How to write excellent subject lines so your emails get read

Publication date: 07 Oct 2019

How to write excellent subject lines so your emails get read

The subject line of your email is the most important thing in email marketing. No matter how convincing your call-to-action is, no one will know about it if your emails remain unread. The subject line has only one task to fulfill, and you can easily understand whether it has been done successfully. An excellent subject line ensures that 35%, 50% or even 75% of your emails get opened. A subject line of average quality gives a ≤5% email open rate. And if your email campaign open rate is 0%, you’ve chosen a bad subject line. However, you are able to do something about even the latter case—find a better subject line for your next campaign.

  1. Who reads your newsletters?

Always think first about your target audience. Even if you have been in business for 20 years already, prior to creating any promotional content, take a pause and think about your potential clients. Consider what your audience needs now? How can you make their lives better? Respect your target audience and don’t make them waste time reading uninteresting emails.

  1. What is an emotional trigger?

Once you’ve defined your target audience, choose an emotional trigger. All human decisions are initially based on emotions; logic comes in the second place.

You should use a subject line that is capable of evoking certain feelings and leading to an action. That is what is called “an emotional trigger”.

When it comes to email subject lines, the most effective emotions are:

  • anger;
  • curiosity;
  • envy;
  • hope.

If your subject line evokes one or several of these emotions, your email open rate will definitely get higher.

Question-type subject lines help engage your readers, they are likely to get curious. If you couple a question with such emotion as anger or hope, your emails will be opened much more often.

  1. Choose variants

Once you have decided on emotions, do a little research. You can quickly analyze keywords to find out what people are searching for. This information will give you ideas for subject lines.

Of course no emails appear in search engine results, but when you are deciding on a subject line, SEO might be of help. Choose at least a couple of keywords and write at least five different subject lines. Take a break and evaluate the results. You can choose one subject line and start sending straight away. Or choose two subject lines and proceed to our next tip.

  1. Let’s check!

Run A/B testing if possible. Send emails with version A of the subject line to a small part of your audience, and emails with version B to another part. The version that gets a higher open rate wins. The rest of your subscriber base will automatically receive emails with the winning subject line.

Subject lines are hard to formulate, but once you’ve spent some time on them, email newsletters can become a reliable source of income.

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