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5 Tips For Brilliant Email Subject Lines

Do you ever take an honest step back and think to yourself, “But, really, why did I open that email?” I pose the question because, like any New York Times bestseller, the title matters—and there is a clear distinction between content that’s first class and content that never makes it past TSA. It’s in your email subject lines.

Now, if you’re like me, you subscribe to a lot of blogs—some you always read, lots more that you don’t (but, at one time, you did). What happened between then and now? Let’s do an analysis—because knowing why some content connects with you while other content doesn’t will help you become a better marketer.

Take a look at the emails you opened so far this past week. At a glance, what do you think compelled you to open them? 

Were they from your favorite writers?

Were you on the hunt for new deals?

Or, was it the email subject lines that caught your attention?

Try to jot down some of the common threads between the emails that made it past your internal auditor.

Here are the top 5 tips I’ve learned over the years about email subject lines:

1) Lists: List-based content is still opened first (because people know they’re going to receive information in a clear and concise manner that will be easy to scan (people don’t read on the web, they scan). Also, always, always, always use numerals—not numbers—spelled out (i.e. 4 Reasons It Takes So Long To Build A New Website vs. Four Reasons It Take So Long To Build A New Website).

2) Test: Take advantage of A/B testing. Create two different subject lines for each email/blog you send out. The winning subject line gives you clues as to what resonates with your audience. Try to follow the same formula for your next emails.

3) Mobile: Most people use phones to read emails, not desktop computers or laptops. You probably compose your content on your computer but take into consideration the device(s) your recipients are likely to use to view your work. Try to position your “hook” at the beginning of the subject line, whenever possible so it appears on the small screen.

4) Change The Title: If you email your blogs to your lists (which I highly recommend) your email subject line does not have to be the same as the title of the blog. I teach bloggers how to optimize their posts for Google, which includes choosing a strong keyphrase. However, the title that you create for your blog (that includes a keyphrase that you’re optimizing for) may not work as well for your emailed version as it does on a search engine.

Power Tip: Get into the head and heart of your ideal clients when crafting your titles and subject lines. When your audience searches for information on Google, they are in research mode. But, when your email arrives in their inbox, however, they move into selection mode.

5) Use Google! There tons of experts on the web who share helpful tips about how to create email subject lines to increase the open rate of campaigns. Just do a search and you’ll get tons of advice. Just remember to filter everything through the lens of your ideal customer to ensure that the information is relevant to your objective.

Check out the blogs published by email marketing companies in particular (i.e. MailchimpHubspot and SPARK). The juicy tip here: make sure you select posts that are not more than six months to a year old. What worked well in, say, 2015 may not work well two years later.

Think of email marketing as a form of electronic gift-giving. Sure, email subject lines are nothing more than a few words—but they have the power to connect with the people you want to engage with through your writing.

Now, tell me, who wouldn’t want to get a piece of that? If you do, reach out to me – I’ll help you discover the right words to capture your ideal customer’s attention fast.

Give me 30 mins and I’ll give you a tip about your ideal client (or customer) that will make a difference in your business right now. Click here to schedule.

Betsy Kent

Betsy Kent

I work with ambitious entrepreneurs and businesses to uncover exactly who their ideal customers really are, what they want more than anything else in the world, and the perfect words to use on their websites, in their marketing, and when they talk about their business. I've guided hundreds of clients through my signature process and formula, and as a result, they’ve generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in new business revenue with more ease and confidence than ever before.