In our last post, we discussed different strategies to increase your email open rates. In today’s post we take an in-depth look at the email subject line and how you can use it to improve your email open rates.


What’s in a Name: The Importance of an Email Subject Line

Email marketing is a viable marketing tactic as it allows you to connect directly with your subscribers. You control who sees your message, when they see it, and what they see. There is no third-party provider that stands between you and your potential customers.


But all your hard work in crafting the perfect persuasive message is wasted if no one reads the email. The email subject line is the face of your email and it plays the largest factor in whether your email is opened or not.


The email subject line is the face of your email and it plays the largest factor in whether your email is opened or not. Click To Tweet


Why an Email Subject Line Matters

Are you wondering why an email subject line matters? Well, think about your own personal email accounts.


On an average day, you probably receive a minimum of 10 – 30 emails. Some of these may be messages from your family and friends, but a large number are the result of signing up for various things over time.


Now say you go on vacation and forget to check your email for a week or two. You come back to your inbox and see 100+ emails waiting for you. How do you decide which emails to open and which ones to delete?


That email from your favorite cousin gets opened right away, because you want to catch up? But the rest? Which ones do you choose to open and which ones do you choose to delete without ever reading?


Chances are, it’s the subject line that decides it for you. If the subject line stands out or makes you curious, you will probably open it. The rest of the emails hold no interest for you and they are trashed without a second thought.



Crafting a Great Email Subject Line

So how do you craft a great email subject line to get your message noticed? Here is our list of tips to help get your next email opened.


1. Curious like a monkey

In the Curious George stories, George the monkey went on many adventures simply because he was curious. You need to take a page out of George’s book and make your reader want to be curious too. You want to create a mini mystery with your email subject line to entice the reader to open your email to read more.


Phrases like “You will never guess how this one tip can save you hundreds”, or “You are missing out on X” makes people curious. If played right, a subject line that invokes curiosity is the one that gets opened. And it’s the open email that can make your email marketing strategy a success.



2. Short, Sweet and To the Point

Some people love a good mystery and will let their curious side take over. On the other hand, there are those who just want the facts and don’t want to waste time with cutesy messages.


For this crowd, a direct subject line that quickly explains the purpose of the message will be appreciated. Examples like “Your order has shipped” or “Chicken Pot Pie Recipe Enclosed” tell the reader exactly what the email is about.



3. Hurry Before It’s Gone!

Big sale email subject line


People hate the thought of missing out on something great. Whether it’s an experience, a limited stock item, or a sale price, everyone wants in.


When used strategically, you can tap into this emotion to drive people to open your email. As Olivia Allen puts it, an email subject line that communicates a sense of urgency and scarcity can compel readers to click (or act).


There is one word of caution when using this type of email subject line. If you use this template for every email, you lose the sense of urgency. When everything seems urgent, eventually nothing is urgent. Therefore, use this subject line sparingly for best results.



4. The Power of Personalization

Do you hate being just another face in the crowd? Well, chances are your subscribers do too. To combat this feeling, add touches of personalization to your email subject line.


Readers like seeing something addressed to them personally and it helps you create a feeling of rapport with them. Therefore, one personalization tip is to include their first name in the subject line. A study by Hubspot found that emails that included the person’s first name in the email subject line had higher click through rates than emails that did not.


A different way to personalize your email is to mention something of interest to the reader. You can find this information out (the non-creepy way) by customizing your subscriber sign-up form. On your form, you may ask your subscribers to click the topics that are of interest to them. If they mark anything down, you can use this information to send them emails advertising those topics.


Or if you have multiple landing pages, you can also separate your subscriber lists based on how they found you. Having even this basic information can allow you to send tailored content to them.


By segmenting your email list into areas of interest, you are able to provide value to your subscribers by giving them content they are interested in.



Final Thoughts

While email subject lines may initially seem like a trivial thing, they are actually a powerful tool to help your marketing strategy. When used with purpose, they can dramatically increase your email open rates.



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