The “Subject Line Best Practice” Article of Your Dreams
The most important part of an email is making sure it gets opened! And as they say, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression so you have to make sure your from line and subject line are in great shape. These are the first things subscribers will see in their inbox so you need to make sure they are compelling, and make the subscriber want to open it. A bad subject line and from line can cause your email to get caught in spam filters, make your leads unsubscribe and stop people opening it. The ëfrom lineí is very simple to make perfect; it should just be your brand name, simple as that.
The following guidelines give several ideas as to how to optimise your subject line;
- An email subject line should be like a call to action and should start with a verb such as learn. download, or sign up.
- Subject lines must relate to the content inside the email! This may sound obvious, but it is often the case that the actual content of the email ends up have nothing to do with the subject line! This is usually because the sender is trying to write such an attractive subject line that what is actually in the email is forgotten!
- The call to action used in the email subject line should be repeated in the email copy.
- Use your brand name in the subject line. A recent study from Mailchimp found that emails were more likely to be opened if they included the companyís name in it.
- Make sure you include the emailís offer in the subject line, so people know the value the email will provide them e.g. ìDiscover how one business doubles their revenue using social mediaî
- Creating a sense of urgency is a good tactic to use in conjunction with a compelling offer. One way to do this is to use brackets in the subject line. For example, you might be promoting an upcoming webinar and you want to make sure recipients realise this right away. Your subject line could be, ìLearn to Become an Efficient Blogger with Curve Interactive [Webinar in 2 Days].
- As mentioned earlier you cannot afford to have your emails get caught up in spam filters. To give yourself the best chance do not use spammy words like ëfreeí, act now and offer. Also do not have all your words in capital letters or over use exclamation marks!!!!!
- I recommend keeping your subject line under 50 characters if possible. Having anything longer you run the risk of words being cut off. Each email client shows a different number of characters varying from 30 to over 80 but most show around the 45-50 character mark. If your email system allows it then try to do a split-test on a subject line. Test 2 very different subject lines against each other on a subset of the database and then set the main bulk of emails to be sent using the better performing subject line ñ usually based on Open rate. Take on board the learnings and then test again the next time around.
- Make sure the first few lines of your email copy are highly related to the subject line. Most email clients have a preview function which pulls out the first couple of lines of text, if this is consistent to what the email says and reinforces its points readers will have more reason to open it.