The art of the subject line is a cruel, ever-changing and immeasurably-frustrating mistress.
The ideal marketing subject line is attention-grabbing, engaging, informative, concise, clear and most importantly HUGELY SUBJECTIVE (pun intended).
YOU WILL NEVER WRITE THE PERFECT SUBJECT LINE
But you can still write the best subject line to appear in your customer’s inbox. You can still craft the perfect introduction to your message and an enticing invitation to read more.
You can still write a subject line that increases your open rates and maximises conversions.
Mailchimp, master of the inbox, summarises the best subject line like this:
6 TIPS TO WRITING BETTER EMAIL MARKETING SUBJECT LINES
Build on the following ground rules, add a little creativity of your own and watch your email read rates increase and your customer conversion rates grow.
- 1 | AVOID THE SPAM FILTER NO-NO WORDS
There are a few words you should never, ever use in a subject line.
FREE, OFFERS, WIN etc are the worst spam filter offenders and a quick google search will bring up a full list of words not to be used.
Mailchimp research has shown that the words Help, % Off and Reminder will not directly affect spam filters but will turn readers away.
- 2| KNOW YOUR SUBJECT LINE CHARACTER LENGTH
The general rule is to keep total subject line character length to an absolute maximum of 50. Mobile phones will generally display around 30.
If your subscribers are highly targeted, niche recipients however, they will often appreciate added information in a longer subject line.
- 3| DECIDE BETWEEN PERSONALISATION AND LOCALISATION
Although including people’s names where possible is good practice, localisation improves open rates far more significantly.
Including a city, town or location in your subject line will make recipients believe the message is specifically tailored to where they live, work or play and immediately makes your email seem more valuable.
- 4| BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT’S INSIDE
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spell out exactly what your email contains, rather don’t try to trick the recipient into opening the email.
Frustrate someone into having to click open and they’ll just unsubscribe. Be clever or funny with your subject line if you want to, just remember to be clear and offer genuine value above anything else.
- 5| KEEP THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION NEAR THE FRONT
Subject line attention span is measured in skim-seconds.
People will skim the first few words of each subject line in their inbox and make bulk decisions about what to delete.
Include your strongest draw at the beginning of the subject line so it stands out, enticing the recipient to continue reading the rest.
This will also help those viewing your email on smaller screens and mobile devices too.
- 6| MAKE IT TIME-SENSITIVE
Urgency bolsters the effectiveness of any marketing or promotional email.
Including dates and deadlines makes the subject line fresh and recent instead of reused and templated.
Remember to avoid including % or SALE in your subject line if you’re sending an offer or discount.
WAIT THERE’S MORE!
If you thought that was it, think again.
There are another 6 golden rules to remember when trying to write great subject lines – ones that will transform your open rates, click thrus and conversions.
Download our comprehensive free guide to writing life-changing subject lines and prepare to reap the rewards of optimised email marketing techniques.
Our free guides will be available to download from the 1st August 2015.
Be sure to visit regularly as we will add more guides and downloads as they come!