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6 Tips For Killer Subject Lines and Better Open Rates

Written by Anna Milward on June 23, 2014

When your marketing email drops into your recipient’s inbox, what is the first thing they see?

The importance of the email subject line shouldn’t be underestimated. A well thought out, compelling subject line can make the difference between an opened email and an ignored one.

Although subject lines are a crucial part of any email marketing strategy, it’s surprising how often they get brushed aside by marketers in favour of the content or images within the email. Unfortunately if your subject line isn’t attention grabbing and compelling enough, your readers may never get to the well written content and beautiful layout within.

To maximise your email open rates, follow our six tips to creating exciting, eye catching subject lines that will draw your readers in and get results.

1. Ask questions
Asking a question in your email subject line is engaging and can be a highly effective way to connect with your readers. The question should be relevant to the content of the email and tailored to your audience (e.g “are accounting mistakes costing you money?”).

2. Make it personal
Personalisation is an important element of any email marketing strategy and it’s all the better if you can start with the subject line. Try using the recipient’s name, and tailoring your subject to your users and whatever their specific interests are.

Where possible, segment your audience and try to tailor your emails as specifically as possible to them (without sounding like a stalker!).

3. Use numbered list titles
Numbers in subject lines are visually eye catching and stand out among all the letters. They also give the reader a clear idea of what to expect and create intrigue. If you’re short on ideas consider a problem that your product or service can help with and list 5 things your readers can do to overcome it (e.g. 5 ways to combat tiredness).

This strategy is great for providing value to your readers and giving them a reason to want to open the email and read more.

4. Use symbols to make your titles jump out
In a sea of text, being creative with symbols can catch your readers’ eyes as it has a jarring effect which gets attention. For extra impact, consider using symbols in your subject line, or capitalising some (but not all!) of your words.

5. Create urgency
Nobody likes to feel they are missing out on anything. Scarcity language, for example phrases like “limited time only” and “don’t miss out” are tried and tested marketing techniques which get results across all different platforms.

6. Test, test and test again
The best way to learn what really works is to test a few different ideas. What works for your audience may not work for someone else’s and vice versa and the only real way you can know is by trying a little experimentation.

By testing regularly and comparing the results you will start to get a feel for the most effective techniques that will work for your recipients.

Most email marketing platforms including Sendloop allow you to easily a/b test your subject lines and see what gets the most opens.

Your email subject line is the first and often the only thing your recipients have to make a decision on whether or not to open your message. A bit of time spent finding the best way to reach them can make a huge difference to the results of your email marketing campaigns.

Do you have any great ideas for email subject lines? Let us know in the comments below!

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