Get Your Emails Opened with These 7 Expert Subject Line Tricks
By Olivia Dello Buono June 5, 2017
A common thing people ask when getting started with email marketing is, “How can I improve my subject lines to get my emails opened?”
It’s a great question and one that every marketer should be thinking about before they hit send.
In this week’s #EmailChat, we asked you to spill your favorite tips and tricks for writing subject lines that get more opens. Missed out on the chat? Read on to see how modern marketers are optimizing their emails for success:
Here’s why you should optimize your subject line
The funny thing is, subject lines aren’t rocket science—your subject line should describe the content inside of your email. Plain and simple, right? It only takes subscribers a few seconds to scan their inbox and decide if your email is worth reading. The best subject lines give your readers a glimpse of what they can look forward to when they open your emails. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t get creative with your messaging. Have fun and test emojis, punctuation and capitalization!
In short, your subject line should be influenced by your email content and the segment of subscribers you’re sending to. This will lead to higher open rates and email engagement.
Q1 Why is a good subject line so important? #EmailChat pic.twitter.com/MrU20DJjzz— AWeber (@AWeber) June 1, 2017
A1. Awesome subject line = awesome open rates #emailchat— Kristen Dunleavy (@KristenWritesIt) June 1, 2017
Q1 – subject lines are the first thing people see in their inbox and subject lines help people remember you #EmailChat— findlectures (@findlectures) June 1, 2017
This is the ideal character limit and word count
While there is no right or wrong answer for the length of your subject line, a good rule of thumb is to keep it short and sweet. This helps to keep your messaging concise and avoid getting cut off on mobile devices or small screens. According to ReturnPath, sticking to 65 characters or less seems to be the sweet spot for character count. (Emojis included!)
Q2 What’s the ideal word count for subject lines? #EmailChat pic.twitter.com/HYJicC6efO— AWeber (@AWeber) June 1, 2017
A2 Short, sweet, and keeping the reader wanting to learn more is ideal👏 #emailchat— Julia (@julesnits) June 1, 2017
A2 As concise as you can be while still getting your point across! And always test on mobile to make sure nothing gets cut off. #EmailChat— Olivia Dello Buono (@oliviadello) June 1, 2017
#EmailChat @returnpath data shows that 65 characters seems to be a sweet spot for email subject lines (15 characters more than the average)— Really Good Emails 🌈 (@reallygoodemail) June 1, 2017
Try this preview text trick on your next send
While technically not part of your subject line, your preview text (or subheader) is that little line of text that gets pulled in from your message. Many marketers often forget about it, but it can be optimized to work well with your subject line and add more context to your messages. Keep it relevant or use it to tell a fun story.
Q3 How can we optimize our preview text? #EmailChat pic.twitter.com/7dgscX3txe— AWeber (@AWeber) June 1, 2017
A3 Preview text is a really great opportunity to tell a story with your subject line! Use it to your advantage. #EmailChat— Olivia Dello Buono (@oliviadello) June 1, 2017
A3. Think of your preview text as your subject line, part 2. You can use this space to include more details about your email. #emailchat— Kristen Dunleavy (@KristenWritesIt) June 1, 2017
A3 Make sure your preview text adds a new, yet related element to keep the message interesting but consistent! #emailchat— Julia (@julesnits) June 1, 2017
Test your subject lines using these tips
From copy tweaks to adding emojis or special characters, we recommend testing a few different approaches in your subject lines to get a feel for what your audience wants to see. The more you test, the better you’ll be able to find the right approach.
Q4 What are some ways we can test the effectiveness of our subject lines? #EmailChat pic.twitter.com/XvC0GByShP— AWeber (@AWeber) June 1, 2017
A4 Open rates are important—but there are other factors to consider like deliverability, as well. I also encourage testing! #EmailChat— Olivia Dello Buono (@oliviadello) June 1, 2017
#EmailChat Test everything! @ExperianMk noted that 56% of brands using emoji in their email subject lines had a higher unique open rate. 👍👍— Really Good Emails 🌈 (@reallygoodemail) June 1, 2017
We love these formulas for writing effective subject lines
Keep it short, sweet and concise. Be mysterious. There’s no formula for writing the perfect subject line—it all depends on what your subscribers respond to. One trend that keeps popping up is relevancy. People hate click bait, so keep your subject line in line with the content of your email.
Q5 Are there any formulas we can steal to write better subject lines? #EmailChat pic.twitter.com/LbUavllHM4— AWeber (@AWeber) June 1, 2017
Here are subject line formulas you can steal to boost your open rates https://t.co/p2TTgevSYa #EmailChat— AWeber (@AWeber) June 1, 2017
A5. Relevancy is key for effective subject lines – don't mislead your subscribers! #emailchat— Movable Ink (@movableink) June 1, 2017
A5 Keep it short and sweet. Be concise. Be mysterious. There's no wrong answer, it's what works best for your audience. #EmailChat— Olivia Dello Buono (@oliviadello) June 1, 2017
Avoid these mistakes at all costs
Subject line mistakes can be as as minor as a typo or as severe as including a wrong word and getting sent to the Spam folder.
Another subject line don’t? Making every subject line the same. Not only is it boring, but nobody wants to read your “weekly newsletter.” Share something interesting or the title of the article to mix it up!
Q6 What are some subject line mistakes to avoid? #EmailChat pic.twitter.com/I9Oap5ONQi— AWeber (@AWeber) June 1, 2017
#EmailChat Possible spam triggers like (RE:, FW:, ALL CAPS, lots of exclamation points)— Really Good Emails 🌈 (@reallygoodemail) June 1, 2017
Don't mislead or mask the purpose of the email.
A6 Click bait is the worst. I'm also over those "re:" emails—soooo 2016. ✋🏼 #EmailChat— Olivia Dello Buono (@oliviadello) June 1, 2017
A6. Nothing's less exciting than "Newsletter" as the subject line every week 🙃#emailchat— Monica Montesa (@missmontesa) June 1, 2017
Read More: The 5 Email Subject Line Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs
Follow these best practices to ensure email marketing success
Write for your audience. Test, test, test… and more best practices below.
Q7 Are there any best practices when it comes to subject lines? #EmailChat pic.twitter.com/YID4JpKnHf— AWeber (@AWeber) June 1, 2017
A7 Write for your audience and test, test, test! 🙌🏼 #EmailChat— Olivia Dello Buono (@oliviadello) June 1, 2017
Q7 Your subject line should act as a preview for what is to come in the rest of the email… always keep that in mind!💡 #emailchat— Julia (@julesnits) June 1, 2017
A8. A/B tests are a simple & powerful way to send your subscribers the best content possible ✔️ #emailchat— Movable Ink (@movableink) June 1, 2017
Start writing better emails today
Sign up for our FREE 6-day email copywriting course and you’ll get access to 45+ fill-in-the-blank email templates. Start writing better emails today!
Alan Soltys6/8/2017 3:20 pm
Thanks for this engaging material. I like your presentation and the information seems sound as well, culled from apparent experts of the industry. AWeber is fantastic as well. You Rock.
Hempsoft6/22/2017 3:02 am
Thanks for information great blog.