9 Ways to Craft a Great Subject Line

E-mail marketing invokes the golden rule. Do onto your recipients as you would like to receive in your own inbox. You’ll find when you ask, “What entices me to open an e-mail?” you’ll find a relevant, compelling subject line at the top of the list.

Yes, subject lines are only 50 short characters. Since those 50 characters can have the biggest impact on the success or failure of your e-mail marketing campaign, it’s worth some effort.

1. Spend time writing your subject line.
Pressed for time? Don’t just toss something in! Schedule time to write a compelling subject line and you’ll find a much better result.

2. A/B test, rinse, repeat!
Split, or A/B, testing is a sure fire way to determine which different subject lines work best for your audience. Test every time to find out what kinds of subject lines elicit the greatest response.
Testing can be tedious, but can yield incremental improvements. Learning is key. Finding those winning subject lines with each incremental improvement means your ROI will begin to increase in your favor.

3. Personalize it!
Subject lines containing the first name of the subscriber always perform better than e-mails without. Personalized subject lines can help increase open rates up to 64 percent; don’t miss out on this easy addition.

4. Urgency elicits action.
Setting a deadline in your subject line can help increase open rates. Short-term promotional offer? Set it up in a series of planned e-mail drops. On Tuesday, tell your recipients they only have four days left. On Thursday follow up with, “Only 24 hours left.” You’ll find that action increases as the deadline approaches.

5. Avoid the spam filter at all costs.
Avoid the use of terms like FREE!!!, Save $, Lowest Prices, URGENT!, Double Your Sales, !!!, ***, $$$ or all the spammy words you get in the subject line of e-mails that land in your inbox or spam folder. Not only are they red flags to spam filters, they’ll tip your recipients off that there’s nothing of value for them in your e-mail.

6. Throw on your press hat.
Want to write better subject lines? Get some lessons from newspaper headlines.  They highlight the most important part of a story in a compelling way while utilizing word economy.

7. Question your subject line.
Ask yourself before hitting send – is there a benefit inferred? Does the email fulfill that benefit or promise?  Will the email save the reader money or help them in some way?  Is that reflected in the subject line?

8. Put as much relevant information into your subject line as possible.
Sending an offer e-mail? Including both the offer details and the product name can help your open rates. If your recipients can trust that the subject lines accurately reflect your content, they’ll continue to open at higher rates than if they feel tricked. That said, watch your character limits.

9. Be concise. No Fillers!
Drop unnecessary words and fillers. An easy trick is to leave out articles, adjectives and adverbs. Doing so tells the recipient what action to take. Raising curiosity while promising a benefit is a great place to start.

Of course the best thing you can do for your subject line is to always include great, valuable content in your e-mail.

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