The pressure of subject line perfection!

You’ve sat down at your desk with a cuppa, feeling the pressure of coming up with a jaw-dropping subject line that will curb your reader from immediately hitting the delete button.

Most marketers don’t realise the importance of spending time perfecting their subject line. It’s usually thought about hurriedly after spending hours beautifully crafting the content; but what’s the point if it won’t even get opened.

Here are some top tips to help you on your way to open-rate utopia.

1. Does size matter?

The answer is yes! People are busy and overloaded with information. Keep it clear and concise with not more than 50 characters if you can. Shorter headers have higher click-through and open rates. Also these shorter headers can be easily read on mobiles as well.

2. Strategise or improvise?

Adestra’s subject line report suggests communicating your key message in a series of subject lines. Basically, saying the same thing over again but in different words. For example,

‘Wedding Show has 30 more exhibitors than last year. Register now.’

‘Invitation to the Wedding Show – meet 20% more exhibitors than in 2014.’

‘Registration is open for Wedding Show. Featuring 30 new exhibitors.’

Often emails stay unopened in inboxes, but the subject line is visible and delivering key brand information whilst it sits there. Therefore using this technique drives key messages over a period of time.

3. Choose your words carefully

Some experts think that alliteration, rhyming your consonants, can help your subject line become more appealing, but others think that it can lose clarity. The aim is to be clear about the benefit to the reader in your header. Tell them what is inside the email rather than being too salesy says Mailchimp. If you can do this as well as using creative prose then that could be a winning formula.

4. Set the tone

Humour can work if you are sure that your audience will get the joke but there is a risk that they will think you’re a bit strange and banish you to the junk folder. Also, a less formal and more conversational approach will encourage readers to read on.

5. SPAM and slang

WRITING IN ALL CAPS is a little bit shouty, or leaving the subject blank can also lead to your email being filtered.

Avoid using lots of exclamation marks!!! Or any kind of online slang or emoticons or you might end up sounding like a 10 year old trying to impress her friends.

So try not to be overtly salesy and avoid words and phrases like ‘donate’, ‘click here!’, ’once in a lifetime opportunity!’ or ‘reminder’ as they will negatively impact on your open rates says Adestra. Also avoid words such as as ‘save’, ‘today’, and ‘don’t miss’ as they turn people off.

Sum up

Well, as you can see, writing the perfect email subject line involves a bit of thought! If you have a large group of people to send an email to, it’s worth sending the email with one subject line and checking your MailGlo account ‘Overview’ page to see if people are opening your email. Then, if you are not happy with the results, simply resend the email with a new and improved subject line.

As well as the above tips, if you really want to write a successful subject line – give it some thought, test on a small number first and get creative!

Naomi
MailGlo Team

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