First impressions matter.  That’s true in person and it’s true online.  It’s also true with email.  The subject line of your email is the very first thing a readers sees and it is often the determining factor for whether or not they will open that email from you.

Email subject line can drive the next move for a consumer.  Either they will be curious and open it, or they will dump it in the trash.

Email marketing is the absolute best marketing for the dollar spent, but your can decimate a subscriber list if you inundate them with emails that are of no interest to them.  Mastering the art of email subject lines is essential to your success as an email marketer.

Email Subject Lines by the stats

When you write a really compelling email subject line, it can lead to a higher open rate for your emails.  If more of your emails are opened, then you will likely see your online sales increase.  It also fosters a sense of community amongst your followers.  Developing yourself as an expert should be your main objective online.   A great email marketing campaign can be a huge asset in that quest.

Several studies have been done on email subject lines.  Here are 3 principles they found in those studies.

  1. Keep your subject line clear and concise. Subject lines with 61-70 characters have the highest open rates.  That roughly translates to 10 words or less.
  2. Short subject lines fit better on a mobile screen. More than half of all email is now viewed on mobile devices.  Subject lines are less effective if they are cut off by the mobile device.
  3. Personalization is helpful. Placing the name of your contact in the subject line can increase your open rate by as mush as 18%.

Engage with your audience

According to recent studies, 33% of emails are opened based on the subject line alone.  Good email subject lines will engage your reader and draw them in to read about something they care about.  Here are some strategies you can experiment with:

  1. A personal connection with your reader. Think less about what you want to email to accomplish and more about communicating with your reader. I have had great success with a short email that simply reads something like this, “Hey, <fname> I thought I would touch bases with you today to see if there is anything you need from us.  You love working with you and we’d like to continue to earn your business.  Please email me back and let me know how we can serve you better. Mark”
  2. Tap into emotions. Emotions are great motivators.  Appeal to your readers curiosity, or excitement.  Sens out a funny story or picture.  Make it so your reader look forward to the interesting content inside your email and can’t wait to open them up.
  3. Make it Urgent. There is nothing more compelling that a limited time, special offer.  Something like a 1 day sale can motivate a reader to make an immediate decision instead of putting it off until later.
  4. Create a Cliffhanger. You’ll get more click if you pique the curiously of those receiving your emails.
  5. Be Exciting. Talk about big news or exciting updates.  Use strong word and language to bring a ray of levity and happiness to your customer’s day.

A final thought

Speak in your company’s voice.  Every business and brand has a certain personality.  Don’t be playful and ultra-positive one day and serious and ultra-academic the next.  Understand the voice of your business and speak to your audience in a consistent way.