If you work in marketing you probably only have to look in your email inbox to see that the internet’s awash with email marketing experts and gurus. They offer top tips and hints, courses and training days on “How to write the killer email”, or “How to get results” – yet you don’t take them up on their offer.
Probably because they don’t even get the basics right – and that’s an email subject line which sells. Quite funny when you think about it.
So with that in mind here’s five top tips for how you can write “that killer email” and “get results” without having to splash out on one of these courses. Your email subject line is the most important part of your email. Those 50 characters can make or break your email marketing campaign – so if you don’t want to waste both time and money, here’s how to do them like a pro.
Tip 1 – Get Personal
To create an email subject line that sells you need to get personal – by that I mean writing with your reader’s eyes in mind. They will have lots of emails in their inbox requiring attention, but one which appears to be personal will more likely be opened. Consider using the following:
- Their first name – these emails always perform better than subject lines without.
- Special offers which appeal to their past buying history
- Tailored offers relating to their their past browsing history
- Reminder emails based on their past checkout history
If your reader can relate to your email subject line you’ll be able to convince them to open to read your message. They might not click-through to your website, but by getting them to open you’re killing two birds with one stone – reminding them you’re about and making them feel appreciated that you know the kind of things they like.
Tip 2 – Get Urgent
Email subject lines which have no call to action will be ignored, plain and simple. Think about it – if you get an email saying “Hurry! Just 24 hours left of our Spring Sale”, you’re more likely to open that than “Spring Sale ends soon”.
Setting a deadline in your subject line can help to increase open rates. Taking the above as an example, a good marketer would send an email on Monday morning saying they only have four days left, while on Thursday it would follow up with “only 24 hours left”. You will find that the closer it gets to the deadline, your open rates will increase.
Tip 3 – Get Away From SPAM
Take a look in your junk folder. Go on, do it. Surprised at what you see?
If you want to avoid your email being buried here, try and avoid making many of the silly mistakes so many marketing companies make. Avoid using words like:
- Save $ / Save ?
- Lowest Prices!
- Double your sales!
- *** <- you know what we mean.
These words are like red rag to a spam filter. And not only that, if your email is lucky enough to survive being filtered, it shows your subcribers that there’s nothing really of interest in it anyway.
Tip 4 – Get Shorty
When it comes to emails, messages are not always displayed consistently across various email clients and platforms. You’ve got Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL – all will display an email subject line differently. Most email clients will allow for 50-60 characters to display a subject line, which is not that much to work with! Throw in the fact that more and more people are opening their emails on their mobiles, and the need to make your email subject line as short as possible is even more pressing.
Use the tips above to create your email subject line, before moving on to the final step…
Tip 5 – Get testing
If your email marketing software provider has it, try A/B testing to determine which sort of subject lines encourage the most amount of people to click open. Try completely different types of subject lines you want to test, such as discount versus benefits, humor versus serious, etc. In the early stages you can try larger concepts that you can build on and refine with continuous testing. Get the testing stage right and you’ll have a winning email subject line – every time.
- 5 Tips for Writing Subject Lines that Will Get Your Emails Opened (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- FREE Subject Line Scoring Tool (sys-con.com)
- A subject line to open for (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- The Art of Writing Great Email Subject Lines (boldstate.com)
- The 9 Must-Have Components of Compelling Email Copy (hubspot.com)