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Subject lines represent a make-it or break-it opportunity to get email opened. They are often one of the earliest introductions a consumer will have to your brand, and they offer the chance to create an emotional connection — especially if you’re successful at delivering the right message to the right person at the right time and place.
Of course, in practical terms, a well-crafted subject line translates to more opens, click throughs and conversions. A well-executed subject line, supported by a strong, creative email and well-optimized landing page, can drive results. Therefore, subject lines should not be overlooked. Instead, subject lines should be carefully constructed, tested and optimized.
8 Email Subject Line Strategies That Can Help Drive Up Open Rates
The eight email subject lines tactics below are well known for their ability to boost open rates. But different messages and styles work for different brands and audiences. So make sure you test and optimize often.
1. Personalize Email Subject Lines With Names & Places
As consumers become more internet savvy, personalization has become an important way for advertisers to make connections and stand out. Names, places and other identifying information can be included in email subject lines to attract more opens.
Use personal data judiciously though — personalization should encourage connection, not breed distrust. Likewise, make sure your database is accurate before you use the data in it to personalize your emails. A personalized email with the wrong name is… well… usually less than effective.
2. Include Tantalizing Offers & Promotions In Email Subject Lines
Subject lines that include offers and promotions can be more likely to attract opens, because they promise something beneficial to email audiences. Often, these offers and promotions also indicate urgency and the need for quick action, which can encourage opens.
If your email subject line includes an offer or promotion, it’s important that the email delivers by including additional details about the offer. Likewise, the landing page should be aligned with offer details and a conversion path.
3. Test Email Subject Line Length, But Stay Within Recommended Maximums
Some email campaigns lend themselves to short and sweet subject lines, while others need a little more real estate. Most experts lean towards “shorter is better” when it comes to subject lines, but regularly testing is encouraged. Additionally, make sure to stay within recommended maximums to avoid open rates being impacted.
Maximum recommended subject lengths vary based on email client, so knowing who you’re sending to (and where they view their inboxes) can help you decide your optimal subject line. Across all inbox styles, a maximum of nine words and 60 characters is a good rule of thumb.
4. Include Trending Topics In Email Subject Lines To Pique Consumer Curiosity
Trends are trends for a reason! People are curious about what everyone is talking about, so including a trending topic in a subject line could encourage opens from curious consumers. But, make sure you aren’t just tricking the reader into opening. Over time, tricks can result in losing trust with (and opens from) your audience.
5. Use CTA-Based Email Subject Lines To Create A Sense Of Urgency
A sense of urgency can create excitement and help consumers know what to expect (and what’s expected from them) when they are opening an email. If you include a CTA in your subject line, make sure the content of the email matches.
6. Add Emojis To Your Email Subject Lines For Fun That Can Drive Opens
Emojis, used appropriately and at the right time and place, can garner consumer attention and increase email open rates. Used sparingly and effectively, emojis in subject lines can bring the fun to an email campaign.
7. Within The Subject Line, Highlight The Inclusion Of A Video (Or Something Else Cool Or Unusual) Inside The Email
Videos, and other bells and whistles, within emails are becoming increasingly popular and could drive opens when effectively incorporated into subject lines. For example, a car company might ask audiences to “open for a video tour of our latest EV model,” or something else similarly engaging.
8. Align Email Subject Lines With Campaigns Running Across Other Channels To Leverage Brand Awareness
Email subject lines should align with the messaging, creative and goals of your global marketing campaigns. With proper alignment, the brand awareness created across other channels can be leveraged to encourage inquiring minds to open their email and find out more.
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