Open Sesame! How to Write Kickass Email Subject Lines
Break through the clutter and get noticed in a crowded inbox!
Hello? Is there anybody out there? As a business owner or marketer, capturing the attention of your target audience via email can sometimes feel like throwing a pebble into the fiery depths of hell (or at least into an inbox that’s overflowing with massive amounts of spam). Creating an email that gets past the “hello, junk folder!” stage and entices the recipient enough to open it is not an easy task. And although your message may be exactly what your audience is looking for, if it doesn’t rise above the rest of the clutter then it’s useless.
So how do you craft an email that gets noticed? It all starts with the subject line. With these tips and tricks under your belt, you’ll be an email marketing rock star! Take a look:
Less is more
Size does matter. And in the case of winning subject lines, less is always more. Subject lines should be limited to six words or 50 characters – any more and you will likely lose out to an email that’s packing more meat in less space. Remember that your audience is scanning for things that intrigue them (and many are doing so on mobile devices). If yours has too many words, it’s not only going to get cut off, it’s likely to be ignored.
Avoid spam-ish words
Today’s servers think they’re smarter than humans, so they scan emails and weed out those perceived as spam. And while your awesome sale is truly monumental, using the wrong words can get your message exiled to the email outhouse (junk folder). To avoid banishment, steer clear of spam trigger words like these:
- Work from home
- Money making opportunity
- Lowest price
- Save big money!
- You are a winner!
- Free! (And any sentence with the word free!)
- Drastically reduced!
- Act now!
- Don’t delete!
- Order today!
- Instant savings!
There are hundreds of trigger words that servers deem spam-worthy. It’s best to do your homework and proceed with caution before crafting headlines.
Hit them where they live
Whether you’re sending an email to one loyal customer or 100 potential ones, playing on your audience’s emotions can pay off in conversion rates. Consider the realtor who sends out weekly ‘new listings’ emails; a subject line like Start packing, I just found your new home! is sure to be more enticing than one that reads Review my new listings. The first subject line speaks directly to the reader and evokes emotion. It also includes a stronger call to action, which makes it more effective.
Receiving a message that has your name in the subject line almost always grabs your attention, right? And we all know the value of personalization when it comes to marketing, so it only makes sense to apply this approach to subject lines. In fact, emails that include the recipient’s first name in the subject line rack up higher click through rates than those that don’t.
Asking a pointed or personalized question relating to the subject of your email is a great way to grab attention and to increase the likelihood that your message gets read.
Speak to them in their terms
Most people relate to self-identifying terms. Whether it’s where they live, how many kids they have, or their obsession with Mexican food, self-identifiers speak directly to the audience. And if you’re segmenting your lists correctly, you’re likely to nail this one every time by relating to your recipients.
Tell them why
Will customers save money on your product if they open your email? Will they miss out on something if they don’t? Give your viewers a clue about why they should open your email, and do it creatively. Consider this subject line: These deluxe bacon nachos won’t eat themselves. Even if you aren’t hungry, your mouth is likely to water when you spot that header. What’s the deal with these tantalizing nachos? If you don’t click, you’ll never know!
As one of the most cost-effective ways to market, emails can generate more sales, engage customers, and help you reach new ones. But they can’t do any of those things if they’re never opened.
Create winning subject lines by following these tips. And if you need help, turn to us! We specialize in developing custom content for a diverse array of clients, and we can do the same for you.
How's your current content plan?
We're offering a no strings attached content assessment. Have our experts provide you a free evaluation of your content plan and we'll provide you some free strategy on how to optimize. On the house (really).