Email is still one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. According to DMA Insight, 99% of consumers check email daily. However, 80% of people don’t read the emails businesses send. According to MailChimp, the average email open rate across all industries is only about 20%.
The subject line of an email is the most important line of text people see when they receive your email. This one line can often determine whether an email is opened or sent straight to the trash, so make sure it’s optimized for your audience.
Spending a little extra time on your email subject lines will help you increase email open rates, avoid emails going to the spam folder, and get your message in front of the right people. Review these 7 tips below for tweaks you can make when writing your email subject lines.
1. Avoid Spam Triggers
The words you use in email headlines can have a big impact on whether people even see your email — over 20% of emails never make it to their inbox because they get flagged as spam. Phrases like “get paid”, “make money”, and “you are a winner” are just some of the culprits.
2. Use Action Words
An email subject line is a bit like a call to action. It’s your first chance to get recipients to open your email. Using action words can speed up the process. Some examples are:
- Automate your most common admin tasks.
- Save an hour a day on data entry.
- Get 10% off web hosting.
For best results, include those words at the start of the email headline.
3. Master the Psychology of Recipients
There are a whole bunch of things the human brain is wired to respond to. Use one of these psychological triggers in your email marketing, and you’ll get more people opening your emails. It’s practically guaranteed.
For example, you can ask a question to inspire curiosity just like these below headlines:
- We’re doing a presale — can you help?
- What’s the most annoying software bug you deal with?
- Is your company’s security system up to date?
4. Keep Your Subject Lines Short
These days, preferred subject lines are short. That’s because mobile devices are now primary devices for checking emails. If you have a long headline, you risk having it cut off when people view it in their email app.
This is also why you should put the most important part of your email headline near the front; it ensures that every recipient knows what your email is about. A roundup of several studies says 17-24 characters works best for the mobile market. Of course, you can go longer if your audience connects via laptops and desktops.
5. Take the Personal Approach
Many business owners try too hard to be everything to everyone. While it might seem counterintuitive to leave any audience out of your marketing efforts, the fact is you’re bound to have more success when your messages address the specific needs and pain points of a targeted audience. For marketers in the technology industry, a good place to start is to think of all the features of your products and identify which audiences/users are likely to be more interested in one feature over another.
6. Write Multiple Options
Most professional marketers write multiple headlines before choosing the best one. Start with the ones that describe the content of your email, then expand. Don’t be afraid to try headlines with humor, puns, and some that are completely off the wall. The point is to get creative juices flowing so you get a couple of headlines you’ll actually want to use.
Once you’ve got your headlines, test the best ones. Most email marketing software comes with an A/B testing tool that will send different headlines to random sets of recipients, so you can figure out what headlines get the best open rate. Over time,
you’ll be able to use the most successful ones as templates to create even more successful email headlines.
7. Troubleshoot Issues
If you’re trying to counteract falling open-rates, working on your subject lines can help, but there may be other factors at play. Make sure you address each of the below issues in conjunction with improving your subject line copy.
- Is the email viewable? If your email doesn’t read well on a user’s device, they won’t bother trying to decipher it.
- When did you send it? Many people don’t check their emails as often on the weekend. Check out our piece on the best times to send an email newsletter for more guidance.
- Quality of your email list. Is this a solid, targeted email list? Your open rates will likely reflect the quality of your email list.
There’s a lot of noise online, and the same is true for our inboxes. If you’re lucky, you only receive a dozen or so emails a day in your personal inbox. But for everyone else, it’s likely that the daily inbox number is over 100 emails.
In other words, you’ve got a lot of competition when it comes to standing out in someone’s inbox. But, with the right subject line, your email will stand out in the crowd. With these tips in mind, you’re ready to write good email subject lines that will get your emails the attention they deserve.
About Millennium Agency
Millennium Agency is a national, award-winning, digital, creative, content/PR, and video marketing firm. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, our team unites creative branding and data analytics to accelerate our clients’ growth, while combining our clients’ vision with our marketing expertise to increase sales opportunities and drive brand success. From video advertising and web design to social media and PR, Millennium can guide your marketing efforts every step of the way. Contact the professionals at Millennium Agency to learn more!