5 Tips to Write Compelling Email Subject Lines

Posted on Jul 21, 2016

Why do subject lines matter so much you might be asking? Well, subject lines hold the key to your email being opened, instead of scrolled past completely. Using certain words in subject lines can alarm email clients and your message might not even make into the inbox. So, what seems like a simple subject line really carries a lot of weight when it comes to successful email marketing.

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Use the First Name in The Subject

Seeing your name on the subject of an email makes it appear so much more personal. For this reason, it’s more likely to be opened. This is a rule that is true for any type of email or promotion. For example, “Hey Chris, we thought you might like this sample of aftershave” vs “Try this brand new sample of aftershave”. It’s clear which one is a winner here, but you might also notice that using words such as ‘you’ makes the subject sound more personal too.

Add Some Humour

Subject lines are usually quite dull, so something with a bit of humour or a play on words can really stand out and increase open rates. For example, “You smell…of this awesome new aftershave?”.

Add Emojis

Another easy way to jazz up a boring subject line is by using emoji’s. Again, popular platforms such as MailChimp make this very easy to do. Since subject lines with emoji’s are quite rare there is no better time to start experimenting, just don’t overdo it or you run the risk of looking ‘spammy’. There is some debate that certain emoji’s can have a negative effect, but it will come down to testing with your unique list.

Avoid Spammy Words

Words that are typically deemed spammy will massively affect your open rates. Emails will be blocked and won’t even reach the recipient when some words are used. Here’s a short list of the main ones to avoid:

win, free, sale, webinar, learn, book,
Currency symbols (£,$,€) and also !%
Numbers (especially long numbers)
Deceptive ‘Fwd’ or ‘RE’

Split Test

You might have heard that short snappy subject lines work the best, you might also have read that longer subject lines get a better response. Which one is right? It depends on your list of prospects, it depends on how the specific words used, it depends on how often you send an email. The best way to determine what will work for you, is to split test different variations. This is a simple feature that is available with most of the major platforms such as MailChimp, Aweber, GetResponse etc.

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