Email Marketing Subject Lines

The holidays are over, New Year’s Eve was celebrated with a bang, and a fresh start is finally here. Make 2016 the year you make full use of your email marketing, and watch your revenues skyrocket. Here, we’ve given you a head-start on your new resolution by providing strategies for crafting killer email marketing subject lines; the first building block of any effective email.

email marketing subject lines

Email Subject Line Tips

While you may tweak your subject lines based upon the nature of your email, effective email subject lines all share similar characteristics regardless of content. Remember: 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone, so it’s well worth your while to practice the art of email crafting.

Here are best practices to keep in mind when writing email subject lines:

  • Keep it short and sweet. This is a sound bite culture, and digital communication thrives on brevity. Experts recommend keeping things brief, between 40 to 50 characters (9 to 14 words).
  • Weed out spam. The best subject lines for email marketing avoid words or phrases that sound too gimmicky. Excessive use of promotional language like “buy now” or “free” is a one-way ticket to the electronic trash can.
  • Ask a question. Questions are a great way to pique reader curiosity. And because questions feel incomplete on their own, they encourage your recipients to open your email in search of an answer.
  • Send a list. List posts have been made extremely popular by pop culture websites such as Buzzfeed. People love lists because they break down complicated concepts into bite-sized, manageable parts. Increase email open rates by including a list in your subject line. Ex: “5 Easy Tools to Simplify Your Marketing.”
  • Use humor. Humor is welcomed by all, and clever, subtle jokes can be appreciated by even the most conservative of recipients. Depending on the tone your business’s brand employs, try testing out some puns or wordplay in your subject lines to increase engagement.

Related: Email Marketing for Small Business Owners

Email Newsletter Subject Lines

While email newsletters serve an important marketing purpose, they are different from sales promotions emails in that they serve a dual purpose. They should be beneficial to both your company and the customers who are interested in your company. Your newsletter should be balanced; it should be 90% educational and 10% promotional. That’s why carefully crafted email newsletter subject lines are especially important.

Subject lines for newsletters should be creative, different, and, above all, engaging. Newsletter email subject lines that get opened have a sense of uniqueness and/or urgency. They encourage recipients to open that specific email immediately. Your email subject line should appear more interesting than what your recipient is currently doing, serving as a happy distraction from their daily routine—a procrastination tool, if you will.

If you send out a regular email blast or newsletter—weekly or daily—be weary of sounding too sales-like. If all your email marketing subject lines repeat the same old tripe, your recipients will quickly get bored, or worse, annoyed. If it’s the latter, they may even unsubscribe from your email list—something you should avoid. You can also further prevent unsubscribes by following the golden rules for email blasts.

Related: 100+ Email Subject Lines

Email Subject Lines for Sales

Sales promotion emails are simple in that they have one express goal: getting someone to buy something. Of course, as any salesperson knows, getting someone to dish out their hard-earned greenbacks is no easy task.

When it comes to email subject lines for sales, you should aim to achieve two things:

  1. Offer an incentive
  2. Create a sense of urgency

Here are some examples of email subject lines for sales or business promotions that offer an incentive and a sense of urgency:

  • Don’t miss out! Our sale ends tonight!
  • Online only: Up to 75% off!
  • End Today: Take 25% off your entire order
  • 20% gifts for Dad
  • Limited Supply: Limit 2 per customer

If you want to mix things up a bit, you can go the catchy and creative route. These don’t create the same sense of urgency, but they are more unique and may offer more appeal to customers receiving dozens of promotional emails daily:

  • Last chance on to score savings on game-time gear! (sports retailer)
  • Uh oh. Did you forget someone on your list?
  • Get in Our Pants- Sale on all denim!
  • Seriously cool (warm) jackets

Need more tips on sales promotions blasts? Check out this post on the golden rules for email blasts.

Event Marketing Subject Lines

Writing good email subject lines for marketing events can be tricky. While it’s hard to sell a product, it is even more difficult to get people to show up somewhere—especially if they are paying for the opportunity. In marketing events, you have to make your event not only seem worth your customer’s while, but valuable to them as well.

That said, when it comes to subject lines for business events, make your subject line personal to make people want to come. The subject line all about your recipient. Use the pronoun “you” to make your subject line instantly more relatable. For example: “Are you going to ScienceCon 2016 tomorrow?” You could also explain why your event would be extremely valuable to your recipient with something like “Why ScienceCon can help you get your dream job” or something similar.

You can also segment your event marketing emails by demographic market. Consider the needs of each of your unique demographic audiences, and the language and lingo they use. Try to incorporate these into your subject lines. Personalization and value made clear in subject lines are what make for effective email marketing.

Last, include a deadline. Sometimes a deadline is just what you need to point out why your email is a priority. This notion works especially well for events, particularly those with early bird and other deadlines. Often, people will wait until the last moment to buy tickets, so don’t be afraid to announce a short turnaround time. “Now or never” types of deadlines are often the kick recipients need to buy their tickets. This works especially well if you offer a special discount on early tickets. Be sure to send a final reminder email near your final deadline’s close to catch the last-minute stragglers, too.

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