When it comes to your email marketing, you might think how hard can it really be to write an email? Most of us send many on a daily basis. But it is harder than you think, writing the right content and more importantly creating that perfect subject line is a difficult task.
But why does it even matter?
Just imagine this. Before your recipients choose to open your email, there is a giant 100ft wall standing between your content and them. Your recipients aren’t even going to attempt to get over that wall without a little help, without that key sentence that says yes this email is worthwhile reading! In other words, your subject line will act like a ladder aiding your target audience to get over that wall and into your email.
Yes, there are a number of other factors which make up a great email, but today I am focusing on exactly why the email subject line is so important and how to create the perfect one to get your recipients past that email marketing barricade.
What is a subject line?
It is simple, the subject line is the short sentence at the top of an email, or on your email summary, which explains to the recipients its content.
The examples of “attached blog post” and “pens” wouldn’t work well if those emails were sent as part of a marketing campaign, luckily they are from team members and I know what they are on about!
What should a subject line do & why is it So Important?
When you are writing your subject line, think about it from the recipient’s perspective. They will be thinking why should I open this email, or, is this email going to be important for me?
Email Marketing has received a bad reputation due to people and businesses implementing an email marketing strategy poorly. As a result people have become more reluctant to open emails. Therefore the main aim of the subject line is to make the recipient think “I must read this”; you need to entice the reader to want to find out more.
Without a good subject line your emails will underperform. You may have written some amazing content, had a great offer to promote, or had some fantastic company news that people would want to read, but if you haven’t encouraged them to open the email all of your time and money has been wasted.
What makes a bad subject line?
Now you understand the importance of your subject lines, let’s think about aspects that could make them bad.
All Caps – You don’t want to shout at your subscriber list, there is no need to write everything all in capitals to make it stand out.
Boring – this is an obvious one. Subject lines need to be catchy, not dull and boring.
Symbol Happy – If you are using email marketing for your business you don’t want to be cute, symbols and emoji’s don’t shout professionalism so avoid them.
Deceptive – Your subject lines should reflect what can be found in the email, don’t promise something which isn’t true just for the aim of getting people to open the email.
Desperation – Begging for an email to be opened just wreaks of desperation which is not what you want your business to be reflected as, avoid “Open me!” subject lines.
It’s a Subject Line, Not an Essay – Keep them short and snappy, if it is too long then it won’t be read properly
What Should You Consider When Writing you Email Subject Lines?
Writing subject lines that engage with your target audience will take time, you may even want to consider A/B Split Testing them to understand what subject lines work better.
To be able to write a good subject line you need to understand your target audience. A newsletter to your client list and one to general contacts are going to have two different subject lines because these emails are targeting subscribers in different ways. You will therefore need to entice them to read the email in a different way; so think about what it is that will get them interested and include it within the subject line.
Once you have worked out how to target your different audiences, there are a number of helpful tips to keep in mind when writing a great subject line; I even use these when creating emails on behalf of clients:
Direct to audience – make your subscribers feel important and like you want to engage with them writing a subject line that speaks directly to them, avoid subject lines that are too broad and general.
Peak curiosity – make the reader want to find out more.
Offers – Emails announcing sales or special offers are always going to grab people’s attention so make sure to highlight them.
Urgency – if you do have some important news, say a last minute change to an event venue or an issue with some software that your clients use, highlight the importance of reading the email without sounding desperate.
Informative – this works well with peaking curiosity, let your subject line impart a small bit of information to make it clear they will find out more about it if they read the email.
Self-interest – this works well with understanding your audience and using the subject line to highlight the fact that the email is about something your subscribers are interested in.
Need Help With Your Email Marketing?
Email Marketing campaigns can be a useful tool to incorporate into your digital marketing strategy, but will be most effective when done correctly and not misused.
If you want to use Email Marketing in your business but are struggling to get it right, or just don’t have the time contact our team today to find out more about our Email Marketing Services.