This week’s blog is more niche, but hear me out…
You might be thinking: “Why is she going on about email subject lines? Isn’t the content inside more important?”
Well, yes –the content of your email is crucial for success. But how do you make sure people actually open it?
A good first impression is essential, and that’s what your email’s subject line provides. The subject line could be the thing that leads to your next sale. Or it’s only thing someone sees before they ignore the email – or delete it. Because they didn’t feel they had a good enough reason to open it.
Are you ready to improve your email marketing performance with the magic of an engaging subject line? Here are my top 7 tips on how to make the most of this small but powerful space.
1) Make it clear
Subject lines are short – there is no room for filler. You need to make clear what the reader will find once they open the email. Otherwise, what incentive do they have to keep reading?
If you’re running a special offer, provide details in the subject line. If you’re making an announcement, hint at the exclusive information inside. Or if you’re offering added value or educational content, highlight what this is.
The clearer your subject line, the more likely the email is opened with genuine interest. Which means you will know who exactly your most qualified audience is for future campaigns.
2) Avoid ‘spammy’ words
Email filters will pick up certain ‘spam’ words. This can result in your email being delivered to the ‘Promotions’ folder – or the dreaded Junk / Spam folder.
A few examples of ‘spam’ words are:
– ‘No obligation’
Keep these in mind when working on your subject line.
3) Use your sub-heading!
A sub-heading provides space to expand on information that won’t fit in the subject line.
For example, if you are announcing a brand new product or service, put that in the subject line. Then use the sub-heading to provide more specific information, such as a launch date. If you’re running an offer – use the sub-heading to let people know when it ends.
4) Get Personal
Email marketing platforms offer multiple personalisation options. Within your subject line, try to keep it simple – that way there are less opportunities to make mistakes.
For example, add first name information if you have it. People are drawn to seeing this personal connection and will want to know what you have to say. It’s a simple trick, but it helps people feel like you are talking to them alone.
If you know where your customers live, why not personalise the subject line to include their geographical area?
Look at your contact database to understand who your customers are, and then use your subject line to reflect this.
5) Stick to your brand
Always keep in mind what your customers want – and expect – to see from you.
If you aren’t known for having an informal, humorous tone of voice, your customers would find it strange to get an email from you with a joke in the subject line. Or a subject line full of emojis.
Email marketing increases your brand authority – reflect your tone appropriately.
6) Test, test and test again!
Email marketing platforms also provide the opportunity for A/B testing.
A/B testing is where two different versions of an email go to a small test audience. This is a great option to evaluate which subject lines provide the best results.
Small adjustments can create big changes. The most effective tests include small differences. Edit the way your offer is worded, or the kind of personalisation you included. Then afterwards look at the statistics, and you’ll be armed with more knowledge on what your customers want to see from you.
7) Use scarcity – but only if you mean it…
This one is crucial.
Scarcity can cause a real feeling of urgency for your customers – they need to buy now or they’ll miss out! So it can be a highly effective sales tool.
But for scarcity to be effective, it needs to be authentic.
You should always highlight the expiry date for an offer, or a limited time sale in your subject line – but only if it’s true. Otherwise, your customers will view you as untrustworthy when they visit your website and the offer is still running weeks later…
Do you have any tips on writing engaging email subject lines? Let me know in the comments below!