10 Tips on how to write good subject lines [Formulas + Examples]

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If you’ve been working in the field of digital marketing for a while, you already know the importance of email marketing. Emails are a great way to reach people in person who have shown different levels of interest in your products or services. According to a study by Radicity report, on average, business users send and receive about 121 emails per day [1]. The only thing that can help you stand out from the crowd are your email subject lines. This is because the first thing a user can see from the notifications and in their inbox is the email subject line. So, if you’re wondering how to write good subject lines, we have 10 tips that’ll help you increase your open rates.

We have also created a document in which we talked about full-proof formulas for email subject lines that you can incorporate in your newsletters. To download it, please scroll to the end of this blog. If you’d first like to read tips related to email subject lines, keep reading.

10 Tips on how to write good email subject lines

1. Segment your audiences

This email subject line tip is moreover for your overall email marketing plan. Different people subscribe to your email newsletter for varying reasons. Some subscribe to your newsletter because they like your content. Some subscribe because they want to know more about your brand and your product. Some are convinced that your product is good but are waiting for offers from you. Keeping this is mind, you need to segment your audience according to what content you’ll be sending them. Depending on this, your email subject lines should be crafted that suits the occasion.

2. Convey urgency

Today, people around the world have short attention spans. When they’re checking their email, which they’re mostly doing on their phones, there are thousands of other distractions. As there are so many brands and voices that are trying to get the user’s attention, the window of opportunity to capture your reader’s attention is small. In order to capture their attention through your email newsletters, you need to write email subject lines that convey a sense of urgency. The subject lines should implore them to click on your email now. You can include words like ‘limited stock’ or ‘hurry’ to do so. 

3. Keep it short 

To get your point across in email subject lines, you only get so many characters. Especially on mobile, where just 25-30 characters are displayed. A crucial part of writing is editing. It helps you in figuring out what words or characters you do not need and cutting the subject line short. So, make sure you write, re-write and trim your email subject line before sending it to your subscriber base.

4. Personalize them

Using personalization tokens, such as name and location, in email subject lines can trigger people to open your mails. An Experian Marketing Services study found that personalized emails successfully generate over 6 times higher transaction rates. It found that promotional emails that are personalized have 41% higher unique click rates and 29% higher unique open rates than emails that are not personalized [3].

People love the sound of their name. It becomes easier to catch their attention by using their name in your email subject line. So, if you have the substantial data to do so, don’t shy away from personalizing your email subject lines. If not, we suggest adding a field or two for names and/or company names. When asking email addresses to add to your newsletter database, Including that personalized touch in the subject line will catch their eye. 

However, you want to avoid going overboard with personalization as it might look odd. A few touches of personalization here and there are enough to show your recipients that you know them beyond their email address. In case you just have emails and not names, use ‘your’ and ‘you’ in your email subject lines as it will still sound like you’re directly addressing them.

5. Avoid ‘no reply’ sender names

People receive an overwhelming number of marketing emails everyday and a lot of it is spam. According to Statista, spam mail and messages accounted for 47.3% of email traffic in September 2020 [2]. Thanks to spam mail circulating all over the world, people hesitate in opening mails from unfamiliar names and even fewer people open them if they feel like the sender mail is a bot. Avoid using “noreply@company.com” as it makes your brand look less personable and approachable.

Think about the times when you’re trying to call a brand and are unable to get a hold of a human voice to tell your concerns to. It can be annoying, right? Well, the same goes for emails. Using “no-reply” emails also stops people from adding your mailing address to their address book. It is best if your mail comes from your company’s address and not a personal account like Yahoo or Gmail). Again, don’t take up a name that’s too formal such as “no-reply@yourcompany.com”.

SEE ALSO: B2B email marketing tips & best practices + Free Template

6. Get oddly specific

This can be another way of creating a sense of urgency in your subscribers. In your email subject line, you can mention things like you have only X amount of money left to spend or X days to redeem a coupon code or offer. Being told such oddly specific details can trigger interest in a way that rounded numbers don’t. Giving your email subscriber base $4.56 to spend makes it sounds as if they’ve already purchased your product and have some money to spend while on the other hand, $5 sounds like an obvious attempt to convince them to make a purchase.

7. Ask a thoughtful question

Human mind is a curious one. Asking questions in your email subject lines is a widely accepted way to get your newsletter subscribers thinking. It is a great way of convincing them to click on your email to find the answer. This is in no way the same as starting a sentence in the subject line and finishing it in the body. This feels like clickbait. Using questions, you can get your subscribers genuinely curious about what perspective you’re trying to put across on a pressing issue or contemplative topic. You can also ask questions about what problems they face in the industry your product belongs to and give the answer in your email body. 

8. Tell them what’s inside

If someone has given up their email to you in exchange for a downloadable, like a guide, infographic or ebook, it is a good idea to say something like “Your download awaits” or “Here’s your ebook” in your subject line. This works much better than a simple “thank you” in your email subject line as it makes it clearer what’s inside the email.

9. Capitalize the most important word

Capitalizing every single word in your email subject line can look annoying. It looks as if you’re shouting at your readers. A good way to emphasize one word that you want to stand out in your subject line is capitalizing it. It can be a deadline, like ‘TODAY’, or a feeling you want to emphasize on, like ‘HAPPY’. 

10. Look for email subject line keywords that work well

Some words just work better at convincing people to open your emails. Different studies were conducted all over the world to find out the best performing email subject line words. A few of the best words that turned out to generate better results were:

  • Upgrade 
  • Wonderful
  • Weekend 
  • Now 
  • Easy 
  • You/Your 
  • Update 
  • New 
  • Year (like 2021) 
  • Month (like March) 
  • Special

Hope these email subject line tips helped you in your question about how to write good subject lines. To help you further, we’ve created a guide that consists of exact formulas you can apply to your email subject lines. Feel free to download this guide and use it in your email campaigns.

Email Subject Line Formulas + Examples

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SEE ALSO: Email Marketing Vs. Social Media: Which One is Better for You?

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Featured Image:  Marketing vector created by stories – www.freepik.com

Image 1: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Sources

[1] The Radicati Group, Inc. (2014) “Email Statistics Report, 2014-2018” [Online] Available from: https://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Email-Statistics-Report-2014-2018-Executive-Summary.pdf [Accessed March 2021]

[2] Statista (2021) “Global spam volume as percentage of total e-mail traffic from January 2014 to September 2020, by month” [Online] Available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/420391/spam-email-traffic-share/ [Accessed March 2021]

[3] Experian Marketing Services (2014) “Experian Marketing Services study finds personalized emails generate six times higher transaction rates” [Online] Available from: https://www.experianplc.com/media/news/2014/experian-marketing-services-study-finds-personalized-emails-generate-six/ [Accessed March 2021]

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