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Best Email Marketing Subject Lines To Increase Open Rate

On a regular day, I get about 50 new emails in my inbox, but I never open more than 30% of them. I venture to say that this is the case with you as well. You surely get coupons, newsletters, social media notifications, invitations and not to mention the cold outreach spammy emails.

An email subject line is the first, and often only chance to make a good first impression and convince the recipient to open the email. To make a sale through email marketing, the recipient has to open your email first.

So what makes you open an email?

email spam

You check the name of the sender but what’s more important is the subject line of the email. That’s the very first thing you see when you receive a new email, and most people judge the content solely based on that. If the email subject has even a small indicator that the content might be spam, it will never be opened or even worse the email might be reported as “SPAM”. The more people report your email messages, the chances of having all your future campaigns affected are increasing. That means that email providers such as Gmail might automatically throw most of the emails that you send in the SPAM folder of the recipients.

To increase your email open rate you need to use the best email marketing subject lines. A captivating and intriguing subject line will help you reach a bigger audience and ultimately get more conversions and leads. In this post, I’ll share with you some email marketing tips and examples of subject lines that will significantly boost your open rates.

According to SmartInsights, email open rates varies between 10% to 50%, depending on the industry.

email open rate
You should obviously aim to get a 50% open rate for all your emails, but even if that’s not always possible, you should get the most out of your marketing campaigns. The way your subscribers become subscribers in the first place will also influence your average open rates.

Email Marketing Subject Lines Tips

Whether you are trying to send an email campaign to your subscribers or plan to run a cross-promotion campaign using Cross.Promo, the following email marketing tips will help you get more exposure to your email message.

The subject line is just as important as the headlines for the content you publish online. You get one opportunity to convince the reader to come and read your article, or you lost them forever. Here are five tips to consider:

1. Personalize the email subject line

It doesn’t matter if you want to use MailChimp, Aweber or perhaps manually send some emails to promote your products. Every email that you send must have a personal feeling. That’s a rule you have to follow for the content of the email as well, but we’re not going to focus on this now, as this post is about email subject lines.

An email subject line that includes the name of the recipient will get more attention and increase the open rate. It’s not going to be a game changer but surely a little thing that will help along the way.

You can only personalize the subject lines if you’ve collected names through your opt-in forms. However, if you want to do cold email outreach, always search for the name of the person you are reaching.

If possible, you can personalize the subjects by users locations as well. For example, if you are sending an email to all your subscribers located in Boston, mention that name of the city in the subject.

2. Keep email subject lines short

Most people will only scan the subject line to decide if they’ll open or ignore the email. Use the subject line to provide a succinct summary of what’s inside the email but don’t tell too much, or you’ll lose interest. A good subject line should not exceed 50 characters.

3. Make it feel like it’s urgent

Your readers have to read your email NOW. Make sure that your readers will understand that they have to open the emails as soon as possible, but don’t say “Open my email now” :). An example of a subject line with a sense of urgency can be “ [Name], I need your feedback on this matter by next week”.

4. Explain the benefits in a few words and arouse curiosity

Tell the readers in a few words what they’ll be getting be getting by opening the email. Will they receive a limited-time discount for your product or services? For example, if you are running a cross-promotion campaign, you can use a subject line like this one: “[NAME], I have a limited-time offer for you. (you’ll love it)”

Benefit + Curiosity = Email opened

5. Match the subject line with your email content

Always make sure the subject line is aligned with the content of your email. If you misrepresent the content, the recipients might be annoyed, and you’ll end up with many unsubscribers or a high rate of spam report.

6. Do A/B testing for your subject lines

The beauty of online marketing is that you can easily set up an A/B test and see what works best for you. Rarely what works great for an industry will have the same results in yours. That’s why it’s advisable to run tests and see what’s working best for your case.

With split-testing, you can improve your subject lines and improve your open rate faster. These are some ideas of what you can test:

  • Personalized subject lines (with recipient’s name) VS no personalization
  • Short VS longer subject lines
  • Capitalizing all letters VS capitalizing the first letter of each word VS capitalizing just the first letter of the sentence.
  • Sending the message across using different ways. For example “ Have you ever used this marketing campaign for your business?” VS “The best marketing campaign you should use now”.

Enough with the tips, now here are some email marketing subject lines examples you can use.

Email subject lines examples

Feel free to use the examples below, but make sure to personalize them for your business needs.

1. The urgency email subject line

Using an urgency in the subject line is a method to create anxiety and force the reader to take a decision quickly. Such subject lines are great for SaaS trials, promotions, webinars, surveys and more. These are some examples you can use.

  • “It’s your last chance to upgrade to a PREMIUM account”
  • “Your trial ends today”
  • “Upgrade now to continue using our services”
  • “2 more days to join our growth webinar”
  • “Last chance to join the webinar on How to increase sales”
  • “You need to have these gadgets this summer”
  • “Last day to get 40% off Cross Promo”
  • “Last chance to register for tomorrow: Earn money fast and easy”
  • “50%- off discount for Cross Promo ends today!”
  • “Just 2 more spots left for 40% discount on Cross Promo”
  • “Tomorrow is the last opportunity to join the free marketing webinar”

2. The REASONS WHY email subject line

Such subject lines are great for newsletters and content. You can tell the reader how they can solve a problem, and the number of “reasons” why they should follow your tips. People tend to favor such articles and headlines. Examples:

  • “5 Reasons why you should use email marketing subject lines for your campaigns”
  • “8 Reasons why marketing is not working for your business”
  • “6 reasons why you are not getting more sales”.

3. The question subject lines

A question inside a subject line will immediately require the recipient’s attention. Such subject lines are great for cold email outreach, newsletters, promotions and more. These are some examples you can use:

  • “Felix, do you think cross promotion works?“
  • “Felix, how do you get more sales at Cross Promo?“
  • “Felix, can we chat about Cross Promo?“
  • “Felix, do you mind if I ask a question?“
  • “Felix, do you accept new guest contributors?“
  • “Felix, what do you do to get more sales?“
  • “Felix, do you want early access to our tool?“
  • “Felix, can we talk about a partnership?“

These are by far my favorite type of subject lines and I rarely go beyond 60% open rate with them. As long as you personalize the name and the question is relevant, you are almost guaranteed that your emails will be read.

4. How To email subject lines

The How-To subject lines promise to help you find the solution to a problem you might have had, and achieve a clear benefit.

The more information you have about the recipient, the better you can personalize the subject line. For example, instead of using a plain message “ How to get more sales” , you can say:

  • “ [NAME], here’s how to get more sales at [COMPANY NAME]
  • “ [Name], here’s how to find buyers in [CITY Name] for [COMPANY NAME]

The essentials to making good and captivating email marketing subject lines are:

  • Benefits
  • Curiosity
  • Personalization

If you give the reader a reason to open your email and make him curious about what benefit he might get, you’ve made your first step towards a new sale.

What are you favorite subject lines and what open rates are you getting for your campaigns?

Comments

1 Comment

Muthoni W

This is a brilliant article Felix.

I A/B tested one word subject lines and 5 – 8 words subject line and the one worded subject lines performed better than their counterpart. I concluded one worded subject lines increase curiosity and spark interest because most of the times they stand-out in someone’s emails.

Another that should not be abused (and came across it coincidentally) is the lack of no subject line.

Thank you for the write up. I will definitely use some of the samples in 2017


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