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How to write good email subject lines?

DO

DON’T

According to Invespcro, 47% of recipients’ email open rate depends entirely on the subject line. A lousy subject line can confuse your subscribers, put you in the spam list, get unsubscribed, or damage your email delivery rate. Let’s look at the makers of a great and compelling subject line:

Keep it short

Keep your subject lines short. If your subject line is more than 50-60 characters, your message will get cut midway.

For example, if you’re sending an abandoned cart email or other transactional emails, subject lines like “Your cart misses you” or “Complete your order” are better than “We noticed you left something in your cart, come back and complete the transaction.” The former is much easier on the eyes and gives the reader the information they need. Moreover, having anything over 5-6 words makes little sense because it defeats the purpose of creating curiosity.

Have a familiar sender name

If a known person sends the email, it can positively impact the email open rate. When you send emails with a personal name and email ID, it makes you more human and helps establish a personal connection with the subscriber. In a world where technology is evolving rapidly, humanize your emails as much as possible. For example, a welcome email sent by a familiar sender’s name would nudge opens.

Never use the no-reply sender name

While you’re trying to be as personal as possible, you must pay attention to your email ID. If your email ID says ‘[email protected]’, then it defeats the purpose of having a sender name. Emails that people cannot reply to create a disconnect. Brands use the ‘no-reply’ email to avoid receiving delivery failure or email bounces that could choke their mailbox. This method might seem practical but does more damage than good to your email marketing campaigns.

Try numbers and lists

For some reason, people love to click on emails with numbers and lists. Perhaps it’s because their expectations are clearly defined or it’s easier for the brain to process. Whatever the reason, numbers and lists have been proven to work. Data shows email subject lines using numbers generate a 24.97% open rate versus 23.34% without using numbers.

Segment your subscribers

While crafting your emails, it’s essential to remember that every subscriber is on a different customer journey. Segment your subscribers based on demographics, geography, interests, historical purchases, website behavior, etc., and create email lists that are ready to engage.

Sending an email blast that is irrelevant for most people on your list can push subscribers away from your brand. They could potentially unsubscribe or mark your emails as spam without even opening them. By personalizing your emails to cater to specific segments, you have a better chance of improving your email deliverability and email metrics.

Give them a sneak peek to your email

The email subject line is like a preview of your email’s content. Giving subscribers a peek into your email and creating curiosity is one of the best ways to encourage opens. For example, if your email is about a sale that ends today, your subject line could say “Ends today: Get 20% off”.

Sending time relevant emails with the right subject line can impact your emails’ open and click-through rate.

Don’t make any false promises

Deliver the incentive you’ve promised your customers in the subject line. If you use click-bait subject lines to have your email opened, it can be misleading customer experience. If you’re committing to giving them a discount on the subject line, make sure the email gives them the instructions. Many websites use lead magnets to increase their subscriber base. If an ebook is promised in the lead magnet, ensure you deliver that incentive. If you don’t live up to the promises you make, customers will not trust you again.

Make your subscribers feel valued

Everyone likes to feel valued and important, and this holds for customers as well. When you segment your subscribers, you can understand how they think and anticipate their needs. When your emails make the subscribers feel valued, it creates a sense of exclusivity, and they feel important. Encouraging emails to nudge subscribers into using the product more can be a deal-breaker. Adding personalized information makes them feel special.

Create a sense of urgency

Another way to increase your email open rates is by creating a sense of urgency. You could either put a countdown (5 days left), or it could be a personalized discount you’re offering to subscribers who abandoned their cart via a transactional email. Some of these subject lines could be “Hurry! Your special coupon expires in 24 hours,” or “Your favorite pieces are selling out.”

Be more conversational. Ask a question

This is an excellent way to draw subscribers’ attention and have them open the email to get answers. A subject line with a question works best when you’ve segmented your customers and ask them questions they might be interested in.

Get creative – add humour

Humour is a great way to connect with your subscribers, because who doesn’t like a good pun? It perks up your subscriber’s mood and puts them in an open mindset to view your emails. Don’t be afraid of letting a little joke or pun slip into your subject lines and make your subscribers smile.

Use engaging preview text

A preview text is the small bit of text that’s displayed next to your subject line. It provides a little more information and context to your email without repeating what’s in the subject line. You can use the preview text to display information that subscribers might find useful. For example, if you’re sending your subscribers a shipping information email, you could use the preview text option to display their tracking details. If you’re giving your subscribers a special discount code, you could display the code in the preview text. This makes accessing essential information a lot easier for your subscribers.

Experiment with emojis

Know your audience and proceed with caution. Younger demographics love emojis. If you use them appropriately, they will help improve open rates. More professionally-minded audiences might NOT respond well to emojis.

Give a command

Sometimes your readers need to be told what to do. Giving them clear direction and a strong call-to-action will actually help them take action. The trick is to give a directive without being too bossy.

Don’t forget about preheaders

The preheader is your subject line’s best friend. It’s the first line of text that appears next to the subject line. This is especially important for mobile devices where the preheader is often more prominent than the subject line. For example, iPhone only allows 35 characters for a subject line, but displays about 140 characters of the preheader.

Subject line keywords that convert

These are keywords used in subject lines that tend to repeat in well-performing campaigns.
keywords subject lines convert

High-performing keywords:
“update”, “bulletin”, “issue”, “breaking”, “historical”, “engaging”, “spicy”, “sweet”, “cozy”, “mystery”, “secret”, “reveal”, “members”, “freebies”, “congrats”, “winners”, “giveaway”, “survey” and names of months (September, October, etc.)

Poorly-performing subject line keywords: “stock”, “ends”, “chance”, “don’t”, “left”, “miss”, “hours”, “final”, “tonight”, “fast”, “huge”, “tomorrow”, “daily”, “order” and “buy”.

sources: Freshworks CRM, mailerlite

 

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