The Ultimate Guide to Email Subject Lines For Higher Open Rates

The Ultimate Guide to Email Subject Lines For Higher Open Rates

Email marketing has become one of the most efficient ways for promoting almost any kind of business. It is successfully used by freelancers, small businesses and big corporations. They will all agree that the most challenging part of any email campaign is to get your recipients open and read the emails you send. Evidently, it all comes down to this critical element you must pay special attention to – the subject line. This is the very first thing that a potential costumer will see. Therefore, it needs to be short, clear and descriptive, invoking instant curiosity in the reader.

The benefits of getting your subject lines right are huge. Not only you’ll have more potential customers on your list of subscribers, but you’ll also get higher click-through rates, better traffic and sales from all your email marketing campaigns. However, if you don’t manage to invoke curiosity, people just won’t take a look at your email and you’ll lose possibility to convert them into customers.

Email spam filtering was pretty unknown phenomenon in the past, when email was yet to become popular communication platform. But, recently, with the fast expansion of email marketing, spam filters have become entities of their own. They are becoming better and better and tend to be quite sensitive, too. Many marketers have been working really hard on trying to face this challenge and avoid having their emails filtered out. It’s true that every time you set sails to a new email marketing campaign, there’s a risk your messages will hit recipient’s spam folder instead of their inbox. However, this only means that you need to work harder in order to carefully tune the subject line of every email you send. The body of your email is also of extreme importance, but investing more time in creating effective subject lines will help you reach your first goal – higher open rate.

Tips for Writing Catchy Email Subject Lines

Be short and specific. Try viewing your message through the eyes of your potential customers. This will help you be more specific while writing your subject line. The most common mistake many marketers make while crafting the subject line is the use of generic terms. If you want your potential customers to open your email, tell them specifically what they should expect when they do it. Also, try to keep your subject line short, since subscribers are more into shorter lines than long ones.

 Test it on mobile devices. You need to take into account that majority of people use their smartphones, tablets or other mobile device to access their emails. So, you should pay attention that your subject line looks good on any type of device. This is, by all means, the essential step in your email marketing campaign. Test each and every message you write before sending it and make sure it’s nothing more than perfect. Remember that mobile phones show only between 25-30 characters in the subject line.

The C.U.R.V.E. formula. This is another great option you might find really useful. Alex Williams, the Creative Director & Digital Strategy Director at Trendline Interactive, thought of this formula after years of writing and testing email subject lines. The C.U.R.V.E. formula stands for Curiosity, Urgency, Relevancy, Value and Emotion. By using at least two of the five elements it contains, you can create excellent and catchy subject lines that will get more people open their emails.  

 Eliminate spam filter words and any words that don’t help you achieve your goal. Words and phrases such as “thanks”, “nice to meet you”, etc. belong to this group. When you start writing your subject line, ask yourself first which words you really need to include and which can be left for the body of your email.

 “Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale”, David Newman once said. Personalizing your emails leads to a higher open rate and also helps you avoid email spam filtering systems more easily. You can simply use the receiver’s first name in the subject line. Make sure you avoid words such as “Mrs.”, “Mr.” and “dear”, as they are not at all specific.

 Conduct a thorough A/B testing whenever you start a new email marketing campaign. Think of two different subject lines and test their open rates so that you see which one is better.

 Words you should avoid. In order to lower the risk of sending your message directly to spam filter, make sure you:

      o Don’t use emojis and emoticons in your subject line, as they are already excessively used and email spam filtering services are responding to them really fast.

      o Don’t write the subject line using upper-case characters. This is equivalent to you shouting, so the spam filters react accordingly and get hold of your message instantly.  

      o Try not the use the words “free”, “amazing”, “incredible”, etc. as they can trigger the spam filter, too.

You got to know the basics of what it takes to write a good subject line. Now, it’s your turn. Get to know your audience, see what works best for your type of business, test different options and versions and experiment until you get your subject lines just right. This is, after all, both art and science. It takes time, but it surely helps you achieve the ultimate goal – having more faithful customers on your list.

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