Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter – McKinsey reported
And you know it’s true. So you get on the email marketing bandwagon. Increase subscribers through amazing lead magnets. Sign up for an email marketing service like MailChimp or Infusionsoft. Write a great email. Add some visuals. Polish it up. You’re done. You start to press send when you see you haven’t written the email subject. So you quickly type something in and press send.
But when you check analytics, you see horrible open rates.
Why? What did you do wrong?
Chances are your email subject line sucks. Marketers often forget the importance of email subject lines and treat them as an after-thought. However, it’s a vital component of your email. If it doesn’t appeal to your audience, they’ll shrug and move on to the next email.
You don’t want that.
According to Convince and Convert, 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone.
Use these 5 ingenious principals to create subject lines with sky-high open rates.
Have you ever,
It’s not you. It’s all of us. People are known to act rashly and impulsively in urgent situations.
And this is what you need to take advantage of in email marketing. Encourage subscribers to open your emails by using urgency inducing words in the subject line.
According to Email Institute, ‘Subject lines that create a sense of urgency can give a 22% higher open rate.’
Use the following words (or short phrases) in your subject lines to browbeat subscribers into opening emails and taking action right away.
Several brands and businesses are using this strategy to boost their email open rates. Just open your inbox and read subject lines by popular brands.
Here are examples with sky-high open rates by Digital Marketer to get your creative minds whirring.
Everyone talks about our decreasing attention spans. Several have even gone as far as to compare us to goldfish and their attention spans. Smh.
But, why is this information so vital?
Because with every passing day, people have less and less time to consume content. With over 205 billion emails sent every single day, it’s essential for YOUR emails to stand out from the crowd and get clicked. This is where short, to-the-point email subject lines comes in.
According to ContactMonkey, ‘Subject lines with 1 to 2 words are opened 15% more than those with 3 or more words.’
Email marketers are reporting astounding success with short subject lines. Content Marketing Up saw a consistent increase in their open rates when they started using short email subject lines.
Glen Allsop of ViperChill saw an 83.2% increase in their open rate when he used a simple email subject line ‘Profitable Niche #2: Cloud Niche’.
According to him, ‘[This was] something pretty much unheard of in our industry.’
And how can we forget Obama’s email campaign? Subscribers received emails with subject lines like, ‘Wow’, ‘Change’, and the very famous ‘Hey.’ His digital team tested different headlines against each other with as much as 18 variations of the same subject line to see what works.
Short, cryptic subject lines seemed to do really well for him and helped raise most of the $690 million by Obama’s administration.
According to Adestra, ‘Subject lines with 30 or fewer characters have an above average open rate.’
Your palms start itching. You try to scroll past it but you keep thinking about it. Who? What? Why? These questions constantly revolve in your mind. And you know you won’t be able to sleep unless you appease your curiosity and find out. What do you do?!
You give in and click on the email to read ‘9 disgusting facts about Thanksgiving.’
Who doesn’t love solving a mystery?
Tease your subscribers and tell them part of the story instead of the whole thing.
Let’s assume your email consists of a case study. So, your email subject line could be ‘6 months ago, she lost everything. And now….’. You can use questions here, as well. For example, for the same case study you could say, ‘How xyz rebuilt her brand from scratch within 6 months.’
Money Dashboard boosted clicks by 228% when they used a mysterious email subject line. They tested the following 2 subject lines for a survey invitation email.
A: What’s your opinion here first name?
B: Please put us out of our misery
And these were the results when they pitted subject line B against subject line A. Amazing, isn’t it?
Here are stellar examples from popular brands to inspire you.
To encourage action, you need to use emotion-heavy headlines. It doesn’t necessarily involve tears and snot. It involves treating your subscribers as humans and writing emails like you’re talking to them.
As an interesting article on CoSchedule says, ‘Stop sending your emails with subject lines that sound like a robot. Your audience is human.’
There are several ways you can use emotion in your subject lines. Use their name in the subject line, tell them happy news, celebrate a global event together, get excited about things that excite your subscribers, and make it all about them instead of tooting your own horn all the time.
Coschedule compiled a list of 180+ words you can use to create emotional headlines (and email subject lines) that gently nudge subscribers into opening your emails.
Here are some real-life examples to help you create emotion-packed subject lines.
Make your subscribers laugh and they’ll open your email. Make them go ‘meh’ and they’ll probably unsubscribe you. It really is that simple.
However, not everyone can pull off humor successfully. There are several don’ts you need to be extra careful about when infusing marketing with humor.
Are you sure your email isn’t flagged as spam?
You don’t need to be a Nigerian prince promising to fill my bank account with a billion dollars to end up in my spam folder. One small word used in the subject line can easily flag your entire email as spam. And if your email ends up in spam, nobody will read your email. Zero open rates, zero sales.
Here’s a super-useful list by Hubspot which contains SPAM trigger words you need to avoid.