The very first thing an email recipient sees is the subject line. This is the most important part of an email. Readers will decide to read or delete based on something as simple as a half-dozen words. Intriguing subject lines are critical to making readers open your marketing messages.
Professional email marketers know how well split-testing works, including for testing subject lines. Usually, email marketers use split-testing to see which campaigns earn a higher click-through percentage. Click-throughs depend on the open rate, so the subject line is the first thing that should be tested. The higher your open rate, the better your click-through rate will be.
You have only about 50 characters to impress readers, get their attention and get them to open your email, so use them wisely. Here are some tips to help you get the most value from a subject line.
Make it personal. Put the recipient’s first name in the subject line to quickly get their attention.
Watch your language. Using spam words in the subject line is a very bad idea. Most internet service providers and email service providers will reject email immediately if the subject line contains spam words like “free,” “sale,” “package,” “vacation,” and others traditionally used by scammers.
Sound important. Catch the reader’s attention by sounding official and including as much information as you can fit in 50 characters.
Add urgency. Use the subject line to imply a time limit in which the user must take action so they don’t put off reading your email and forget about it. Phrases like “limited time only,” “act now” and “today only” work well.
Identify yourself. The combination of your sender name and subject line should make clear who you are and what you are offering. Never be misleading. If a subscriber signed up for your email list, they know who you are and are more likely to open what you send them.
Upsell the benefits. Use the subject line to convey a benefit for the reader. If the reader has reason to believe your email will benefit them, they are more likely to open it.
Offer specials and bargains. People love special offers, limited offers and bargains. Get readers interested in your email by using a subject line that indicates they’ll find a great deal when they open the message.
Test your subject line. Split-test the subject line to see what gets the best open rate. Use what you learn to inform future campaigns.