How many subscribers open your email campaigns and newsletters? If your open rate is lackluster, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your subject lines. Believe it or not, most subscribers take 2-5 seconds to decide if they’ll open your email. Does your subject line make them want to open your email? Why would they care about your email? Why should they open your email? Like it or not, your subject line matters. Avoid the SPAM folder with these tips.
Tip #1: Send yourself a ‘test’ email to make sure your subject line is distinct enough. Make sure you can easily read your email.
Tip #2: Keep subject line to 5 to 8 words. Did you know that subject lines that are 7 words or less (30-40 characters) have a 42% open rate? Keep it short, simple and catchy.
Tip #3: More people are reading emails on mobile device. Did you know that 67% B2b (business-to-business) and 55% B2C (business-to-customer) use mobile devices to read emails? How will your email campaign or newsletter look on mobile device? Remember, mobile devices use 15 characters in the subject line which means you need to convey your message with fewer words.
What’s the purpose of your email?
1. Does it answer why?
2. CAN SPAM Act … Clearly identify the purpose of the email.
Tip #4: Make sure you match the method and tone to your brand. Use language your audience understands. For example, if your target market is 50-70, don’t write a subject line such as “OMG! Get 50% Off + Free Lady Gaga CD With UR Purchase Today.” Your target market may not understand what it is you’re talking about.
Tip #5: Don’t over promise or use an overly clever/deceptive subject line because it could come back to haunt you.
Tip #6: Subject lines that attract attention clearly state an offer or offer free shipping.
Did you know that 48% of emails are opened because of brand recognition (or sender)? Other reasons are readers are curious, an immediate answer is promised (30.3% of emails are opened), short, promised to solve a specific problem, funny or has your brand/name on it.
Tip #7: Avoid ‘spam’ terms such as CAPTIAL LETTERS, Free, $$$$ and excessive punctuation!!!!
Tip #8: Alternatives to the word ‘free’ are Our Treat, On the House, Be Our Guest, Just for You, Giveaway, Zero Cost and Complimentary.
Tip #9: Like it or not, using ‘top’ works. For example, “Top 10 Reasons, Top 5 Priorities, Best 7 Tips and Tricks or Top 7 Need-to-Know Strategies.
Before and After Subject Line Examples
Before : Our Monthly Tax Newsletter
After: 7 End of the Year Tax Tips
Before: Go Green Association Newsletter
After: 10 Easy Tips for Going Green
Before: Fantastic Seventy Percent Reduction
After: Save 70% Off Your Total Furniture Purchase Today
Before: Get a free iPad
After: Receive a Free iPad with a One-Year Subscription
Before: Please take this survey
After: Help Us Improve Our Services
Before: Annual Fundraising Coming Soon
After: LGBT Teens Need Your Help. Attend “Everyone Matters” on September 17 and Make a Difference
Before: Attend Our Upcoming Event
After: Only Four Days Left to Register for Our Social Media Bootcamp 5.0
Tip #10: Create a sense of urgency by using the following alternatives to free:
~ One Day Left to Register for SEO Workshop
~ 7 Hours Left to Sign Up for This Special Offer
~ Register by 7 pm on September 16 to Take Advantage of This Offer
Tip #11: Using the word ‘Exclusive’ in the subject line generates a 24% opening rate on email campaigns.
Tip #12: Be personal, and you’ll make a make a warmer impression. For example, use “you, yours, we and us” in your email campaign or newsletter.
Tip #13: Ask a question. For example, “How would you like to grow your Facebook fan page by 50%?” Tailor your question for each email list.
Tip #14: State the benefits such as tips, tricks, how-to and secrets.
Tip #15: Read and reread your subject line before sending an email.
Tip #16: Know your email campaign open rate for your industry. Industries such as marketing and PR have a 13.5% open rate, medical services have 16.7% and so forth. *Varies from industry-to-industry.
Tip #17: Test subject lines to improve your open rate. Use the A/B Testing in which you split your email list in half (make an exact copy of the email). One half receives an email with one subject line, the other half receives the same email but with a different subject line. Analyze and compare the results. Note: you could send targeted emails to specific email lists.
Did you know that 69% of people click on ‘spam’ based on the subject line alone? This means subscribers are opting out of your emails. It could possibly hurt your reputation. If subscribers don’t recognize you or your brand, they’re less likely to open your emails. You can avoid this by ensuring your subject line is well written; includes your name, acronym for your business or the name of your newsletter. Recognition is vital to getting your emails opened.
- Six Ways to Write an Effective Email Subject Line (stayonsearch.com)
- Email Newsletters: Best Practices for Small Businesses (mashable.com)