How to Write Good Email Subject Lines

30th, 2021
Keyhole - Digital Marketing Agency - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
Categories: Email Marketing
30th, 2021
Keyhole - Digital Marketing Agency - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
Categories: Email Marketing

If you’re unsure how to write good email subject lines, read on. We’ve got you covered.

We believe email subject lines are arguably the most important component of an email. After all, the subject line is what subscribers see first and determines what step they’ll take next. Open, ignore, or delete.

Without good email subject lines, your email marketing efforts could easily go to waste. Especially if you only leave the eye-catching valuables with important calls-to-action inside the email.

Luckily, email subject lines can be tested so you can further optimize your subject lines toward your subscriber preferences. But where do you start? Below we outline why subject lines matter and give top tips on creating subject lines your subscribers can’t wait to open.

How to Write Good Email Subject Lines

Why is the Subject Line So Important?

We live in a society where work is still highly filtered through emails. Since email inboxes are inundated with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of emails per day, straightforward and catchy email subject lines are more important than ever.

Good email subject lines hold power and the words you choose for your email subject lines can have a big impact on whether or not the hard work you’ve put into your email will pay off. No matter how sophisticated or well-crafted your email campaigns are, they are worthless if your target audience doesn’t engage.

Spending a little extra time on your email subject lines will help you get in front of the right people, get them to open, and hopefully get them to convert.

Tips For the Best Open Rates

1. Make it Valuable

Think about what readers are going to get out of reading your email. By having a benefit-driven headline, reading your email will add value to their life, so there’s no reason not to open it. Let them know you’re offering a good deal, a free download, or tickets to a new launch. Give them something they want and they’ll open to read more!

2. Make It Interesting

Even if someone is subscribed to your list, they still might not be on the lookout for a message from you. Your email subject line must entice them enough to stop scrolling through their email inbox and open. If it sounds too flashy like from a salesperson or is too dry like from your HR director, its not going to be interesting enough.

3. ...But Make it Relevant

As interesting as you want your subject to be, it needs to match the rest of your content. Don’t be sensational just to get your user to open it. The rest of the email must naturally follow from the subject line.

How to Write an Email With a Painful Message
While no one ever wants to be the bearer of bad news, there are times when you need to write an email with a painful message. Whether it be sharing honest feedback or informing a group of people about a decision made, it’s worth crafting a clear and professional message.

4. Make It Urgent

If an email gets the “I’ll read it later” reaction, it’s never going to get opened. Your email must inspire them to open it up now. To do this you need to create a sense of urgency. Will the deal last for a long time? Will the e-book be free forever? Is there limited seating? Make it clear that if they don’t take action, they won’t benefit from the value.

5. Make it Clear. Keep It Short

Holy Toledo, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Keep it brief. Run-on sentences explaining in detail what the email is about completely defeats the purpose. You have .03 seconds to make an impression and catch their eye. Don’t incorrectly assume people are stopping to read your deep thoughts as they scroll through their work or personal emails. Make sure your subject line doesn’t get cut short by keeping it under 40 characters or about five to seven words.

6. Make It Spam-Less

Subject lines that are aggressively salesy are often the most likely to be marked as spam. That means you should avoid loud punctuation like all caps and multiple exclamation points, as well as overtly promotional language like “Buy now” or “Free.” These are sure-fire ways to have your marketing emails sent straight to the spam folder.

7. Make it Funny

A funny subject line can really stick out amongst the dry, dull emails. Humor can be tricky though – it thrives on exclusive individuals catching your meaning. However, if you know your audience well and your emails are targeted, a well placed joke can get your email opened and can earn kudos.

8. Make It Personal

Mass emails addressed to “whom it may concern” are a thing of the past. Most aspects of online communication are customized, so why should email be any different? You don’t have to personalize every email you send, but if you’ve been collecting first name data, then it’s worth testing out. Work to collect groups based on your audience personas and break out “journey-based” emails according to what you know they engage with. The more personal and helpful you make their digital communication, the better.

Your email open rates don’t have to stay in the gutter forever. By following these simple steps above, you’ll be well on your way to getting the attention and engagement you’ve needed when sending information out to your email list. Looking for additional ways to boost your emails with the right content strategy? Reach out today and we can chat about how to write good email subject lines.

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