Oh, the email subject line! So tiny and minuscule compared to the rest of the message that’s waiting for your intended recipient on their inbox, but still one of the most important things that you cannot get wrong. The subject line is the first thing that your recipient sees and in a way has to be a tool for conversion.
We’ve all been victims of two extremes; it’s either we forget the importance of email subject lines or the paranoia kicks in, and we treat email subject lines almost as if they were landing pages on their own.
The trick is trying to get a mix of both worlds, naturally making subject lines that are convincing enough for people to click them. It doesn’t take so long to do if you really think about it.
Why It’s Important
Believe it or not, according to a study, 47 percent of people decide to open an email due to the email subject line. This means that your click-through rate is also highly dependent on the email subject like that you choose to use.
The email subject line is also the first impression that your intended recipient gets from your message, and in digital marketing, first impressions actually count.
What Should I Do?
There are a few general rules that remain true when it comes to writing out email subject lines and they really make sense for people to follow.
Here’s the first rule: keep it short and simple.
Almost all of us, digital marketers included, scan our inboxes quickly and due to this, we cannot afford to let our emails be left out because we decided to use convoluted language. If you’re informing, make sure the email is summed up by the subject, if it’s a funny anecdote, make sure that people get it in less than ten words. Your aim is to offer the benefit at the onset of the scan through.
Always be able to provide a preview of what’s inside your email.
This brings about an air of honesty and people like that. It also opens the doors for you to get creative. Instead of a generic ‘thank you’ message for signing up for your services, make sure you give them a preview of what’s to come. What sounds better,
“Thank you for joining the XYZ service” or “Now it’s time for us to start converting”?
Don’t forget to personalize.
We have so many customer relationship management tools and hacks that can make adding a personal touch to your subjects automated. Mention their first name, their position, or their company.
However, there is still the small danger that you might go overboard with this and appear creepy. You want to feel special that you’ve called them out, you don’t want to come off as a stalker.
Action is the aim of the game.
We are all too familiar with CTAs, and that’s exactly what an email subject line is, it’s a call to action that is embedded in the “preview” of the email. Make sure that the even the first words that you use are verbs that are action-oriented. This makes all the difference.
Everyone likes a little fun.
Do you want to spice things up a bit? Put something funny in the subject line. Now and then we come across an email in our inbox that we can describe as punny and this always helps brighten up someone’s day.
What To Avoid?
There are some words – such as “free” – that can send your email directly to a spam folder on some email servers and thus, hurt your email deliverability rates in the future. So make sure you avoid using words such as these.
Also, make sure that you do not make any false promises on your subjects. Sometimes we’re tempted to use a little “click-baiting” when it comes to composing our emails, but we can assure you that it will do you more harm than good.
Other general rules are:
- Don’t use all caps
- Don’t use too many exclamation marks
- And, don’t be spammy
What Else Can I Do?
You can always follow you your email subject lines with some engaging preview text from the email correspondence itself; this will in turn support whatever cool and catchy email subject line you choose to use.
Remember also to segment your sender lists and use different subjects for the different segments that you have. You can take this up a notch further by making sure that you perform split tests (A/B testing) on a sample of your mailing lists before you send everyone an email using the desired subject line.
So there you have it. Hopefully, by following some of our simple rules, you can improve your click-through rates and of course your conversions. Happy emailing!