Compared to social media platforms, live chat bots, and project management applications, the term “email” seems outdated. However, email marketing still works. That is, if you can get your readers to open your emails. Which is, if your emails make it to their inbox in the first place. Writing effective email subject lines is a craft, and can greatly impact your email marketing metrics. Read on for email subject line dos and don’ts that will maximize the results of your email marketing campaigns.
Related [free] eBook: Email Marketing 101
(50 characters or less, 20-30 is ideal) to prevent it from getting cut off or from annoying readers. Tile creates a short and simple one here:
Especially if you have one list and diversify your emails (some are promotional, some are updates, some focus on events, and others on content downloads). Make sure readers know exactly what they’re getting out of the email.
The first email subject line example from Elevate doesn’t really help the reader to understand what the email is about. The second subject line is a vast improvement of this subject line must-do.
Stitch Fix knows how to connect with its audience. For people who want to choose from a selection of quality clothing, “100+ premium brands” is great word choice.
Drift is clearly sending this email to its users, so it can use terms like “LeadBots” to grab their attention.
Although their subject line is a bit too long and gets cut off, TouchCare does a great job with conveying value:
This email subject line gives readers a finite time frame, an ideal way to increase engagement with your emails.
This helps readers to quickly identify the promotion being offered to them.
Encourage your readers to open the email before the offer inside of it expires. This email from Boston Sports Clubs does a great job with their email subject line:
This Idealist email conveys less urgency. This makes sense because the date of the fair is two weeks from the email, but if they wanted to create more urgency, they might have said “Don’t miss the Boston Idealist Grad Fair coming up!” or “The Boston Idealist Grad Fair is in just two weeks!”
The Elevate example above slightly taps into the curiosity factor but the quotes and lack of clarity detract from its effectiveness. Stitch Fix below uses their language (“fix”) and triggers a sense of curiosity that feels safe for the reader.
Here’s what NOT to include in your email marketing subject lines to prevent your marketing emails from getting ignored, deleted, or spammed:
Only deliver one clear message in each subject line and email. If you try and communicate too many ideas at a time, you run the risk of all your information becoming white noise to the reader.
This is an actual spam email, but you can see how unprofessional and spammy a subject line looks when the capitalization is inconsistent.
This also is a spam email, but once again you can see how multiple exclamation points appear. The single exclamation point in the Boston Sports Club “Hurry!” email subject line is enough to convey excitement.
The last thing you want your email recipients seeing in the subject line is your business greeting them by their email address or with a blank space.
Your subject line needs to deliver on its promise about the email that follows.
This is an email from an organ donation nonprofit, but the mysterious subject line doesn’t provide enough intrigue or security for the reader to click.
You will lose the interest of your readers. If the same subject line applies each month, then you probably need to diversify your email newsletter content a bit more.
Your subject line serves as a portal between your company’s message and the recipient. Though they are small pieces of content, they play a major role in building trust with your audience and generating leads through email. Follow these email subject line dos and don’ts to ensure you get the most out of your email marketing strategy.