5 Tips For Writing Engaging Email Subject Lines

No matter the message or audience, email subject lines are one of the essential components of creating an engaging email. Other than the sender, the subject line immediately influences whether or not your audience will open or delete the message.

With the advancement of emailing software, subject lines have become plagued with special characters and emojis in an attempt to stand out within a sea of emails in a customer’s inbox. While these tactics certainly draw the eye, they are quickly associated with spammy marketing materials. They often produce the exact opposite of their intended result and are immediately deleted. Many quality marketing messages are condemned to the spam folder or directly into the trash due to poor usage of subject lines. This blog will outline five easy steps to spruce up your email subject lines and drive engagement.

Tip #1: Utilize Short Subject Lines

According to ‘99Firms’, 50% of emails are consumed on a mobile device (99Firms). Therefore it is crucial to keep these audiences in mind when creating an email subject line. Limiting your subject line to 40 characters or roughly 4-8 words will ensure that any mobile device limits will not cut off your content. Additionally, it is essential to remember that the purpose of email subject lines is to stand out amongst a wall of text in an inbox. Your target audience is most likely sifting through countless emails, and a shortened subject line will serve as a break in the text and stand out visually.

Tip #2: Personalization Tokens

While the advancement in email software has undoubtedly created some nuisance tactics, it has also brought on the age of personalization, which has lent itself to marketers across all industries. Personalization tokens are snippets of data that can be pulled from your contact records and are used to create individualized emails and subject lines. Everyone always responds when their mother uses their full name when calling for them, so think of this as a less scary version of that tactic. If you see your name, service date, service type, or any other personalized information in a subject header, you are much more likely to engage with that content. In fact, according to SailThru, “Using simple field insertion for a customer’s name can increase email open rates by upwards of 18%” (SailThru).

Tip #3: Leveraging Multimedia

Before mainstream social media channels emerged, email was the reigning king of media distribution. To this day, it still serves as a companion channel to social media for the distribution of podcasts, movie trailers, presentations, training, help guides, and more. By simply including the word video in your email subject line has been proven to boost your open rate by more than 50% (Constant Contact). As previously stated, do not let your quality multimedia content get overshadowed by a boring subject line; let your audience know there is a goldmine of content attached to your email!

Tip #4: Use Open-Ended Questions

Engaging your audience in an unexpected manner will do wonders to drive your email open rates. Most people’s inboxes are flooded with offers, promotions, deals, and discounts, but how often do you see an email asking something genuine of the reader? Questions are a great way to grab your audience’s attention while leaving the reader with an air of curiosity. In an excellent example by the linen company Brooklinen, readers were asked “Chocolate or Vanilla?” in a simple email subject line announcing the launch of their new blog and their first post on the difference between Sateen and Pearl weaves (Really Good Emails).

Tip #5: Clear Command Call To Actions

Calls to Actions (or CTAs for short) are nothing new in the marketing world and are an integral part of any email campaign. However, CTAs are traditionally reserved for the body of the email, typically towards the end of the message. This tactic severely limits the impact of a quality CTA, as it buries it at the end of a piece of content that may never be opened. This is where adding CTAs to your email subject lines can come in handy. Remember, it is vital to avoid spammy language as most spam emails utilize CTAs very frequently. However, do not be shy; audiences respond very well to direct instruction. Do you have an event to promote, tickets to sell, or a webinar to register to? Tell your audience directly, and provide immediate value upfront before the customer opens your email.

Writing the Perfect Subject Line

Writing the perfect email subject line requires creative language, an intimate knowledge of your audience, and a clearly defined goal for your message. Remember, building your engagement rates is a never-ending process that will require alot of workshopping and testing to figure out what techniques inspire engagement among your audience.  With some trial and analysis, these tips should serve as a creative foundation to build upon for your unique audiences.

A great litmus test for some of these tactics would be your own inbox. What time of messages are you most likely to engage with? Which messages do you instantly delete, regardless of the sender? A better understanding of your interactions with your inbox will provide quality insight into the average email user’s experience and help guide your strategy along the way.

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Are you finding email campaigns to be a bit overwhelming? Do you have tons of data to decipher and do not know where to start? Feel free to reach out and schedule a free content audit with one of our email marketing experts. They will help you take stock of what you currently have and provide direction for your future email endeavors.

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