How to Write an Email Subject Line that Gets Open

Did you know that 80% of people who receive email respond to it? Whether you’re trying to sell them something or you just want to keep in touch, you can use email marketing to grow your business. When you write subject lines for your emails, you need to ensure that the lines are compelling and that they’ll encourage your recipients to open your emails. Below, we’ll discuss tips on writing subject lines that will get your emails read and, hopefully, acted upon. Let’s get to it.

The Best Ways to Write a Compelling Subject Line

While you have a limited number of words to describe your email’s content, you have a lot of space to work with when it comes to its subject line. You can use all the tools at your disposal to make your subject line as compelling as possible. To start, you need to consider using a call to action like “read more” or “click here” to grab the reader’s attention. Next, you can use the following tips to make your subject line more engaging.

Make It Short

If you’ve ever shopped online, you may have noticed that the shorter the subject line, the more likely you are to get a jump in the inbox. According to HubSpot Blogs research, headlines under four sentences get opened about 70% of the time. While longer subject lines can work, sometimes, less is more. If your subject line is still compelling after four sentences, then your writing is probably very good.

Use Action Words

To make your subject line more compelling, you can use action words. In general, these are words that make a reader take some sort of action. Typically, these are verbs such as “apply,” “sign up,” “subscribe,” “download,” “pay,” “claim,” or “meet.” While action words can be a little easier to come by, they don’t have the same ring as “Please read my email carefully,” or “I’m writing to ask you for help.” When used in the right context, however, they can be extremely compelling. For example, the subject line “How to write the perfect business plan” draws the reader in with an action verb – “How to write” – and then keeps their attention with a benefit – “the perfect business plan.”

Include Keywords

If you use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools to track the keywords that your target audience is using to find your product or service, then you know that certain words and phrases tend to get more attention when used in subject lines. For example, if you use “SEO” as your keyword, you may see that the phrase “SEO For Dummies” generates a ton of interest, while “SEO for Dummies” doesn’t. The reason for this is that the former calls out to potential clients who are searching for SEO information and the latter is just a general description of the book.

You can use the same techniques to build interest for your email campaigns. If you use the phrase “SEO for email marketing,” you may see a significant uptick in engagement. While this may seem like common sense, a surprising number of marketers forget to do this. If your email subject line doesn’t include these search engine optimized keywords, it won’t be helping you to reach your potential customers.

Use Subscription To Collect Emails

Instead of using your email list as a broadcast tool to send your information to everyone who signed up for your email list, you can use it to collect emails. Every week, you can use your sign-up form to collect emails from potential customers who are interested in your services. While it may be tempting to immediately send these emails to your list, resist the urge and build up a small sample group of people who are interested in your product or service. You can then use this sample group as a way to get feedback on your marketing materials and methods. As a general rule of thumb, you should only send personalized emails to your subscribers.

Avoid Using Too Many Colons

“Colon” is the technical term for the punctuation mark (:) used for lists and enumerations. In general, you should try to avoid using too many colons in your subject lines. According to HubSpot Blogs research, double and triple colons (i.e., “colons” inside of other punctuation marks) break down the sentence’s meaning and make it harder for the reader to understand. Essentially, when used in excess, colons can make your subject line hard to skim. In the example below, the colon in the first “Hello” makes it harder for the reader to understand what the subject line is trying to say. Instead of “Hello : Kamal Khan,” write “Hello Kamal Khan.” The latter is much more concise and easier to understand. In much the same way, you should avoid using overly long sentences in your subject lines. Instead, use shorter, simpler words and phrases whenever possible.

Make The Call-To-Action Hyperlinked

According to HubSpot Blogs research, people tend to read an email’s body first and look at the headline and subject line only as a quick catch-up. In other words, people scan email subject lines and headlines to determine if they’re interested in the content and then, if so, read the bodies of the emails. This means your call-to-action in your subject line – “click here,” “tap this,” “subscribe,” or “sign up” – needs to be hyperlinked.

If you use an email service like MailChimp that allows you to hyperlink your call-to-action, you can simply click the button to get taken to the website you want to visit. You no longer need to guess what webpage an interested party is likely to hit if you don’t include a URL or have the email open in a new tab. Sometimes, even if you do include the URL, people can’t actually find what they’re looking for. If you use Google Analytics, you can find which pages your website visitors click on most often – like the button you want them to click on to learn more about your products or services. From there, you can determine which ones you should prioritize changing or adding to.

Don’t Forget The Perfectly Timed Follow-Up

Did you know that it takes about two months for people to fully digest an email’s content and then another two weeks for them to actually act on it? In other words, if you want someone to do something, you need to send them an email two weeks after the original message. However, if you want to maintain trust and respect with your customers, it’s best to send these emails at the end of every month so that the person receiving the email has not only had time to digest it but also has the opportunity to act on it.

Make Sure Your Email Marketing Works In All Surfaces

One of the major problems with email marketing is that it frequently doesn’t work well on mobile phones. If you want your email marketing to be as effective as possible, you need to make sure that it looks the same on all devices – including mobile phones. To ensure this, you need to use responsive design and make sure your emails look good on every device. In addition, you need to test and review your email’s content to make sure it looks and functions the same on every platform.

Use Social Media To Gain New Subscribers

Did you know that 80% of people who use social media also use email? If you have a presence on social media, you can easily gain new email subscribers by sharing your email list with your followers. In return, you can use their names and email addresses to add them to your own list. The more you share, the more people will want to sign up and get on your list. The benefit of this is that you can then target your email to this audience.

Avoid Subject Lines That Are Too Familiar

Did you know that people subconsciously associate email subject lines and email messages that are similar? In other words, if you send an email with the subject line “Letters From The Shore,” your recipient may think that you’re repeating yourself because the previous email – about the same subject – was received two weeks earlier. To prevent this from happening, you need to use different subject lines for each email sent. If you run a business, you can set up a template that will assist you in coming up with new subject lines for each message. Alternatively, you can ask a colleague or friend to help brainstorm ideas.

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