Increase Your Open Rates with Better Subject Lines

Email is one of the most powerful, yet most dangerous marketing mediums out there and nothing represents how cut throat it can like a subject line.  Your email message’s subject line can make or break your marketing campaign. The line has to be short, compelling, attractive and enticing without being deceitful. It must be clear and concise. There are several things you can do to help shape your best subject line.

One of the first things you can do is pick up a newspaper.  Pay attention to what headlines draw you in and why. Headlines are the print market version of subject lines.  It highlights the story’s most important facts in a limited space, same as a subject line. It also must draw attention to the story by the use of language.  There is no sure fire formula for a successful subject line. What works with one, may not work with another. A discount offer must be worded differently than an upsell and they both are very different from company news or updates. You can’t recycle subject lines that work. Although it is important to find subject lines that were successful in the past. That is why testing and analytics are important. Finding what works for your campaign and subscribers is a great way to see what trends or styles of lines are the most successful. Using past success, you can help mold your future lines. Particular topics may have general trends and types of lines that are consistently successful.

Your subject needs to have important and relevant information. If you are sending out a special offer, be specific; include product info, details of offer. For example: A clothing store may send out an email offer with a subject line of:  $25 off Select Denim now through Tuesday. You want to make the offer clear and upfront so the readers know what they are getting. You should lead, but not mislead. Don’t stretch the truth of overpromise. You don’t want to create distrust.

Another good idea is to personalize. If you have the recipient’s information, use it. People like themselves, so they like to see things where someone shows interest in the person rather than a bulk email. You also need to be easily identified. Your subject line should support the ‘From’ line, which should always have your company name or someone in the company that makes sense like a CEP, Editor, President.  Example: Joe Smith, CEO of Smith Co, joesmith@smithco.com.

You should try to avoid spam words such as “free, mortgage, stock, password, ebay”.  “Free” is not an illegal word but using it with caution is a smart move; never in conjunction with all caps or !!!! and don’t use it as the first word of line.  People do respond to free, but filters are looking for it. Exclaim nothing; excessive punctuation is annoying and spam filters are always on the lookout for it.

When it comes to subject lines there is much at stake, so create them with care.

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