5 Quick Tips for Better Email Subject Lines


February 20, 2018 By

Cheryl Dykstra

Email marketing is a huge opportunity for your business.

From brand building, to nurturing leads, to making sales, email marketing is crucial. In fact, 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation and 80% of retail professionals indicate that email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention.

However, sending out beautiful and enticing emails or offers mean nothing if no one ever opens them.

That’s why crafting a compelling subject line is so important, and why we’re going to give you five easy tips to help jazz up your subject lines and boost your open rates.

#1 Ensure your subject line contains at least one of these elements

Regardless of your industry or goals for email marketing (sharing information, garnering engagement, or selling your products/services) your subject lines should contain at least one of these elements. They can always be combined too – for example, you could combine personalization and an offer. 

  • Urgency – Urgency and scarcity in an email subject line, when phrased creatively and strategically, can encourage readers to click (or act).

    Example: Your 5,000 Free Postcards Disappear Today
  • Curiosity – Piquing the interest of your recipients will help get you higher open rates – since they need to open the email to get more information. Just be careful you’re actually giving them what the subject line promises.

    Example: Yep! You’ll never believe what happened next…
  • An offer – Free or discounted offers are often enough to open up the email to see what kind of savings they could get.

    Example: 40% off Valentines Day Special ends tonight
  • Personalization – Modern day marketing lends itself to learning a lot about your subscribers. So when you send them content, make it catered toward the individual.

    Example: Dave, are you still accepting referrals?
  • Relevance and timeliness – Trending topics or timely headlines can help you establish your brand as an authority within your industry.

    Example: Use your tax refund to get the car you always wanted
  • Name recognition – Inserting a recognizable name from your industry or someone that your audience admires can draw attention to your subject line and encourage clicks.

    Example: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates agree reading is a critical skill 
  • Stories – Including a compelling allusion to a story that can only be read if the email is opened is a great way to create an intriguing subject line.

    Example: How you can cash in on the Cryptocurrency craze
     

#2 Keep it short and sweet

Many email providers have a set length they display for subject lines, and they’ll get cut off if your subject line is too long. With 67% of email opens taking place on mobile, we recommend using subject lines with fewer than 50 characters.

This requires some brainpower to figure out which words are crucial, and which can be removed or replaced. For example, instead of saying, “Order #9435893458358 is being processed" you could simply write, “Your order is being processed”. It’s shorter, snappier, and can help with customer satisfaction if people open and read your email.

#3 Start with action-oriented verbs

Subject lines are similar to calls to action in that you want to encourage people to click. That’s why subject lines that start with action verbs tend to acquire more clicks.

For example, if you were hosting a cooking class at your restaurant, you would want to use language like, “Learn to Make the Best Pizza in Chicago!” instead of “Pizza Cooking Class”. The first subject line uses “Learn” to help the reader envision themselves at the class.

#4 Use numbers

Being vague isn’t always the best way to entice interest. Sometimes, people are more drawn into seeing the exact statistics in a subject line.

You can use numbers to refer to the number of bullets in your article, the page length of the ebook you're sending, a specific discount, or another statistic that tells a story – like "Learn why we donated 40,397 pairs of socks last year”

#5 Pose a captivating question

“Are you making these tax return mistakes?”

“How much house can you afford?”

“What are your customers saying?”

Asking a question in a subject line can draw in your readers, especially if they don’t know the answer to the question. This is great opportunity to provide value in your email marketing by providing the answers for them (even if they have to fill out a form to get it). It can help further your prospects down the customer journey.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to email marketing and crafting amazing subject lines. If you’re interested in learning more about how email marketing can benefit your business, give us a call at 407-682-2222 to learn more!

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