higher.

2. People won’t act unless told to do so

Before sending your email, stop and ask yourself: What action do I want the recipient to take?

Keep in mind your subject line will be the first impression you’re email has on your reader.   Making the subject it your first call-to-action will improve the likelihood of your email being opened and that action being taken.

3. People respond to numbers

Numbers help quantify any message and put the content people are receiving into terms they understand. Whether it’s a percentage (Learn how to grow your Facebook fan base by 400%) or a list (10 steps to getting more friends on Facebook) or a monetary value (How one business made $5,000 from marketing on Facebook)—numbers can take a complex problem like getting better results on Facebook and present it in a way people will respond to.

4. People are more likely to act when they feel a sense of urgency

Please do not take this as a call to add “ACT NOW!” or “LIMITED TIME OFFER!” to every one of your subject lines. But do take it as a call to consider using urgency to invigorate your customer base. This is especially true if you’re running a promotion, having a sale, or trying to drive attendance to an upcoming event. In these situations, the difference between using a subject line like: “Our annual end of summer sale is next week” or “Only 5 days until our end of summer sale begins” can be huge. One tells people you’re having a sale and the other tells people you’re having a sale and they better start getting ready.

5. People care more about the sender than the message

While the content of your email and the design of your subject line are important—nothing is more important than the relationship the recipient has with the sender (that’s you!). According to a recent Constant Contact study, 64% of people open emails because of the organization it is from; compared with 47% of people opening emails because of what is in the subject line.

Want the best results? Tell people who the email is from in the subject line.

Here are three ways to do that using my fictional business, Pinkham’s Pies:

[Pinkham’s Pies] We’re sharing our secret apple pie recipe

A secret pie recipe from Pinkham’s Pies

Pinkham’s Pies News: Our secret apple pie recipe revealed

The Bottom Line

Your e-mail competes with; other personal e-mails, e-mail marketing communications, work e-mail and those always welcomed joke emails!!!   To be heard above the noise your subject line must set you apart but at the same time you have to establish a connection with your readers that will compel them to open your email just because it is from you.  Ah those subject lines!!!!!

Are You A Facebook Idiot?

No one wants to be an idiot, especially when it comes to Facebook where there’s the chance for thousands of people, including recruiters and potential employers, to see it.

I have been on Facebook since 2007 and have made my share of mistakes that have made me look like an idiot.  The social media and email marketing experts at Constant Contact recently compiled a list of mistakes that can make you look like an idiot on Facebook.  And so, as a public service, the Smart Job Blog presents the Top 5 Things That Can Make You Look An Idiot on Facebook.

Are you doing any of these things?

5. Not monitoring your Facebook Page.  When someone visits your page, are they going to find it full of links from Facebook spammers inviting your fans to college night at the local bar of to click to win a free iPad?

4. Liking your own post. Really?  That’s almost a cry for help. Maybe that’s why no one else is liking it.

3. Posting one thing right after another. Your fns may love you, but long post after post after post in the newsfeed can be a bit much.  Be sure to space out your updatesso there’s a better chance people will engage with them rather than pass them by.

2. Spelling errors. As small as they might be, spelling errors can really hurt your Page’s credibility.  A typo is okay, but lots of typos are not.  Watch for some common misspellings such as there/their/they’re; your/you’re/yore.

1. Not filling out necessary information: location, description, picture, etc. Facebook gives you the opportunity to add detailed information about yourself.  Be sure to fill it out fully so recruiters, hiring managers and that long lost friend that has the perfect lead for a job can find you.  Concerned about privacy?  You should be.  You can set the right balance by simply keeping the information you share on Facebook strictly professional.

Your Turn:  What Facebook idiot moves have you seen?

By no means is our list of idiot moves on Facebook complete.  I look forward to sharing with our readers the idiot Facebook moves you have witnessed.  I will post your responses in next week’s blog.

Bottom Line:  You don’t have to be an idiot on Facebook.  Smart Job Searchers are aware of the importance of a good Facebook image.  So be aware of those things that may make you look like an idiot on Facebook. Are you guilty of doing any of the top 5?  Well, as a Smart Job Searcher, now that you know it may be a good time to stop.

Have you Googled yourself lately?

Recently I was invited to participate in a Career Day to help prepare students as they entered the workforce. There were recruiters from companies conducting mock interviews, doing résumé reviews, and a wonderful organization, Save a Suit, outfitting students with new professional attire. My role was to check their online identities, and coach them on how to create high visibility and build positive reputations.

Thankfully, and maybe a little surprisingly, nothing that could potentially stall new careers was revealed when Googling the students — no “digital dirt” or “digital deal-breakers.” What I found primarily fell into these categories:

  • Facebook pages where privacy was set to “public” instead of “friends.” Even if there is nothing to hide, it’s a good practice to limit those who can see your wall and pictures.
  • No online references at all. When a recruiter has two good résumés in hand, the candidate who has positive online information has a better chance: mentions or photos that are evidence of community service/volunteer work; contributions to online professional discussions demonstrate your communication skills and knowledge level; official roles in local/business groups indicate leadership ability, etc.
  • Positive results — either accidental or deliberate. One student who proudly showed me all his highly visible mentions and properly keyword-ed profiles caused me to remark that he would be easily found when company recruiters searched for candidates in his specialty. “Recruiters? I’m going to be one of those talking heads on CNN,” he corrected me.

Heed these same guidelines as you engage the online community, either for a job or to grow your business or to connect with friends.   Comment on blogs – (You can start with this post!!)  participate in the discussions on LinkedIn. Becoming known for what you know; will increase your profile so your name comes up in that Google search by the headhunter, hiring manager or that long lost boyfriend!!!

“All business is now personal,” said David Armano, executive vice president of global innovation and integration at Edelman Digital, at the World Business Forum. He calls this ability for people to socially connect via technology the “third revolution,” and it’s a professional imperative to this well. So  Have you Googled yourself lately?

Marben Bland is an accomplished speaker, writer, and thought leader focused on three interconnected areas:

  1. Social Media Branding  increasing sales & awareness by creating lasting impressions
  2. Recruiting  finding world class talent for leading business and non profits
  3. Job Coaching  providing solid solutions for finding a job

Email him at marben@marbenbland.conm

Are you Over Networked? -3 ways to create a sleeker, smarter and simpler network customized to meet your needs.

In this supercharged world of Facebook, LinkedIn, and a pleather networking groups we can find ourselves “Over Networked”
“Over Networked” – With Facebook friend requests from people you have never heard of.
“Over Networked” – With LinkedIn invites from Ex- bosses and co-workers that you never communicated while you worked with them, and you defiantly don’t want to communicate with them now.
“Over Networked” – With so many business cards from events you have attend and so little time or effort to do anything with them.
As a public service to all suffering from “Over Networked” syndrome let me suggest 3 ways to make your network –smarter, simpler and more customized to your needs.
1. Prune – Clutter in your network is like a clogged fire hose water may flow it will never be enough to put out the blaze. The most effective networkers know that a small tight network comprised of people who meet your needs as your life is constructed today. Simply go through your network throwing out those who don’t meet the criteria of your current needs. – Don’t have the time to prune? Do it on your next flight or the next time you are sitting around in a dull meeting or while watching an exciting football game.
2. Data Clean-Up – Of the contacts remaining after the pruning how accurate is the information? A great way to ensure your information is accurate is to send out an email requesting an update on what I call the “Big 5” basic data that you need for all of your contacts while providing an update on your information:
• Email address (personal & work)
• Work Phone
• Cell Phone
• Home Address
• Birthday-Month/Date
3. Constant Contact
Out of touch out of mind….to keep your network vibrant and strong you need to remain in constant contact with it. Here are some quick time efficient strategies to remain in constant contact:
• LinkedIn book updates – I am big reader when I read a book that want others to know about I use the “Reading List” feature on LinkedIn to update my network. This simple and quick act keeps me in contact with my network.
• Twitter status update – I use Twitter in a limited way to share information with my network regarding my professional activities. Tying Twitter to LinkedIn, Facebook is a speedy way to keep in contact with your network 140 characters at a time.
• Birthday Phone Calls – Earlier in this blog I urged the collection of what I call the “Big 5”,five basic data elements of information for people in your network. Using the birthday data simply make a quick call to people in your network wishing them a happy birthday. Don’t have the birthday information on your contacts? Facebook can send you a weekly email listing the birthdays of your contacts. If phone calls are not your cup of tea simply send an email.

Good luck in your efforts to create a sleeker, smarter and simpler network customized to meet your needs and avoid being over networked!

Marben Bland is an accomplished speaker, writer, thought leader
and pioneer focused on three interconnected areas:  1. Social media strategies for small and midsize  businesses, 2. Talent acquisition optimization tactics for large companies and 3. Career management solutions for job seekers.
Marben has worked with a wide  range of companies and industries from start-up organizations to Fortune 500  companies including Advanced Micro Devices, PPG Industries, Fiskars Brands, Eaton Corporation, S.C. Johnson, and Sara Lee.
He is also spent a decade as an officer in the U.S. Army, serving in Operation
Desert Strom.  He is the author of two  books, The Smart Job Search and The Opportunity of the Unfair Advantage.
Today, Marben heads TheMarben Bland Group, an innovative consulting practice housing a collection of specialists dedicated to producing smart social media strategies, clever Talent acquisition optimization tactics and innovative Career management solutions for job seekers.