First impressions count, as the old adage goes. This is never truer than with your email marketing and newsletters. You want your email to be opened, read and clicked on and all that starts with the email subject line.
How you craft your email subject lines depends on the type of email you are sending. It’s always worth keeping in mind who you are writing to and what action you want them to take. Is it a sales email, a promotional offer or a keeping in touch email? These all require a slightly different approach.
So, to make your emails more clickable, here are our top 9 tips on what to bear in mind.
The more personal you can be the better. If you can add the person you are addressing in the email subject line you have an immediate interest. If you can’t use the name, then using ‘you’ and ‘your’ will help to personalise your message.
Also, bear in mind that if you familiarise the sender name can also help. Obviously, never use the ‘[email protected]’ address for promotional offers. It makes your communication much less personable and prevents the recipient adding the address to their address book. There is a place for the no reply address and marketing ain’t it!
In broad terms, a name will gain more traction than a generic address.
2 Short is sweet
The more concise you can make your subject line the better, especially as a lot of your audience will be reading your messages on mobile devices, which will cut your subject line off after about 50 characters. Try to weed out the words that matter less if your subject line is too long.
3 Tell the inside story
Your subject line should be an indication of what the content holds whether it’s the details of a special offer, an industry expertise article or a newsletter. Don’t be tempted to make a false promise. Whatever your email subject line promises, make sure you honour it straight away in your content. Anything less will break trust and up your unsubscribe total.
The more you can segment your contacts the better you can target your messages. You can alter your communications depending on their preferences and buying history.
A subject line of ‘20% off all organic beef’ is not going to interest your strictly vegetarian customer. In fact, you may lose them if they are led to believe your messages are not relevant.
5 Easy as 1 2 3
Putting numbers in your subject line is a good way of enticing interest. Compare the generic subject line – ‘How to improve on visits to your website’ with ‘Increase visits to your website by 50% today.’
If you are introducing a guidance/how-to email, then consider replacing something generic like ‘How to write email subject lines that are more likely to be opened’ with ’10 Top Tips – Crafting Subject Lines that get Opened’ and if you’re reading this then hopefully the subject line helped! It’s a more direct and dynamic subject line which shows the recipient exactly what the body of the email contains (point 3)
For a product or event, consider piquing interest by adding a number, for example, ‘join the 250 people already attending this spectacular event’
Think about what action you want the recipient to take. Creating a sense of urgency works well for sales messages. ’24 hours left to claim your discount’ encourages the reader to take immediate action or miss out. ‘How to increase uptake to your events today’ implies easy fix solutions that can be immediately applied’. Great for building trust.
This kind of subject line should be used with caution and authenticity. Overuse can lead to a lack of trust in your brand, so only use it when there really is a need for immediate action.
7 Ask a compelling question
Posing a question is a good way to pique your readers’ interest so that they click on your email to find out more. A question subject line resonates with the reader and their experiences – ‘Are you using these techniques to improve buyer engagement?’ ‘Are you making these common ab exercise mistakes?’ If your content answers the question it is a good way to engage your readers
8 How to…
How to subject lines are useful because they clearly describe the content. The trick with them is to focus on the benefits to the reader. No one wants to read a lengthy tome describing the details of processes. What they do want to know is how this would benefit them (which will further increase their interest and engagement )– e.g. ‘How segmenting your data improves buyer engagement’ or ‘How leasing the right car can put pounds in your pocket’
9 DON’T SHOUT AT ME!!!!!!!
It doesn’t matter how fabulous a deal you are running or how much what you have to impart will benefit the reader, if your title is in CAPS LOCK, then it’s like being shouted at. A LOT. Be very wary of using this feature for risk of alienating your customer. Likewise, a non-hysterical approach to the use of exclamation marks will serve you well. One will do, more than that risks your authenticity. Emojis can add colour and interest to your subject line, but again, be cautious about how you use them and know your audience before you do.