Subject lines are only good if they get someone to open your email

Though this may sound like common sense, ineffective subject lines are the number 1 reason why emails with great content inside often go unread.

Writing the perfect subject line can be challenging, you need to focus on being interesting while avoiding certain keywords that will land your message in spam filters and not your audiences’ inbox.

Use brackets in subject lines to describe what’s inside

Entice the reader to open the email by letting them know what’s inside and aligning that to value. Some examples include:

The Future of Content Marketing [Infographic]

3 Ways to Boost Your Social Selling Results [Video]

How to Write an eBook [Guide]

Test your subject line before you send it with optimizer tools

In real estate it’s all about location, location, location. When it comes to subject lines in emails, it’s all about research, research, research. It is critical to know your audience and what they desire before crafting a powerful subject line that will get opened.

A well-researched subject line establishes facts and reaches new conclusions, offering your audience a fresh perspective and viewpoint that get them to open the email and read your message inside.

There are free tools out there that will help you test your content before you send it. Test and revise your subject lines to improve performance and captivate your audience before hitting send.

Try either Co-Schedule’s headline analyzer tool or Subjectline.com before you send and craft a subject line that will boost your overall open rates. The best part is that both are free to use.

Keep the character count low and the wording to the point. Writing the perfect subject line can be challenging you need to focus on keywords while also writing creatively enough to keep your open rates high.

Keywords—not for SEO but to avoid spam filters

It is of ultimate importance to avoid spam filters regardless of how enticing you want the subject line to sound.

Don’t let the words you choose keep your message away from your audience. Words like free, money, help and reminder all trigger content-based email spam filters, especially if you are not already added as a contact in your recipient’s email database. You’ll want to avoid using them as much as possible.

The importance of building trust

Knowing the content your audience wants to receive is a key component of writing a strong and compelling subject line. If you write a subject line that has little or nothing to do with the content of the email, you may experience an initial increase in ranking, but this will reverse itself very quickly.

Personalizing your email subject in any way, like using your prospect’s name, gives you a 22.2% higher chance of having your email opened, according to a report from Adestrai.

Having a list that has opted in will dramatically improve your open rates since they have chosen to receive communications from you.

Consider the subject line as a preview that encapsulates the email’s content

Don’t be afraid to let your audience influence how you create attention-grabbing subject lines; after all, you’re writing for them as much as you are for your organization.

“When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what’s inside, and the worst subject lines sell what’s inside.” –MailChimp

The necessity for A/B subject-line testing

A/B testing (also known as bucket testing or split-run testing) is a user experience research methodology. A/B tests consist of a randomized experiment with two variants, A and B. Simply put, it’s the testing of two different subject lines to see which will perform better by sending a small batch to a segment of your audience.

Use the winning subject line results of the A/B test to improve the performance of your campaign by increasing open rates.

Email marketing is a combination of art and science. The best email marketing campaigns involve plenty of creativity in their subject lines, but they also rely on data.

Test your subject lines with an A/B test and watch your open rates soar when your marketing automation software indicates the winning message.

Use preview text to create curiosity

Preview text allows you to give additional information to your audience about how they will benefit from opening the email. It is good to maintain some sense of mystery about the content inside, especially if the topic piques the recipient’s natural curiosity and interest. Because they must open the email to get the information, preview text intrigue will result in higher open rates.

But always make sure that the subject line, while creating curiosity, still aligns with your brand’s overall message.

Unlike “how to” subject lines, it seems that mystique is under-used in email marketing. This is because a lot of marketer’s just don’t know how well curiosity can work at enticing interest through mystique.

Great subject lines vastly increase the overall impact of a marketing campaign’s performance

There are two elements that are crucial for successful email marketing campaigns, and they are subject lines and open rates. If no one is reading your emails, it’s tough to evaluate the true benefit of a long-term marketing campaign’s performance.

Good marketers will analyze campaign results and apply the insights in future campaigns so they can continually improve their performance.

There are a lot of variables that make your email marketing campaigns successful. Getting the emails delivered is the first crucial step. But getting those emails opened by the end users is the next milestone. The time-of-day sent and the trustworthiness of the sender play a vital role in getting good open rates, but email subject lines with a call-to-action really drive results.

Here are some examples of high performing subject lines:

“*Don’t Open This Email*”

“Last Day to See What This Mystery Email Is All About”

“We Like Being Used”

“New must-haves for your office”

“Enjoying Your New eBook?”ii

“Grow your email list 10X faster with these 30 content upgrade ideas”

“A 3-step plan for your busy week”

“I thought you might like these blogs”iii

“Time for a quick touch base?”

“It’s official! We’re offering perks for signing up.”iv

Some final thoughts on subject lines

Organizations are realizing the importance of email marketing optimization. As many as 9 out of 10 businesses are developing strategies to optimize their email marketing campaign performance. An engaged opt-in list is the only way you can control messaging out to your customers.

Without strong subject lines, even the best emails might go unread, and you definitely don’t want your efforts to go to waste. Apply these strategies to crafting your subject lines and watch your email marketing campaign performance soar.

Need help getting nurture emails that entice interest, get opened and drive results? Email info@mercermackay.com to have a consultation regarding your email marketing campaign planning.