The hard truth: if your email subject line is no good, your email won’t get opened and you’ve wasted your time. If you can’t get your subscribers to open your emails, it doesn’t matter how good the actual email is!
It’s easy to spend a lot of time crafting a great message and completely forget to create an email subject line worthy of it. Spend some time writing them and see what type of headline gets you good open rates. Here are five tips to get you started.
Keep It Short
You want your readers to see the entire subject line before they click it and make it easy to scan through their emails. Try to get your point across in 50 characters or less, so you know it shows okay on mobile devices. WordCounter.net is a great place to type your titles in – it will count characters so you can focus on the rest of these tips!
Another great idea is to keep a swipe file of subject lines that grabbed your attention. Even if the emails are on a very different topic, you can adapt them to your own needs. MailChimp also offers a Subject Line Researcher to help you build email subject lines based on your keywords and lines that have worked in the past.
Avoid “Spammy” Words
Stay away from using any words we all associate with spam emails. Words like “sale”, “discount”, “coupon”, “free”, “limited time offer” and even “reminder” get overused. Even if a miracle happens and they pass the spam filter, chances are high they’ll get ignored.
Instead, try words that evoke emotions or speak to a specific outcome. Go back to your swipe file and look at why those email subject lines grabbed your attention.
Another great set of tools I use for email subject lines and blog post titles is Fresh Title and Title Analyzer. I use Fresh Title as an enormous swipe file with thousands of ready-made, proven lines. Then, as I make tweaks and combine options, I check it in Title Analyzer for quick grading based on Power Words, Character Count, Word Count, and Sentiment.
If you’re not adding your subscriber’s name to your emails, why not? Give it try and see if it works for you. Don’t overdo it, but use it when you really need them to open the email. If you haven’t always collected names, then don’t worry. Most email marketing services offer a fall-back so you don’t have an awkward blank spot or placeholder.
Depending on what data you collect when your readers sign up, you can personalize other things, like their location. Seeing the name of your state or even city in an email subject line is sure to get your attention.
Pique Their Curiosity
People are nosey and it’s hard to ignore subject lines that sound intriguing or only tell part of the story. It’s a psychology thing – we, as humans, don’t like missing part of the story. You want them to click and open the email to find out what the heck you’re talking about or how the story ends.
If you have something time-sensitive this is practically a must. Consider adding “urgency words” when you have new content you’re certain will resonate with a segment of your list you know will want it.
According to MailChimp, adding “urgent” to your subject line is your best bet, but word such as breaking, important, and alert all improved open rates. Labeling your email as an announcement or invitation, when appropriate, works wonders, too!
The Most Important Tip:
Use subject lines for your email that are honest and convey what your email is about. Anything else makes you look fishy!