The biggest nightmare for email marketers is often not finding an audience, but making sure the audience actually reads the email. Emails often have actionable content that you want the readers to follow through on, but they won’t do that if they simply delete the email without reading or worse leave your emails to pile up in their inbox. The subject line of your email is key: it hooks the audience and gets them to open up. Here are 5 tip tips to bear in mind when creating subject lines, helping you make sure that the effort your put into your emails isn’t wasted.
1. Don’t get caught in the spam filter
The first step to getting people to open your emails is to make sure they actually arrive in their inbox! Using trigger words in your subject line and body will probably mean that your email is headed for the spam box and automatic deletion. Avoid using symbols like dollar or pound signs and spam signaler words like ‘you’re a winner’, ‘free’ or ‘credit’. Look at your own spam box and see how generic and easy-to-catch the subject lines are. Don’t make the same mistake!
2. Play on people’s curiosity
If you make people curious about what exactly is in an email, they will want to open it. By posing a question in your subject line, you make people want to find out the answer by opening the email. You must subvert people’s expectations. An outrageous email subject line is intriguing and people play into that. Don’t just go for the same stale formula: be creative and don’t be afraid to try a new form.
3. Don’t repeat your subject line from previous newsletters
If your email is a regular newsletter, don’t use the same subject line every week. ‘Mark’s Magician Shop Newsletter’ may describe what the newsletter is, but then so does the email ‘from’ box. Using the same subject line every week will get stale, so change it up a bit to make sure that people who originally opened your newsletters just don’t leave them to pile up in their inbox.
4. Make it seem important
People will open emails that they think are important to them. Fill your emails with informative, useful content that the reader will need and then let them know that is what is inside in your subject line. If people think they MUST read what is inside, then they probably will.
5. It’s not just the subject line, it’s what’s above the fold
Many mail applications like Apple’s Mail and Mozilla’s Thunderbird show a preview of an email as well as the subject line, which either comes in the form of quoting the first few lines or an actual image preview of the email itself. You’ve got to bear this in mind when crafting your subject line as it can often take some of the impact away from your subject line. When composing your emails, send a copy to yourself and test opening it in different mail clients to see what they can see – then plan your subject line accordingly.