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January 9, 2015 // 11:30 AM

19 Quick Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing Subject Lines

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Your audience will judge an email by its subject line. Even though subject lines are a small part of your message, it’s essential that they entice and allure your email recipients.

After all, your subject line is the first impression you have on the recipient. It’s time to shine through their inbox and get your email content opened, read and clicked! Here are 19 quick tips to help jazz up your email subject lines.

Tip #1: Keep it short and sweet. Your subject line should be a maximum of 50 characters. It may prove difficult to get your point across in so few words, but it’s effective.

Tip #2: No one likes talking to a robot. Think about when you call a company and can’t get a hold of an actual person. It’s frustrating, right? This goes for email, as well. Never use “noreply@company.com.” I repeat, never use this email address. Not only does it make it look less personable (therefore less likely for your recipient to open it), it also stops people from adding your email to their address book.

Tip #3: Use personalization tokens in the subject to catch their eye. Let’s face it, everyone loves the sound of their own name. Adding recipient names adds a feeling of rapport. Affix it to your subject line by saying things like: “John Doe, we really wanted to share this…”

Tip #4: Add preview texts to email and watch your open rate increase substantially. Usually located near the subject line, the preview text gives viewers a glimpse into the email. Make it count!

Tip #5: Clarity is sometimes more important than complex, flowery language. The goal behind the email should be clear, unless you’re going for an elusive subject tone to entice your viewer.

Tip #6: Do not try to get your email opened by making false promises. This will irk your audience and probably get you on the dreaded unsubscribe list.

Tip #7: Speaking of making promises, if your visitor has downloaded an offer and you’re delivering it via email, it’s a great idea to use a subject line that says something like, “your new ebook inside!” or “your guide awaits!” This works better than a simple “thank you” in the subject line; it makes it clear that something is waiting inside the email, just for them.

Tip #8: A/B testing is a great idea. You should use this on most of your content, and your email subject is no different.

Tip #9: One effective subject line style that will stop readers in their tracks: urgency. Using deadlines like “today only” or “24 hour giveaway” will encourage your reader to act now, instead of putting it off until later - when there’s a chance of them forgetting it.

Tip #10: How will your viewer benefit from your email? Make it clear. For example, “Increase your open rates by 50% today” is more appealing than “How to increase open rates.”

Tip #11: Minimize a boring detail when possible. It’s a waste of your precious words. For example, if you’re sending an order confirmation, doesn’t “Your order is being processed” look better than “Order #9435893458358 is being processed?”

Tip #12: Sending an email at the right time with the right subject line… genius! Sending an email at 4:45PM about a happy hour special when most people are about to leave work is a prime example.

Tip #13: Just like blog titles, using numbers in your subject line is an effective practice. People love numbered lists and human curiosity always spikes when numerals are involved. At Bluleadz, our blog post title, “7 Reasons Your Blog Posts Suck,” could also be used in an email subject.

Tip #14: Asking a question in your subject line can also draw readers in. Engage with them by asking a question, such as “Are you making these SEO mistakes?” or “Do you know what your website is doing wrong?”

Tip #15: If you can't (or don’t want to) use personalization tokens in the subject line, use “you” or “your,” so it still sounds like you’re addressing them directly.

Tip #16: Use information from the actions your customer has already taken. What forms have they filled out? What industry are they in? Target your audience in this way.

Tip #17: Another personalization tactic that works is to tailor subject lines to their location. Livingsocial and Groupon do a great job of this. Location-specific offers or news will surely increase your open rates.

Tip #18: Make your recipient feel special. Creating a subject line, such as “For our beloved customers only…” can be magical.

Tip #19: Do not overuse capitalization. In fact, only capitalize your letters following grammar rules. Saying “OPEN NOW AND RECEIVE A FREE TRIAL” isn’t going to get you an email open... It’ll actually do the opposite.

Even if you have the most dazzling rolodex around, if your emails aren’t getting opened, they’re not getting seen. You have awesome content to share, you just have to prove it in your subject line.

Like what you've read? Read more marketing tips from HubSpot Partner agency Bluleadz by subscribing to their blog.

 

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Topics: Email Marketing

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