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Ten Tips to a Great Subject Line

Screenshot of someone sending an email.

E-mail marketing has become one of the most popular forms of advertising for businesses. It is an effective way to reach people about an event or a marketing campaign. But, those who use e-mail marketing know its biggest obstacle: E-mails are only effective if they are opened by customers. To get an email opened, you need a good subject line. Here are ten tips to help increase your open rate:

  1. Keep it short: If too long, an email subject line can get cut off. Make your statement in as few words as possible to keep your subject line clear and concise.
  2. Preview what is inside: Be specific and honest about what the email contains. People like to know what is coming. They do not like being “click-baited” by misleading information.
  3. Use call to actions/verbs/questions: Readers enticed by provocative calls to action are more likely to open your e-mail when you use dynamic words and phrases to create excitement and curiosity about your email.
  4. Make it about the customer: Personalization is an excellent tool for e-mail marketing. Subject lines that include a reader's name, or even the city in which they live, are effective ways to increase the open rate.
  5. Create urgency/deadline: FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. Creating a deadline gives readers the impression they would be missing out on something by not opening your e-mail.
  6. Use numbers: With so many vague e-mails in a reader's inbox, one that uses specific data about your business is sure to pique interest and generate e-mail opens.
  7. Use lists (i.e. 3 Great Products in 2017): Information does not seem as overwhelming when it has been compiled into a list for you. Listing your ideas, whatever they may be, is a great way to tell readers that they are getting useful information that will be quick and easy to read.
  8. Don't be afraid to be funny or unique. Most businesses in your market probably use similar formats for e-mail marketing. Breaking away from the pack to make your business stand out to consumers is never a bad idea.
  9. Never use all caps or overuse exclamation points: Enthusiasm is a great attribute that people can rally around. However, no one enjoys being SHOUTED at, even in an electronic format.
  10. Don't sound like spam or overuse phrases: Readers do not appreciate the feeling of “being sold to.” They prefer to think they are being contacted about something they'd enjoy. Offering useful information is always better than blatant promotion. (i.e., “Buy Now!”).
Jillian Mensch Headshot
by Jillian Mensch
Jillian is a Product Manager at LyncServe. With an enthusiasm for serving small businesses, Jillian strives to assist in their success. She uses her experience in marketing to help businesses find new ways to grow and achieve their goals.
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