Eight tips for better email subject lines


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The job of an envelope in direct mail isn’t to close the sale or generate a call. In most cases, the job of the envelope is to get you to open the envelope.

The subject line of your email is really no different. Add enough information, context or interest to gain the click. Here are eight specific tips to make your subject lines better.

1. Tease
Please don’t confuse an effective tease with bait and switch. Whatever you imply in the tease had better be reflected fully in the body of the email. But giving a hint of what’s to come is a great way to build interest, anticipation and action.

2. Personalize
The same subject line for all recipients often fails to engage and drive the action and response you want. Personalization also doesn’t only apply to first names and company names. Speak to the recipient’s industry, an upcoming event they’re attending, or something else they care about.

3. Be specific
A tease that’s too ambiguous can still go well over the recipient’s head. Be specific enough with your copy that the reader fully understands what you mean, what you’re talking about, and what you likely have in store from them after the open.

4. Prioritize
Use the most important words or subject matter as close to the front of the subject line as possible. The farther out you go, the less likely the recipient is to read it, and the more likely it will be truncated by the email client (especially if the subject line is being read on a mobile device).

5. Use numbers
If you’re offering advice, tell the reader how many tips the email includes. Copy such as “Three pitfalls” always drives more response than “Common pitfalls”.

6. Watch your length
Try to keep the subject line below 50 characters. Bonus points for 35 or fewer.

7. The From line should be a real person
Please don’t send your emails from the company. Or a generic alias (such as [email protected]). Or, worse, an email address such as “[email protected]). Emails from people (even if they’re made up) are 23 percent more likely to get opened than emails from nonentities. (This isn’t really subject line related per se, but it’s important)

8. Test

Whenever possible, test variations of your subject line to get optimal open rates in subsequent sends and campaigns. Although emails offer a wide variety of variables to test, subject lines are among the fastest and easier to test, and also offer the highest potential to increase overall conversion and impact (since they’re hear the top of the email-specific funnel).

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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