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Why email subject lines matter

How many emails land in your personal inbox each day? Dozens? Hundreds?

And how many of those do you actually read? Probably not many.

Well, the people on your mailing list will be doing exactly the same and deleting countless emails without even opening them - possibly including yours.

So how can you stop the people on your mailing list from ignoring you?

According to research from Finances Online, nearly two-thirds of recipients base their decision to open or delete emails on subject lines. 

That makes sense, as it’s the first part of an email that people will see, so it’s important that this grabs their attention and gives them a reason to click through.

Learn more: How to generate leads through email marketing

Make a good first impression

If you’re sending an email to people on your mailing list, it’s crucial that you think about what a subject line is actually for.

It’s the first point of contact between your business and your target audience and a tool to entice recipients to read more.

You want to catch their eye, pique interest and curiosity, stimulate emotion and show how you can offer value to recipients - all in just a few words.

If you can do this, people will be far more likely to open your email and follow the call to action within.

Interestingly, figures from Mailchimp show that the average open rate of emails across all industries is just 22.61 per cent.

So it’s clear that lots of people don’t feel that many of the emails businesses send appear compelling and relevant enough to open - even though they’ll have opted in to receive them.

Learn more: How to harness the power of email

How to craft effective email subject lines

Keep it brief

Ideally, an email subject line should be 50 characters at most, so it’s visible to recipients, regardless of what device they’re checking their inbox on.

Use people’s names

Personalised subject lines that incorporate the recipient’s name can help people perceive the email as being relevant to them.

Create a sense of urgency

Ideally, you want people to open emails promptly, so it’s well worth emphasising how the message you’re sending is time-sensitive.

Keep it brief

Ideally, an email subject line should be 50 characters at most, so it’s visible to recipients, regardless of what device they’re checking their inbox on.

Ask a question

Posing questions that relate with your audience’s needs, challenges and priorities can entice them to seek answers within your email.

Test different subject lines

Experimenting with different subject lines and tracking their performance allows you to see which ones are delivering the best open and click-through rates.

If you have data showing which subject lines are resonating with your target audience and producing good results, you can then alter your wider approach accordingly.

Avoid spam triggers

Email service providers have spam filters to stop users from receiving potentially harmful, irrelevant and fraudulent messages.

These can be triggered by certain words, phrases and excessive punctuation and capital letters, so make sure you don’t fall foul of these filters when writing your subject line.

Stay consistent with your brand identity

All your email subject lines should reflect the style and tone of voice you deploy across all your marketing and brand communications. By maintaining consistency across the board, you’ll be in a stronger position to engender trust and brand recognition among your target audience.

Learn more: How to grow your email list

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