Effective email subject line is among the most crucial aspects of email marketing. Is your subject line catchy enough for the recipient to click on, or is it not? Answer to this question defines the fate of your efforts in most cases. Surveys suggest that about 50% of marketers believe changing subject lines might optimize their email’s performance. It is imperative that a few email subject line best practices are observed.
Think of subject lines as the impeccable tuxedo that is going to make you stand out in a significant event or party. You want to arrive with a bang, get as much attention as you possibly can, and maybe even entice people to start a dialogue with you. It’s true that the Tux doesn’t make you a great conversationalist, but it sure gets you enough attention, and that’s what you want with your email subject lines.
Here are a few Email Subject Line Best Practices that you can follow:
1. Short subject lines:
Shorter email subject lines are not only easier to comprehend but also give your audience enough understanding to make an informed choice if the email could potentially add value or is worth their time at the least.
Another essential aspect to note is the introduction of mobile devices; more than 75% of emails are opened using mobile devices, suggest reports. This makes it even more critical that the subject lines are on point and crisply deliver the message. Use unconventional approaches to craft these subject lines if required. Instead of saying “extraordinary marketing ideas for acme corporation by ABC ltd,” say “ Acme Marketing Ideas ABC.”
2. Honest subject lines:
Marketers must make the email subject lines realistic, along with making them short. It has often been noticed that to increase the open rate; people try to write attractive subject lines that don’t necessarily communicate the actual content or even the intent of the emails. This is misleading and paints a negative image of the organization straight away.
Even if your content is exceptional and your subject line is misleading or disconnected from the content of the email, you will not get the expected response from the emails. Remember, the intention here is not to get open rates but to initiate a potential long relationship with the prospects. Promise only what your emails can deliver.
It’s essential to give your audience an understanding of what is inside the email. This helps you filter the audience (as only interested/relevant audience will be attracted to opening the email) and generate stats that can give you valuable, actionable insights.
3. Create CTA’s:
While this might not be advisable for scenarios, doing this when applicable can create a positive impact on the email open rates. Include a “Call To Action” in your emails. This approach directly appeals to the human psyche, and sub-consciously triggers an open. We have all been an audience to such methods before via the medium of commercials.
The pitfall here can be using this approach to create an opportunity where there isn’t one. It can be misleading or a disappointment if the opportunity promised within the subject line doesn’t reflect into the emails.
4. Avoid the spam filters:
Never use caps, exclamations, or even special characters in your subject lines, these among some more are primary indicators of spam. Using promotional/advertisement or sales content in the subject line is also a significant flag raised by the spam filters; some examples are using words like “Free, Price, Off, $50,” etc.
5. A/B testing:
Because what might be right for you might not be for me, the same is the case with the emails. What works in one industry doesn’t necessarily need to work in another. It is crucial to test different permutation combinations to optimize results. Try different approaches, tonalities, lay-outs, etc. to gather data and further fine-tune your efforts.
While there can be many ways to write catchy email subject lines, open rates generally depends on multiple factors along with the ones covered above, some examples being, the timing of emails, the sender of the email (in case of an automated email address like email@example.com open rates are usually lower than that of a personalized email address ), servers used to send the emails, the number of emails sent in one instance, domain score, etc. You may choose to consult an email marketing services provider to validate your strategy and ease off your workload.
Happy emailing 🙂
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing