How to Write Subject Lines that Get Results
Emails are a great way to get in front of your target audience with information that’s valuable to them. It’s relatively cheap and allows you to meet people where they’re at.
The average car buyer spends 60 percent of their shopping time online, nearly 15 hours of browsing the web for the vehicle they want at the price they need.1 If your emails are landing in their inbox while they browse, consider the influence you can have on their future purchase!
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That is, consider the influence you can have if they open your email. Your emails will be a total waste of time and effort if they land in your audiences’ inboxes and are never opened.
They Won’t Open Your Email If Your Subject Line isn’t Compelling
Your subject line is your readers’ first glimpse at what you’re marketing. It’s the gate to what you have to offer. The information in your email might very well be relevant to your readers and it might provide them with useful information and savings opportunities, but that means nothing to them when your email lands in their inboxes.
According to Hubspot, 47 percent of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone.2 This means, your subject lines will affect the results of your email marketing.
Consider Who Your Audience Is
Depending on whether your marketing is going to current, former, or potential customers, your targeted readers may or may not know who you are. This matters.
Your subject line will affect whether your recipients open your email or not and if you use the same subject line for different audiences, you won’t see the same results.
Just like any marketing you do, you have to consider who your audience is and what will compel them to action.
Start With the Basics
It’s important that you understand some key fundamentals to creating a successful subject line.
Every subject line should convey a message, just like an email. But with a subject line, you must consider your audience (like I stated before), your message (duh), and length.
The key fundamental for a subject line is understanding that you need to capture your audience’s attention and you need to do it quickly.
This is the first impression your readers will have. What message are you hoping to get across?
You’ll want to consider what will compel your reader to action – in this case the action is to click your email. What’s in it for them? What are you offering?
One way to write a successful subject line is to create a curiosity gap.3 This means your headline or subject line should be tantalizing enough to get a reader to continue reading or to click through, but it shouldn’t give away the whole story. After all, you want to raise their curiosity – you don’t want to tell them everything they need to know in one line.
You want them to read more!
Be Short and to the Point
Remember what I said about getting your audience’s attention and doing it quickly?
Email subject lines are cut off if they’re too long.
Imagine writing a compelling subject line, only to realize later that readers only saw 75 percent of it?
Additionally, you have to consider the fact that 55 percent of email opens occur on mobile – which allows even fewer characters.4
A good rule of thumb is to shoot for 50 characters or less if you want your subject lines to be seen (in full) and read in their entirety.5
Make it Personal
The phrase “It’s not personal, it’s business” doesn’t apply to email marketing. Whatever you do, it should be personal.
Adding a first name or personalized token to your subject line will increase your open rate. That’s a fact!
Emails with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened.6 Compelling, right?
One caveat, like I said earlier, is that you’ll still want to consider your audience. If your email is going to potential customers who have never worked with you before, sending them a personalized message might be considered creepy.
Simply addressing your recipient as “you” in this case will still create the personal touch you want, without the creepy implications of knowing someone who’s never done business with you.
Continue to Learn
There are a million best practices for writing email subject lines. These short, sweet, compelling subject lines draw a lot of attention and require a lot of maintenance.
Timing, message (like the psychology behind making readers feel special), exclamation points, numbers, question marks, etc., are all different strategies to achieving better open rates through your subject lines!
In addition, to continually write compelling subject lines, you must continually be learning. The guidelines for writing subject lines that get results are continually added to and changed based on today’s ever-changing digital landscape.
The good news is, there are helpful tools that you can use to help you as you seek to write more compelling subject lines!7
Plus, at the end of the day, you know your audience and you know your marketing. Whether you have an agency that accomplishes this for you or you do it yourself, the best thing you can do is communicate what is important to your audience and what will evoke a response from them.
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