So you've written the perfect email. It has everything. The design is glorious, the content is nothing less than brilliant, and the CTA you threw at the bottom is so clickable it hurts. But you have a problem...lately your email open rates have been abysmally low. You don't want to send out your masterpiece only to have it waste away in the dusty inboxes of your list members.
What can you do? Have no fear! The guide to email subject lines is here!
The key to improving your open rates is mastering the art of the email subject line. They are fickle creatures, but they can be tamed, domesticated, and mastered. Take a look at the five tips below to see how you can improve your subject lines, increase your open rates, and generate customers.
Why Should They Care?
Before we jump into the nitty gritty, it is important that you ask yourself one question. Why should people care about this email? What are you providing to your recipients? Put yourself in the shoes of a reader and ask whether or not you would find value in what you were receiving. Once you take a step back and answer this question, you'll know exactly what the focus of your email should be and how to best approach your subject line. Alright, on to the good stuff.
1. Don't Worry About Length
Well, established groups such as HubSpot and MailChimp swear by an email length of no more than fifty characters. However, there is some data that points to a length of 61-70 characters returning better open rates. What do I recommend? Honestly, I believe you shouldn't stress about the length of your subject lines. Make your subject line as long or short as you need to catch the attention of your readers.
*Disclaimer: Email subject lines may get cut off if they exceed a certain length, ESPECIALLY ON MOBILE
2. Incorporate Humor
It isn't exactly a secret that humor is an incredible tool in marketing. It humanizes content, shows brand personality, puts audiences at ease, and encourages engagement. So why wouldn't you try to incorporate it in your subject lines? Laughter triggers the release of endorphins (natural feel good chemicals) in the body. If you can get your recipients to laugh, the chances are they will open your email to see more humor (and thus laughter) awaits.
3. Be InformativeWhile humor is great for improving your open rates, the perfect email subject line will also give readers some idea of what is included in the email. It isn't enough to simply throw out a funny tagline. The average office worker sends or receives 122 emails each day. You can't expect anyone to take the time to open your email unless they know what they are opening. Take the subject line below for example:
This subject line mainly grabbed my attention because of the incredibly lame play on words. But while the humor of it drew my attention, I never actually opened the email. I still haven't opened it, even in using it for this post.
The reason? The subject line doesn't indicate what the email might include. My best guess is that Snapchat maybe has some new taco filter? The author of this subject line would have been better off sending something that was straight forward so that I could have seen if the email contained anything I might find valuable.
4. Show Your Personality
As the age of social media continues, most people have grown comfortable with online communication. Emojis, capitalization, and punctuation choices are a great way to show your brand's personality while getting your email to stick out a little bit. Make sure to evaluate the type of email you are sending and who your recipients are before making any bold choices. You can learn how to incorporate emojis into your subject lines here.
*Disclaimer: Emails containing emojis could potentially trigger spam filters.
5. Use PersonalizationPersonalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without personalization. It may not seem like adding your recipient's name (or some other personal detail) would be very effective, but the data doesn't lie. With inboxes drowning in emails, you need to do everything you can to stand out. And everyone loves the sound of their own name.
If you follow these five tips, you should be on your way to creating an irresistible subject line. No more will your creations go unread. No more will your efforts go to waste. You are an email god! Now get out there and write something killer.
Before you write your subject line, before you write your email, before you write ... anything, you need to know who you are writing for. Download our Target Profile Worksheet below to start fleshing out your buyer personas! You'll be on your way to creating valuable content in no time.