Why Email Subject Lines Matter | Tips and Tricks

Why Email Subject Lines Matter

There are billions of emails sent out each day. A glance at the abundance of emails in your own inbox is evidence of how time-consuming it can be to sort through which ones are actually important to your business and which are merely frivolous and annoying. So how can you ensure that the emails you’re sending will stand out from the crowd? It turns out that your email subject line can be highly beneficial in grabbing your readers’ attention. Below are some tips for creating the perfect email subject line to give your emails a fighting chance of being read, as opposed to simply being sent to the dreaded "spam" folder.

  • Test Your Subject Line

    Your subject line is the first impression and the first conversion you need to make. If you have a large list, such as more than 100,000 subscribers, consider dividing your mailing list into smaller lists to test a few subject lines to smaller groups before mailing a campaign to the entire large list. Test the open rate of anywhere from 10,000-25,000 subscribers per subject line to get accurate feedback. After your test, you can mail the best subject line to the rest of your list, knowing that you are sending the most effective subject line. If you have a smaller list or don't have the ability to create this kind of test, simply look back on your email history. Look for the campaigns with the highest open rates to learn more about the subject lines that your readers respond to, and which ones to never use again. This simple practice will increase the results of every campaign you send in the future!

  • Avoid Spam Filters

    While using ALL CAPS, exclamation points, and catchy sales phrases might succeed at getting someone’s attention, it is not the kind of attention you want, as you might just catch the attention of spam filters instead. Emails that land in the spam folder have an open rate of 1-2%, at best. To stay out of the dreaded junk folder, keep this kind of content to a minimum. You can also send a test campaign to yourself, using your own personal email accounts at popular domains like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo to be sure that your campaign will land in the inbox before you hit send to your list.

  • Don't Start a Sentence That You Complete in the Body of the Email

    While it is true that beginning a thought in a subject line will force your reader to open the email, it is still somewhat frustrating and unprofessional.

  • Proofread for Errors!

    Making a spelling or grammatical error in the opening section of your email is never going to win you any points. This is easy to avoid by simply taking a second look before you hit send.

  • Draft Your Subject Line First

    Oftentimes, people will write their email and then add a subject line at the end, right before hitting send. However, the subject line is actually one of the most important parts of your email, as it sets the tone for everything else. Write this first, and you're already on the path to effective communication.

  • Keep it Concise

    An email subject line should be short and to the point, consisting of approximately 6-8 words. A mobile phone will only show 25 to 30 characters, and an email inbox will expose about 60 characters of the subject line. Your reader should be able to see as much of the subject line as possible. Because you have a very limited amount of space, choose each word carefully and make it count.

  • State Your Point

    Research illustrates that about 50% of emails are read from mobile phones, so you should try to put the most important words at the beginning of your email. Otherwise, readers might easily decide to delete rather than read the email. Your subject line should clearly state exactly what your email is about, so your recipient knows how important it is before opening it.

  • Include Your Name

    If your email address is not your name, be certain to include it in the subject line. This is especially important if you have been referred by a mutual friend, and therefore the recipient might not immediately recognize who the email is from. In this instance, you should include the name of the person who referred you in your subject line as well. This will grab your reader’s attention, giving him or her a better clue as to what the email is about and who it is coming from.

Bottom Line: Email subject lines are imperative in making sure that the reader opens your email. You are likely taking the time to send an email because you have something important to say. So, take a few moments to carefully craft your subject line to help ensure that you are getting the best results you can.

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