How to write email subject for better open rates? What are the Do’s & Dont’s for email subject lines? What should you do to get higher open rates?
Some email subject lines will have better open rates over others. So are there any common traits among the email subject lines which deserves better subject lines over others.
No matter what – People will Always Judge a Book by Its Cover. The only reason why some emails get better open rates over others.
An email subject line must be attractive enough to bag attention. Hence, it becomes crucial to test different variations of the email subject line.
The bottom line is, it varies from audience to audience. What your audience expects out of each email will determine the emails better or worse open rates.
Why Optimize Email Subject Lines?
The subject line leads the crux of the content within. It creates the very first impression on the recipient. In other words, an email subject line is a gateway towards entering the realm of massive email open rates.
If one wants a recipient to not only open and read an email but also take meaningful action, then start optimization with the subject line.
Email Subject for Better Open Rates: The Do’s and Dont’s
Before we get into writing email subject lines, I want you to go through the bullet list below. These are email subject line best practices.
- Provide a solution to the common problem among the recipients.
- Entice readers to click by maintaining a recipient’s natural curiosity.
- Are your readers looking for discount or offers? Announce a limited time offer or a free give away to excite them.
- Are your recipients looking for your views on recent news? Stay relevant by providing industry-specific news.
- Everyone loves a thank you. From time to time admire each recipient to be on your list.
- Everyone loves to be personal. Make sure each email address the recipients with their name.
- Wrap up an intriguing story around the subject line.
- Avoid creating unnecessary urgency or scarcity beyond a point, or else it will lose the genuineness.
- Little suspense is fine, but too much anxiety in the email subject line may not help in the open rates.
- Create some emails to share knowledge, some emails for interaction, and others for sales.
- The story in the subject line shouldn’t be irrelevant to the content.
- Make sure the subject line doesn’t confuse the recipient.
The Formula of Better Email Subject Lines
Now, let’s get down to the list of tips writing better email subject lines.
1. The KISS Strategy
KISS is an acronym to “Keep It Short Silly” for email subject lines. If it’s too long, the recipient will see dots after a set of characters.
People don’t always view email on desktop. On mobile devices, the screen is small. A very long subject line may not be readable.
An average of 7 emails out of 10 readers is on mobile. Again, it can vary from niche to niche, but still, the majority of your recipients will see the email on mobile. Hence, to increase the open rate, the email subject line shall be limited between 40 to 50 characters.
Doing this, the recipient who’s scanning the emails will comfortably read the whole subject line. Furthermore, it will help him decide if he wishes to open and read it.
How to Devise a Short and Simple Subject Line?
Eliminate unwanted words and details from the subject line.
For example, an e-commerce seller wants to inform his/her buyers about the new collection.
In this case, “New Classic Comfort Designs in Store Now” sounds better compared to “Hurry Up! New Men, Women & Kids Wear Classic Designs in Online Store Now!”
Eliminating unwanted details in the subject line implies to regular emails too.
2. No Vague Promises
Committing in the subject line is not bad. But keeping the promise in the email content is crucial. Else recipients will lose interest in emails from you, and no matter how well you craft subjects in the future, they won’t open.
If the email fails to deliver the promise of the subject line, it’s a clickbait subject, which is always an avoid.
It is a sure shot way to lose the trust of the recipients. As a result, the open rate will go down, and subscribers will start falling apart. The conclusion is pretty simple – Do not lure readers into opening your emails with false promises.
3. Be Quick to Grab Attention
The ideal attention span of humans is less than a goldfish.
According to WyzOwl, the attention span gradually decreased from 12 seconds to 8.25 seconds in the last 15 years. It means an email has less than 8 seconds to get noticed. The reason why I am writing this is the recipient scans their inbox before they click.
Hence, the attention span, the scanning, and the email title length decide the probability of opening an email. It all boils down to clear and concise language in the subject line.
4. Time the Email Right
What if McDonald’s delivers an email when you are about to leave the office on Friday and is ready to go out dining with an enticing offer of “Get Any Burger Free!”
What will you do? No points for guessing, you will drag your friends as well.
Look at the subject line, timing, and the day selected to send an email with an irresistible offer. Perfectly nailing it. Anyone in a weekend mood will click this email and bag the offer.
There can be numerous examples of sending the email at the right time. A recent email I got an offer when my bike insurance was expiring.
So, for me, it was a good deal. But behind the scene, if you look, the insurance company worked out smartly. They sent me an email reminder a couple of months prior.
Doing this, they escalated the chances of opening the email. Not only open and read but take action (renew) by including a great offer and a CTA.
This way, the email subject line plays an important role when sent at the right time.
You know your audience, so send them an email when it will have the maximum impact and provide maximum value.
5. Use Action Words
The core purpose of sending an email is to inspire action. The action can be anything between a phone call, text message, revert email, visiting physically, make an appointment, subscribe, or reserve a table.
An action is a reaction of emotion. And language ignites excitement. People act on words they read, which connects them with the offers.
The connection happens when an email subject line uses action words. Additionally, an action word can ridiculously increase the click and open rate of an email.
A subject line can be more attractive if the action word appears in the beginning.
Let’s see an example.
Imagine IPL announcing dinner with legendary Indian skipper MS Dhoni. And you receive a promotional email with the subject line – Meal with MS Dhoni.
This 18 character email title is content in itself. It is explosive, action-oriented, and everything else that comes to your mind. Let me explain HOW?
As soon as you read the title, you start picturizing yourself with MS Dhoni at a dinner table. Why did this happen? It is because the word MEAL ignited an emotion and you subconsciously slip into a dream sequence.
You started dreaming of eating with MS Dhoni even before the actual event took place. That’s envisioning. Hence, using action Words can elevate the chances of an email getting high CTR.
6. Pamper the Reader
Making a reader feel particular works magically. It’s the utmost powerful. We feel special when pampered.
The same goes for pampering a reader with beautiful words and phrases. See the list below:
- For a loyal client like you
- You are special for us
- Exclusively for You
- A unique gift on your birthday
- An exclusive invitation to you on our 100th-anniversary celebration
- Only for special 100 invitees – You are the one!
The Bottom Line
The sender can’t always monitor the mood of a subscriber. The usual response of a recipient will be “Ohh, not again” whenever he/she sees an irrelevant email.
Do you intend to fall in this category?
To maintain the interest level of a subscriber, it becomes crucial to keep them engaged in the long run. However, to do this, one needs to keep on hustling the email subject line.
To make things easy, I will recommend you to read the book Advertising Headlines that Make You Rich. One can use suggestions given in the book to write his/her next email subject line.
Further Reading …