With so many channels for communicating, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways for sales and marketing messaging to reach their intended targets. Crafting the perfect message with the right call to actions and graphics are critical components to a good email, but it’s all for nought if no one opens the email in the first place. When constructing your next email marketing campaign or sales outreach letter, don’t forget these five tips for writing better subject lines that increase open rates.
1. Leverage Your Relationship
An email from a friend will look different than one from an acquaintance and people do identify brands in these terms. So personalizing subject lines according to the level of your relationship with your target is completely appropriate and expected. While most marketers are great at formal subject lines for distant relationships, many still have not mastered the friendly email. For these emails, try subject lines that don’t capitalize every word and are more informal, like, “hey, we got another great deal for you” (37 characters). They may just prove open-worthy.
2. Use Value-Based Subject Lines
Identify the primary value to the recipient and put it in the subject line. Doing so puts the focus of your marketing where it belongs: on your customer. In my experience, event marketing emails have performed better when they are focused on the opportunities to network, rather than logistics. Next time, try something like, “Join 250 Social Media Marketers for Coffee” (42 characters).
3. Don’t Forget the Snippet
OK, so this isn’t a subject line, but it will increase your open rates, which is why I’m so surprised so many email marketers haven’t gotten the memo about sub-headers. Many email services display the first few words of every email right from the inbox, so don’t let this opportunity to increase your open rates pass you by. Too often, email marketing messages use this critical space for, “If you can’t read this email…” Does that sounds like an email you would want to open? Like with subject lines, test different sub-headers to see which appeal most to your audience.
4. Inform and Entice
Subject lines should inform the recipient about what they’ll see when the open the email. But to get it opened, a subject line also needs to leave the target wanting more. A cold email subject line that has tested well over the years is simply, “Introduction and Initiation to Connect” (38 characters).
5. Keep It Short
What’s with all the counting above? A common best practice is to keep subject lines under 45 characters, or risk getting it cut off in an email reader. Consider that 65% of marketing emails are opened on mobile devices and the need to keep your subject lines even shorter, around 30 characters, puts this tip into perspective.
Including these five tips for better subject lines into your email marketing should continue to help you find new ways to get your emails read and further optimize your results with higher open rates.
Get more fantastic tips in our free webinar, Email Essentials, August 19 at 10 am Pacific and 1 pm Eastern.