6 Ways to Improve Your Subject Line

June 8, 2015

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The subject line of an email is often the last thought when creating a marketing email. But, it can be the difference between a prospect opening the email or sending it straight to the trash folder.

That's a lot of pressure for one component of email marketing. But, how many times have you seen an awkward subject line and assumed the email was spam? Probably more than you think you have.

That's why I've put together this list of six ways you can spruce up your email marketing subject lines.

Change the Way You Think About the Subject Line
If you consider the subject line to be as important as the actual email, you'll start placing more importance on it. The subject line is your audience's first impression of your email. Consider the thought you put into what you wear to an important networking event. You want to make a good first impression. Treat your subject line the same way.

Keep It Short and Sweet
The subject line should grab attention and be under 50 characters. Long subject lines don't do a good job of grabbing attention and getting someone to open an email. Asking a question, using a specific area's name and having a trending topic are all good ways to create a compelling subject line.

Some examples:
What Do You Think? - Customer Service Survey
Carrollton Flood Updates
4 Common Mistakes That Cause House Fires

But, the bottom line is don't be wordy. Your prospects and clients might hit delete without ever opening your email.

Avoid Fillers
The subject line is not a place to exchange pleasantries or fall into casual conversation, so avoid fillers like Hi. Save that for the body.

Don't Be Rude
There's nothing wrong with needing a timely response and letting your recipient know that. Just don't be pushy or rude. You don't want to come off as aggressive. A subject line like Purchase a Home Policy With Us Today may not be rude, but it is a pushy sales message. Odds are your audience already knows your angle. Focus on providing value and helpful information to your clients and prospects.

Using all caps makes an email seem spam-y. Plus, it comes off aggressive, desperate or, worse, angry. Consider the difference between the following subject lines

What your subject line says - THANKS FOR CHOOSING US!!!!
What your audience thinks - Are they really glad I chose them? Do they know how to turn off caps lock?

What your subject line says - Thanks for Choosing Us!
What your audience thinks - They're happy for my business.

What your subject line says - GET A QUOTE TODAY
What your audience thinks - Nope.

What your subject line says - Get a Quote Today
What your audience thinks - I'm up for renewal. Maybe I should look at some quotes.

And Finally: Never, Ever, Ever, EVER Leave the Subject Line Blank
Inboxes are crowded. It's hard to compete with all the other email people get. This is why you should never leave it blank. A subject line is the appetizer before the meal so, don't skip it. Take time to write a compelling subject line. You will be happy with the results if you do.

Subject lines of email marketing are important. They can mean the difference between a successful and not so successful email campaign. The better your subject line, the more opens you may get. The more opens you get, the more people who see your brand, the more people who are likely to become clients, the more likely clients are to stay clients, etc. So, next time you're composing a subject line, remember these tips to create the best first impression you can.

What subject lines have worked for you? Tell us in the comments.

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