• Email Subject Lines Best Practices

Email Subject Lines Best Practices

In today’s day age of email marketing is of more importance than ever. We’ve swapped phones for Facebook and pen and paper for a keyboard. That’s why knowing good email practices is key to both professional and personal success. Whether you’re an individual or a business, implementing digital strategy into emails is a wise endeavor. We’ve compiled the best tips and tricks to help you write killer email subject lines.

email subject line best practices

Email Subject Lines Best Practices

When it comes to email subject line best practices, there is one golden rule: keep it short and sweet. No one has the time nor energy to dig through a run-on subject line. The generally agreed upon ideal length is 50 characters or less. However, 20 to 30 characters is ideal. Most consumers won’t read past that, and on some platforms, the rest of the wording will be cut off—on mobile phones, for examples. Check out this post for the golden rules for successful email blasts.

The most effective email subject lines also serve as a hook. They should draw the reader in and entice them to actually open your email, rather than ignoring it or relegating it to the virtual trash can. Catchy subject lines don’t necessarily have to be witty or in a casual tone. Identify your audience and craft a subject line that is to the point and appealing to that audience. Email subject lines should immediately showcase themselves as directed towards the recipient’s particular needs or desire. The most effective email subject lines should be catchy and grab the reader’s attention.

How to Write an Email Subject Line

While there is no silver bullet to email subject lines best practices, there are a few things you should keep in mind. For example, when possible, personalize the email. Age, location and point in purchase are key to increase the chances of emails being opened. Don’t attempt to use personal data if you’re not 100% sure of it—poorly research data or incorrect personalization will do more harm than good. Also important to keep in mind: personalized subject lines only work if the content is equally personalized. The best way to start? Work by example, starting with these examples of email subject lines.

When you write an email, you need to keep in mind that people’s time, and more importantly, attention spans, are limited. Unless you are writing to a close friend, emails are not the place to disclose stories or personal anecdotes. Leave the small talk for other venues. When it comes to your email subject line, and the content below it, get straight to the point.

State your purpose within the first few sentences. Open with a compliment, reminder, or nice statement, and immediately give the reason for the email after that. For example: “Nice meeting you at yesterday’s luncheon!” If applicable, include content type in your email subject line. Providing a free webinar? Say it in the title! Providing a free eBook, try this email header: “Our Killer eBook is NOW available for download!” Offer up the goodies immediately.

While the email subject line is vital to your email being opened, don’t neglect the email itself. The body of your email should take no more than a minute or two to read. You don’t want to write a novel and overwhelm your reader—particularly if you’re sending a marketing email. Make the email personable, easy-to-read, and fast. Your reader will appreciate it and you’ll get the results you’re looking for.

Related: Email Marketing for Small Business Owners

Maintain Your Brand and Voice

Whether you’re writing for yourself or on behalf of a company, you have to establish a marketing voice. This voice should engage your recipient in a language that recognizes their level of engagement with your brand or with you. If you just met someone and are trying to get to them better, your email voice should reflect your desire to engage with that person. Remember that you’re marketing yourself and your business to your target customers.

Likewise, if you are trying to gently encourage readers to buy your product, you should set a tone that reflects your mission, whether that tone is “friendly neighbor” or a more serious “from businessperson to fellow businessperson.” Your brand and voice is especially important if you are regularly emailing the same recipients, like with a regular email newsletter.

Related: 100+ Best Email Subject Lines

Good Email Practices: Don’t Spam

Nobody appreciates being contacted under false pretenses. Don’t be deceptive with your recipients. Your emails should be to-the-point, truthful, and relevant to their interests. Never try to “bait” readers with incorrect or false information. As an individual, you’ll get docked serious points, but as a business, you won’t just be met with ire; you risk being sued.

Before you begin any email marketing campaign, it’s mandatory that you familiarize yourself with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which bans the use of shady and deceptive tactics for bulk emailing.

Some important things to keep in mind for good email practices:

  • Never use false or deceptive headers. This incudes names, reply-to address and subject lines.
  • Always provide an unsubscribe link. This link must work for at least 30 days after the email was sent.
  • Include your physical mailing address.
  • Add a professional email signature at the end of your email.

Compliance with email marketing laws is a must for all small business owners so make sure you know what you can and cannot do, such as providing misleading information.

The digital landscape of the 21st century changes every day. It’s important that your email marketing campaigns are innovative, and flexible with the times. Looking for the latest email marketing tips, tricks, and techniques? Check our weekly blog posts for indispensable advice on how to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns!

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