Anyone who’s used email has found themselves in this predicament. How to grab the attention of the email recipient, yet, not be wordy or salesy? If you don’t do well with the subject line, the email will get tossed in the electronic trash bin before it’s even opened!
Sometimes you get the feeling that you’re obsessing over it too much, but you’re right to feel the pressure. Approximately 35% of those surveyed by Convince & Convert admitted they decide whether to open an email based on the subject line alone. If that isn’t bad enough, 69% in the same study indicated they report email as spam based just on the feel they get from the subject line.
So let’s dive into some tips for brilliant email subject lines:
Get Personal in your Subject Line
If recipients are going to base their decision to open your email on the subject line, then you need to make an immediate impact. You need to go beyond just the simple second-person pronouns or incorporating their name into the subject line.
Geo-location can make an email subject line feel personalized. Seeing their community mentioned adds legitimacy and is a sure sign that what’s inside the email isn’t just some generic message.
Time For Some Action
Draw in your potential customer through action-oriented verbs. Just like any term paper you ever had to write, action verbs make the text more enticing and exciting to the reader. Using action verbs in your email subject lines is a no-brainer. You’ve got limited space to make an impact.
If possible, lead your subject line with the action verb, like “Dine with local sports hero.” Subject lines like that have an immediate significance.
Don’t Get Left Out
As humans, we have an inherent fear of being left out. Whether it’s not getting picked for the kickball team in 4th grade or missing out on that big party in college, we have a need to be included. Leverage that instinct in your readers by creating a sense of urgency in your subject lines.
Include phrases like “today only” or “24 hours left” urges your recipients to open the email immediately. Thus avoiding the ability to put off reading it until it’s forgotten. Scarcity can also increase click-throughs by giving the impression that there’s only a limited number of opportunities.
Make Your Point
Some companies, in an effort to convey as much of their message as possible in the subject line, go way overboard. While it’s true, you only have the subject line to hook them into opening the email. It’s also true that a subject line that’s too long is going to bore the potential customer.
Keep it snappy and to the point. You only have a small space, and try to communicate your message in 45 characters or less.
Know Your Audience
You can read any number of guides on how to craft the best emails. The one thing that can make your digital communication most effective is to learn what motivates your readers. Craft multiple emails with different subject line strategies, and then monitor which email is most effective. Running a simple A/B test can give you insight into what drives your customers.
Once you’ve found the sweet spot, run with it. By creating an impactful subject line, you’re creating future customers that will be on the lookout for your next email.
It all needs to fit together! Capture leads on your website, then nurture those leads. Nurturing your leads requires getting the emails opened, which means writing good subject lines! See how it all works together?
Author: Mike Gingerich, President of web firm Digital Hill, Co-Founder of TabSite .
Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, and Business Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, total digital junkie! Seeking to add value, make the complex simple, and leave a positive impact.
Follow me on twitter: @mike_gingerich.