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How To Craft The Perfect Email Subject Lines

Email newsletters or promotions are great instruments to interact with potential and current customers to educate them about your brand or give them the incentive to buy by promoting various landing pages or products and services. But the big challenge for inbound marketers is getting your subscribers to open the email in the first place.

The subject line is just important as the rest of the content of the email because this title will determine whether email subscribers will click on the email or click through any of the links in the message to go to the next step in the sales process.

How To Craft the Perfect Email Subject Lines:

Start with a Free Offer

Who wouldn’t want free stuff? A go-to way to entice subscribers is to have an email subject line with a free offer. It can be a physical product like a sample or it can be a content offer like a whitepaper or ebook. According to Sidekick, subscribers were 10 percent more likely to open emails that had a subject line with the word “Free.”

Personalize the Email

Address your customers with their name in the opening line of an email for a personal touch. Not only does this help build relationships with customers, it also differentiates yourself from the competition when they use generic greetings for emails. To easily customize your email to each customer, use a platform for email marketing that uses personalization tokens to insert first names automatically in subject lines.

Use a Compelling Call to Action

Like landing pages, emails thrive on calls to action to encourage customers to move forward in a sales funnel and eventually make that purchasing decision.

Examples of compelling calls to action for email subject lines include:

  • Start

  • Save

  • Claim

  • Join

These examples suggest the action to take and at the same time tell subscribers how they will likely benefit from opening the email, such as claiming a free offer.

Provide a Sense of Urgency

The Email Institute found subject lines that had a sense of urgency and exclusivity were opened 22 percent more than ones that did not. Words like “Now,” “Quick” and “Limited Time” help give the idea that it is currently the right time to buy. Phrases like “Exclusive Offer” or “Members Only” let customers know that these offers are also good for a certain amount of time, but also allows them to feel like they are special and valued.

Create Subject Lines Specifically for Mobile

With the increased use of mobile devices, marketers have had to adapt their email subject lines to suit subscribers on the go. Consumers who read emails on their mobile phones or tablets tend to scan their inbox and they may be turned off by long subject lines. Instead, use subject lines that are a short length and use simple words.

According to Boomerang, subject lines that use between three to four words were opened the most. In addition, lines that had words that were four letters or fewer had a higher open rate.

Overall, optimizing for mobile is a huge trend in inbound marketing. In the 2017 Email Marketing Industry Consensus conducted by eConsultancy and Adestra, nearly 3 in 4 businesses are optimizing their marketing messages for mobile devices in 2017, up from a little under 2 in 3 the previous year.

Test Email Subject Lines for Maximize Effectiveness

It’s easy to be disappointed when subscribers do not open emails when marketers are sure they had catchy subject lines. Take the guesswork out of whether your emails will be opened by testing subject lines first before they go out and analyzing these outcomes.

Inbound marketers often use A/B testing to determine whether subscribers are more likely to click on one subject line over another, collecting the hard data to support the effectiveness of an email heading. They can use testing and analytics to collect information on key performance metrics for emails like open rates and click through rates to modify their marketing strategy and improve their email subject lines and design.

Lead with a Question

Asking questions in subject lines is another way to actively engage with customers before they open up marketing messages. Boomerang found that emails with questions were more likely to garner a reaction from consumers.

Emails that asked one to three questions had a 60 percent chance of receiving a response than emails compared to 40 percent for emails that did not pose any questions. Questions are also great get customers to think about pain points that can be solved with a brand’s products or services that will eventually lead them to buy.

While consumers are bombarded with emails every day, the right subject lines make a significant difference from your carefully crafted marketing messages being opened or trashed.


Rob Steffens

Rob Steffens

I am the Director of Sales & Marketing here at Bluleadz. I'm a recent newlywed who enjoys spending time with my wife vegging out and binging our favorite shows or getting some exercise on the Racquetball court.