5 Tips for Creating a Good Email Subject Line

Inbox zero… everyone’s goal.  We scan subject lines and (maybe) the first couple sentences of 134 unopened emails to see what requires our immediate attention, what can be filed away in a “read later” folder and what catches our attention and needs to be read now.  So when you sit on the opposite side of the inbox as the sender, what can you do to be that email that needs to be read now?

The subject of your email can be the difference maker between an open and immediate filing in the trash can.  Assuming that you email message made it past the spam filter, cutting through the noise of the inbox and the grabbing the attention of most people is no easy task.  Here are some general rules you can follow to help increase your open rate and be that Inbox Hero (got stars in his eyes).  Sorry… I couldn’t help myself.

Email subject lines help your message stand out on a screen full of emails.

1. Get Personal

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
~ Dale Carnegie

Incorporating something personal to the recipient like their first name or company name will likely increase open rates.  Personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.  These should be used in proper context and not randomly placed in any subject line just for the sake of having their name present.

2. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Super Simple

Your subject line should be short and sweet.  People are going to scan their inbox to see what grabs their attention.  That long, clever subject line very well might be too difficult to decipher and gets passed over for something more direct. 66% of people check their email on their mobile devices rather thant their laptop or desktop making the subject length even more important.  Try to keep the length of the email subject line to less than 50 characters.

3. Change It Up

Don’t be afraid to change the email subject line to see what works best.  The same stagnant email subject line might lose its shine after awhile.  Go crazy and change it up.  Be sure to take note of what changes you made and how it performed against other subject lines you’ve used in the past.  This will help you hone in on what resonates best with your audience.

4. Tone Down Overuse of Promotional Tactics

No one wants to be sold anything.  As consumers, we really want to be presented with information that allows us to come to our own conclusion that we need something.  Fight the urge to lead with the sales pitch and focus on a true benefit to opening the email.  Definitely steer clear of ALL CAPS or use of exclamation points!!!!

5. Include a Call To Action

A Call To Action (CTA) is typically structured with a benefit to the target audience and contains some sense of urgency.  It provokes action.  Tell them exactly what you want them to do.  Your CTA email subject should follow the rules stated above and be directly tied to the content of your email message.

We Want To Hear From You

We’d love to hear some input from you.  What emails subject lines do you love or despise?  Do you have any specific stories about successful tactics you’ve used to share?  Let us know in the comments below.