Generating perfect email subject lines can be a challenge, even if you’re a seasoned veteran in the email marketing world. It’s easy to make subject lines that are too sales-y to be trusted or too boring to be clicked. Finding a balance requires you to observe and get to know your specific audience.
In truth, there is no single, secret formula that promises constant success, but narrowing down your message to a few effective words is totally possible. Many small business owners and marketers are finding success with the techniques we’ll discuss below. So if you feel your strategy has gone stale, or it wasn’t working too well in the first place, read on for some fresh guidance.
Address Your Readers’ Strongest Concerns
Rather than just stating the topic or the content that will be included in your email, plainly address one of the pains or major problems your reader is likely to experience. This requires you to get inside their head a bit and ask yourself, “What worries are constantly running through their minds? What would they love help with or information about?” If you can pinpoint one of these concerns and thoroughly address it in your email, your audience will feel compelled to click, knowing you have insights that can solve their greatest problems.
Choose Punctuation Wisely
You might assume that punctuation in a subject line doesn’t make a difference in clickthrough rates, but think again. According to the email marketing platform, Klaviyo, “Yotpo analyzed 3.5 million emails that retailers sent to ask customers for reviews. Turns out that the punctuation mark at the end of an email subject line made a difference. Ending with an exclamation point? Expect a 27% decrease in review conversions. Ending with a question mark? You could see a 23% increase.”
Of course, this isn’t a rule for every email, and there will be exceptions. But it’s worth considering. Try throwing in some new punctuation – especially questions – if you’re not used to doing so.
Offer an Instant Tool to Help
Digital Marketer created an email subject line that read, “[DOWNLOAD] 15-Point Landing Page Audit.” Recognizing that their readers would certainly want a quick, free, and easy way to see if their landing pages could be improved, they offered just the thing. In this instance, Digital Marketer followed the golden rule of email marketing – offering value for free.
So consider if there is a way to offer instant value to your subscribers – a tool that is easy for you to create, easy for them to download, and solves a widespread problem for them.
Is Clickbait Unacceptable?
We’ve all received the dreaded clickbait email. Maybe it claimed you had won money, or that one simply solution could solve all of your problems. In whatever case, clickbait email subject lines try to entice the reader to click through with the assumption that what they need is just on the other side of that click. It’s instant gratification, or so it seems. But what we often fail to acknowledge is that clickbait-styled headlines can be true or false. When you click through, an email can either offer precisely what it claimed, or completely fail to deliver on what it promised. This makes all the difference between using clickbait in an ethical way and a sleazy way. For example, if you are truly offering a discount on an incredibly effective business course, stating that in your email subject lines is not sleazy – it’s simply the truth. So make sure that if you do use these kinds of subject lines, you follow through in the body of them email.
Email Subject Line Mistakes to Avoid
Now that we’ve discussed some things you can do, what sort of things should you avoid? First off, it’s important to avoiding going overboard with a sense of urgency. You don’t want every email you send to come off as dramatic and push – anyone with an email account is used to this and will assume these kinds of emails are spam. So save emails with an urgent tone for times when there is actually urgency – such as the very last day of a sale.