5 Subject Line Tips That Actually Work (And One Thing You Should Retire)
Creating magical subject lines in just a few characters is a combination of science, art, and luck. After all, you want to figure out how to stand out and captivate your audience quickly. Well, now there’s no fear in your desire to create subjects that drive email engagement. Keep reading to check out 5 tips that actually work.
- Get personal. Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened and personalized promotional emails have 41% higher unique click-through rates than non-personalized emails. But this doesn’t necessarily just mean using the recipient’s first name. In fact, using someone’s first name can actually make open rates decline, because some users consider it spam-like. So get creative and use extra data points (like geographic targeting or purchase history) for personalization.
- Appeal to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Urgent subjects are usually the top performers of ANY of the options that are tested. No one wants to miss out on a special deal! Consider your wording, though. For example: “still time”, “limited time” and “expire” are all more effective than “extended”.
- Use your CTA. Commanding action words take the guesswork out of email. Do you want your recipient to “buy”, “download”, or “register”? Tell them so! Or you can just tell them to “open” which, with a 16% average read rate from Return Path, is just as successful.
- Test your subject lines regularly. We hope this one goes without saying, but testing your subject lines often is incredibly important. In fact, according to statistics, 74% of marketers who are A/B Testing say they get excellent results. Of those who don’t test, only 37% say their ROI is positive. Testing helps you gain knowledge, boost your opens and clicks, and enhance your recipient relationships – so get testing!
- Don’t focus on length. The great debate over the ideal subject length has been raging for years but, according to Return Path, there is no correlation between length and rate of open. This doesn’t mean you can completely ignore character count, though. Different devices have different display capabilities. To optimize for mobile users, frontload keywords like the offer or call-to-action. (And sticking to an average of 40-50 characters is a good rule of thumb.)
Now for your retirement plan…
Rethink the clickbait! “You’ll never believe…” the “SHOCKING fact …” that clickbait subject lines actually get less than average open rates. It’s time to retire these under-performers.
Always remember, you know your audience better than any formula. Stay true to your brand voice along with their needs. Never stop testing! If your audience falls in love with certain types of subjects go with it. But as growth and attrition of your email list happen, attitudes may change. If you overdo it, they may grow tired of your style. Continue to be innovative and you’ll hit all the right notes. Now go make email magic!