Not to be dramatic, but when it comes to email marketing, your subject line is everything. The newsletter you’ve worked so hard on risks being instantly deleted if the subject line doesn’t bring it. So how do you craft a good one? These are our top tips.
Create a sense of urgency
Make the reader feel as if they need to respond now. Time-conscious subject lines are great for event invitations, sales, product launches and other content that inspires the reader to drop what they’re doing and click.
- 24 hours left to book your dream holiday
- New collection drops in 12 hours
Pique their curiosity
There’s a tendency to tell the reader exactly what they’re about to find inside your email, when sometimes doing the opposite is more powerful. A little mystery goes a long way.
- Can we ask you something?
- The job market is changing. What you need to know
Put a number on it
Facts and figures add authority to your selling point, while list-style features remain a popular article format to highlight because of the minimal effort required to read them.
- 5 chefs on their favourite dishes
- We raised €50K with your help
Nothing draws the reader in like making it about them. Personalisation in email subject lines should be used sparingly for maximum impact, and it works particularly well for locations.
- [Alison], what did you think of your purchase?
- Must-see exhibitions in [Amsterdam]
If it fits with your brand identity, take full advantage of this visual element that cuts through a cluttered inbox. Use them discerningly and avoid clichés.
- 💡 business insights from bright minds
- Your burning questions answered 🙋♀️🙋♂️
Time it well
The time that your audience receives an email hugely affects the chance they’ll open it. Here’s your chance to capitalise on the mid-afternoon slump on a workday, the Friday mindset or the lead up to a holiday.
- What to order for dinner tonight
- Shop now. Wear it on the weekend
Make it exclusive
A ‘you can’t sit with us’ sentiment entices the reader to click by making them feel they’re part of a members-only group. This works well for event invitations and rewards programmes.
- You’re on the list
- Special offer exclusive to our readers
How to tell if it works
A/B testing is a method of trying out two subject lines on a small segment of your audience and sending the ‘winning’ one to the remaining group. It gives excellent insight into what your audience responds to, and what they find a bit ‘meh’. Along with A/B testing, ensure that your mailings include these important features and keep a close eye on your statistics to adjust your email content, format and frequency.