In today’s email marketing world, the difference between email success and failure can hinge on whether your target reader opens your email or not. You need to create the best first impression possible and doing this can come from stronger, better, and more effective subject lines.
Subject lines are both an art and a science - what works for one campaign may not work for another. The good news is that there are a number of proven best practices you can implement. In part one of this two-part series I’ll discuss five tactics for creating better subject lines, which means better results for your next e-mail campaign.
#1. Keep it Short
Subject lines shouldn’t be more than 60 characters. Total! And that is including spaces. Yet to be more effective, yours should be even shorter than that. Best practices indicate that emails with 0-49 characters achieve better open rates than those with 50 characters or more. Communicating a short, precise message is much more effective than sending one that could get cut off and confuse your reader.
#2. Avoid Spam Filters
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that using an exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke. But it’s no laughing matter in email marketing. Using more than one in a subject line may get you filtered. Always check your email's spam score before sending to see which words or characters increase your potential to be filtered.
#3. Convey a Sense of Urgency
If you can make your reader feel like she just has to open your email and act on it immediately, your job is done and done well. One way to elicit this emotion is create a sense of urgency with time-bound offers: “September 25 is your last chance to register”- or even better, with time-bound incentives - “Your last chance to save 20% ends tomorrow.” These subject lines are clear, direct, and downright compelling.
#4. Personalize Carefully
Personalization has been overused to the point where if it’s done incorrectly, it can turn your recipient off, particularly in B2B marketing. But, if your company has a great brand and offers something your audience truly values, personalization can draw them in. “Susan, Coach’s annual sale is coming to your Scranton store,” feels more like a trusted friend passing on valuable information as opposed to an unwanted sales call.
#5. Take Personalization to another Level
Differentiate your message by personalizing subject lines with data other than your customer’s first name. Consider creative ways to include the name of a product they just bought, a service they’re interested in, or any other detail you have access to. Doing this well demonstrates marketing competence, helps to create credibility and trust, and of course, delivers a tailored email your recipient will want to open.
Part two of this two-part series will discuss the last five tips and leave you with some final words of wisdom before you embark on crafting more effective subject lines.
Lilia Arsenault, e-Dialog