7 Tips to Create Compelling Email Subject Lines

By: Alex Meade 3 minute read
The average Internet user receives dozens of emails every day. To make matters worse, emails are just one type of content competing for attention. To stand out, marketers need to take action to ensure that their emails are the ones being read. Much of this comes down to creating an effective email subject line. Of course, it always starts with your buyer persona and what will appeal to them, but here are some additional tips.


 

1. Create a Sense of Urgency

When they have more pressing tasks to take care of, recipients may decide to return to an email later. The problem with this is that the email may end up buried below numerous other unread emails. To make sure users open your emails immediately, add a sense of urgency to the subject line.

It is important to note that you cannot use this tactic every time. Recipients might catch on to your strategy and may stop opening your emails entirely. Rather, you should just use urgency when you have something to offer that really does have a time limit.

 

2. Personalize to the User

Add information to the subject line that shows users that the email is written for them and has their interests or needs in mind. Something simple like using the recipient’s name or location can increase click-through rates.

Always personalize when you are sending an email for a birthday offer or following after a purchase. At the very least, use “you” to address the recipient directly.

 

3. Be Brief

Keeping your email subject lines short does two things. First, it increases the chances that users will read the entire subject line. Second, it ensures that every character appears when a recipient checks their email on a mobile device. If you’re struggling to create brief subject lines, consider what words are unnecessary and cut them out.

 

4. Describe the Email But Inspire Curiosity

Letting users know what an email is about gives them more reason to open the message. For instance, if you’re having a sale, explain what types of deals your customers can expect.

If you’re sending a newsletter or update, focus on the benefits users will receive from reading the email. Embrace that it may be difficult to describe exactly what they’ll find in the content and use the subject line to pique their curiosity.

Whatever you do, always be honest. Making promises that you’re unable to keep might cause your followers to lose trust in your brand.

Inbound Marketing - Email Open Rates - Spark Curiosity.jpg

5. Test What Words Work for You

You can find research about what words improve open and click-through rates and what words hurt your chances. You can also test words and phrases yourself to find out what your audience responds to best. Use A/B testing to try different versions of subject lines for the same emails and keep track of which words and phrases get the best open rates.

6. Use Emojis

Emojis help your subject lines stand out. There are a huge number to pick from now, enabling you to choose one that expresses the content in your email better than words alone. That being said, don’t go overboard with emojis. Use them sparingly — and only if they match your brand image.

Top 15 Emojis by subject link - Email Marketing

 

7. Add Numbers

Users love numbered lists because it gives them a better idea of what’s to follow. You can use numbers in your subject lines, such as a surprising or impressive statistics, to spark the recipient’s interest. However you choose to use them, numbers will stand out against the words that are dominating all of the other email subject lines your users see in their inbox.

 

Conclusion

Some of these tips will likely work better for your brand than others. Experiment with the tactics on different segments of your audience and at various days of the week or times of the day to find out what best helps your emails receive more opens and click-throughs.

 

How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign

 

 

Alex Meade

Alex began his career in film and TV as a Producer and Associate Producer for Original Productions. During his time, he worked on several of the company’s most popular programs including Discovery Channel’s show “Deadliest Catch”. After hauling his fair share of Alaskan crab home from filming, he spent time working as the Lead A/V Editor and Assistant Producer for advertising heavyweight TBWA\Chiat\Day. There he was responsible for overseeing content and creative portions of campaigns for the likes of Nissan, Gatorade, Pepsi, and more. When Alex is not working on client work, he’s serving as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce and hanging out with his wife, Mary Beth, and dog, Hank.