Subject lines are crucial because they’re the first things people see in their inbox. Split testing your subject lines can help make for more successful emails.
This post was written by Josh Krafchin of CleverZebo. It
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>If you aren’t asking the question “How can I get more people to read my messages?” about your email marketing campaign, it’s time to start thinking about it! Even if you’re happy with your response rates, there is always room for improvement.
First off, it’s important to think about what influences a subscriber’s decision to read your message or not. Whether your end goal is a click or a sell, the subscriber won’t be taking any action until they actually open your email.
We’ll be looking at three different email newsletters that did a good job getting people to read the message, bringing in a unique open rate of over 50%, and then you can apply their strategies to your messages.
How the Messages Appear in an Inbox
These are what our examples look like in a GMail inbox:
These three businesses have some different and some similar methods for getting subscribers to read their messages. We’re going to take a look at how they approach the subject line and how they make the from line something the subscriber will recognize:
- Lawrence Chan’s Tofurious mentions a new product that the subscriber gets for opening the message.
- This type of approach is great if you have a free report to share, a sample page from a new report or ebook, if you have a coupons, or if you are promoting a new product.
- Lawrence takes a personal approach on his site by signing his blogs and including detailed personal information. People like to hear from people, and signing his emails with his name will carry over that personal touch.
- Gary Rosenzweig’s Macmost has a different approach for their subject, and it’s very straight-forward: it’s the new MacMost newsletter and it even gives the issue number.
- This is good for businesses that send out newsletters that are meant to be more informative than promotional.
- Gary from MacMost doesn’t have his name come up a lot on his site, so if he used his name in the from line then subscribers may not recognize who it’s from. This is why it’s good he used his company name.
- Frederick van Johnson’s This Week in Photo uses the subject to pose a question. This can make the subscriber interested in knowing what the answer will be. Is it the end of medium format cameras? If so, why? They’ll have to open the message to find out!
- Asking a question will make your subscriber curious, so try and find what question your message answers.
- Frederick has others contributing material on his site, so his name is not the only name there. Recognizing he name would depend on what pages the subscriber has seen on the site. His from line should be his company name since it’s on all pages.
Branding In the Subject Line
You want to use your brand as much as possible so that when a subscriber looks at your message in their inbox they immediately know who you are and what to expect from you. All three businesses included their company name in the subject line. Might seem redundant, but it’s working!
Other Tests for Increasing Opens
The best thing you can do is split test your broadcasts to find out what gets the best results. Besides what we talked about here, you many also want to consider:
- Time and day the message is being sent: There is no universally agreed upon day or time to send your message, so your best bet is test. For a look at your own stats, you can go to the Reports page and look at the “Opens over time” graphs.
- Snippets: certain email clients show a snippet of text from the beginning of your newsletter. You can use this to your advantage by putting catchy text at the top so they’ll open it or mark it to read later.
- Preview panes: certain email clients will also show preview panes that displays part of the entire message. You can test this out by putting catchy text in the upper part of your email, or moving images around if it was initially top heavy with images, and see if this changes your open rates.
How Do You Get Subscribers to Read Your Messages?
Of course there are still even more factors that will determine whether or not your message gets reads. For example, setting expectations plays a big part in your ongoing subscriber response right.
So what do you do to ensure your subscribers keep coming back for more? Share your thoughts!