First impressions matter. It’s true in real life, and it’s true online — it’s even true when it comes to email.
Your email’s subject line is the first thing that a reader sees in their inbox. What you write in that subject line can drive their next move. Good email subject lines motivate readers to open an email in the moment instead of putting it off for later — or just moving it to the trash bin.
Since promotional emails and subscriber lists are key to growing your blog and encouraging people to support your business, mastering the art of the email subject line is essential. Whatever your content is about, here are some universal tips for writing subject lines that will guarantee more opened emails.
Subject lines as told by stats
When you write an effective subject line, it leads to a higher open rate. This in turn boosts sales and fosters a stronger sense of community among your audience members.
You’re probably wondering what makes for an effective subject line. Businesses have been studying and collecting data on this question for a while. Here are a few ways to improve your subject lines based on statistics:
- Keep your subject line clear and concise. Subject lines with the highest open rates have 61-70 characters, according to research conducted by Return Path. This translates to roughly ten words, or one brief sentence.
- Short subject lines fit better on a mobile screen. This matters, as roughly 51 percent of all email opens occur on mobile devices, according to Litmus. Look up how long subject lines can be before they’re cut off on different mobile devices, and plan accordingly.
- Personalization helps. Marketing Land says that including a first name in your subject line can increase your open rate by up to 18 percent.
- Just in case you’re not sold on the importance of subject lines, HubSpot found that 33 percent of emails are opened based on subject line alone.
Keep your audience engaged
Of course, statistics alone aren’t enough to write a great subject line. Good email subject lines will grab your readers’ attention with something that they care about. Here are some fun engagement strategies that will have your audience eagerly opening your emails:
- Connect with your reader. Think less about what you want an email to accomplish, and more about what your reader will get out of it. When you successfully connect with your reader’s wants and needs, they’ll be more willing to open your emails.
- Tap into emotions, as they are great motivators. Appeal to your audience’s sense of urgency, curiosity, excitement, or humor to engage with them.
- Make it time-sensitive. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing. Having a limited-time offer (like a one-day sale) can motivate your audience to open your email now instead of putting it off for later.
- Inspire curiosity with open-ended questions or subject lines with cliffhangers. You’ll get more click-throughs if you pique the interests of your readers.
- Evoke excitement! Your blog or business is doing some amazing things. Share your updates with enthusiasm. Use strong verbs and vivid language to delight and excite your audience.
Subject lines also work best when they reflect your brand voice. Every business or blog has its own personality, whether it’s the playful and positive voice of a lifestyle blog or the humorous and casual tone of a comic-book shop. If you present yourself as fun on your website but write dull email subject lines, it might deter your audience.
At the same time, brand voice should never come at the expense of professionalism. Save the fun for newsletters or sales announcements. When someone buys an item from your online store, a subject line that simply says, “Order Received – Mom & Pop’s Shop – Confirmation #45252” will be better received — and less confusing — than one that says, “Awwwwww yeah! Thanks for checking us out!”
You want your message to be heard, and good email subject lines will make sure that it is. Practice writing effective subject lines and see what connects with your community. Your results — a higher email open rate — will reflect this extra effort.