Email marketing is one of the most versatile tools in any marketer’s toolkit.
For one thing, it’s the single most scalable element of any marketing plan: You can send an email to a hundred people, a thousand, or a million with minimal increases in overhead. Email is a universal part of the online experience, so you can reach practically anyone in the world.
Second, email is consistently the best option when you want to achieve outstanding ROI.
On its own, out in nature, an email is virtually free to send. Of course, a business needs a little more infrastructure than that: There’s email automation software to think about, as well as the extra steps you need to take for compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.
All in all, though, email is still the king of ROI, yielding results up to four times higher than digital marketing mainstays like social media and paid search.
And what’s the most important part of any marketing email?
Email subject lines are the answer. About 33% of recipients open an email based on the subject line alone; 69% of them report messages as spam based on the subject line. If you’re going to spend lots of time on any one part of a message, email subject lines should be your priority.
Here’s how to create email subject lines that really work:
Highlight Important Benefits
Benefits have been the core of direct mail marketing since the very beginning. The right benefit not only drives your readers’ curiosity, but pre-qualifies your audience: That is, you can find out instantly who’s tuned in to a specific benefit. In the B2B world, benefits are relatively simple: Saving money or making money. It’s how you frame them that makes them interesting.
- Our average user increases sales 15%
- Save millions on compliance costs
- Free up an hour a day with this solution
Ask Intriguing Questions
Asking questions is a great way to build rapport with your reader for one reason: It’s almost impossible for most people to read a question directed to them and not answer mentally. The trick is, the answer must be a yes or a response that makes them reflect on their goals. The wrong question will shut you down before you can even get started, as readers will dismiss it.
- Want to fix employee turnover for good?
- What’s most important in your business?
- What would you do with an extra $10,000?
Make an Offer
It might seem like your target audience is inundated with offers, but the human brain craves novelty and is always on the lookout for something even better. Stating your offer is a confident move that can accelerate the sale or other conversion. A good offer that’s fully aligned with a prospect’s needs will cut through the clutter even in a crowded inbox.
- Download our Buyer Persona Worksheet
- Our top-rated products 30% off
- Landing Page Checklist for sales success
Focus on Scarcity
The social media age has brought a new wrinkle to the way people consume content, and it’s called FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. Even savvy B2B buyers experience FOMO, though they might like to think about it as “minimizing opportunity costs.” As long as you don’t go over the top, you can position your offerings as a huge opportunity that might slip through their fingers.
- Last chance: 30% off top-rated products ends tonight
- Our most-requested training ever is almost sold out
- After tomorrow, this special offer isn’t coming back
Humanize Your Brand
You can humanize your brand by addressing your prospects directly (using “I”) or telling a story about someone similar to them. Testimonials are also an excellent way to humanize the brand and incorporate social proof at the same time. Adding a little bit of personal flair can even work in B2B, since it gives you a chance to communicate the values important to your brand.
- How an entrepreneur just like you tripled sales in one week
- I want all our readers to know this powerful marketing secret
- A CMO in your field said this about our software ...
And One to Avoid ...
It’s good to get creative with email subjects – but whatever you do, don’t try to trick your readers. Some marketers might suggest creating urgency with subject lines like “I called, you didn’t answer.” Think about what you’ve just done: The equivalent of shouting “Fire!” in a crowded inbox when there was really nothing there. That’s a quick trip to the unsubscribe button.
- “My lawyer wants to talk to you.”
- “I’m confused. Are you getting my emails?”
- Anything at all starting with “Re:” or “Fwd:” that isn’t actually those things
Email subject lines open the door to long-term customer relations. Do them right and they will bring more motivated prospects to your door.