Email subject lines make or break your campaign open rate. Learn how to write email subject lines, and how to write them efficiently.
How many emails are sent to your inbox every day? 100+ maybe 500+? If you’re like me (and many more people), you probably have hundreds lying in your inbox unread. About 105 billion emails are sent daily, and in this time of countless information and mailing lists, one thing stands out: the subject line.
The subject line is what lies between an email being opened and being ignored. It is what helps you click on a particular email and perhaps overlook the rest. So much so that 47% of marketers assess email subject line to improve the email’s performance.
So, whether you’re a sales team trying to capture a potential client’s attention, a regular blogger trying to get more clicks, or want your email to have that extra kick, here are ten tips to help guide you on how to write the perfect subject line.
1. Write the Subject Email First
Although most people compose their subject email right before hitting send, the subject line is the first thing a reader comes across in their inbox. So contrary to most practices, start with your subject line. Beginning with the subject line puts you in your reader’s point of view and also helps with the layout of the rest of the email.
2. Start With Action-Oriented Verbs
Subject lines are similar to calls to action in that the wording used should entice readers to click. Subject lines that begin with action verbs are much more appealing, and adding a lively verb to the beginning of your emails will make them much more clickable.
People would be more likely to click on your email if the subject line conveys urgency and enthusiasm. For example, ‘Bend it like Beckham this Saturday’ instead of ‘Play football with us this weekend.’ The first subject line places the reader in that position where their skills might even be at a professional level instead of a more common and less actionable email.
3. Create an Overview of What’s Inside
A subject line can also be just like the blurb of a book. It gives a summary of what to expect but also entices the reader to keep reading. Therefore, creating a brief overview of what the reader will expect when reading the subject line is important because the chances are higher if they have been on the lookout for something in particular.
A great way to do this is when delivering promises via email. If your visitor has downloaded an offer and you’re sending it to them by email, it’s a good idea to use a subject line that says something like, ‘Your new e-book inside!’ or ‘Your guide is waiting for you!’ This is preferable to a plain “thank you” in the subject line because it indicates that something is waiting inside the email.
4. Personalize it and Keep it Special
Everyone likes to feel special, and this applies to emails as well. You must know who you’re emailing, and so they will realize that it’s about them or a topic that piques their interest. One way to do this is by using their name or company name. For example, ‘Increase your online traffic Company X.’
The correct phrasing also gives that extra personalized feel as they will feel like you wrote the email with them in mind. A few generalized phrases that are not specific but will make your reader feel special are:
- “Only for our esteemed clients.”
- “A special deal for you”
- “This is my gift to you.”
- “You are cordially invited!”
5. Be Clear and Specific
The subject line should clearly state the purpose of the email so that the recipient can prioritize its importance without having to open it. Please don’t keep the reader guessing what the email could be about because chances are, they won’t assume and will probably leave your email unread. Avoid subject lines like, ‘Give us a second of your time to let you know…’. Instead, specify what the email entails. For example, if your email pertains to applying for a new job, include your name and the position you are applying to be considered.
6. Keep it Short and Sweet
Approximately 77% of emails are opened via mobile email apps, so chances are the subject line is cut off often. It is recommended to keep your subject line to fewer than 50 characters to avoid this.
Avoid phrases that the reader might also not find helpful. These include numbers and letters that may not make sense, like ‘Order 5467463 is ready for collection.’ The reader may not understand the numbers and may find it hard to distinguish one order from another. Instead, a subject line like ‘Your package is ready for collection from Address X.’
7. Create Importance
When phrased creatively and strategically, communicating urgency and scarcity in an email subject line will help motivate readers to click (or act). However, it is essential to use this kind of subject line sparingly as you don’t want to be known as the brand or person that raises people’s anxiety levels all the time by using phrases like ‘Act Now!’
8. Use Keywords
You may feel that using fewer than 50 characters and keeping it clear and specific might narrow down what you may want to express in your email. A tactic that you may want to implement is keywords. Keywords efficiently convey what points you need to put across without being too wordy and still capturing the reader’s attention at the same time.
9. Avoid capitalization of words and exclamation points
Email subject lines that overuse caps and exclamation points are frequently seen as spam mail and are often overlooked or even blatantly ignored. An example of such is ‘OPEN NOW AND GET A FREE GIFT!!!!!!’. Although there is a promise of a gift by opening the email, chances are the reader will not take it seriously and might think that the email belongs in the junk mail folder. Use lower-case in your subject lines. Chances are, your email will be taken seriously.
10. Use this inbox preview tool
Use this free tool that I created. I personally scripted an email subject line visualization tool to give both myself, and my clients a better idea of how the email subject line will look on mobile phones.
In mobile view, less characters are visible on the screen, hence, consider using that virtual real estate wisely!
Click the banner below to use the tool.
Finally, if your emails aren’t being opened, they aren’t being used. You’ve got great material to share; now it’s up to you to prove it in the subject line!