Writing Strong Subject Lines

Your marketing emails are only as good as their subject lines. Whether your email blast aims to promote your products, inform your readership, or engage new customers, your best efforts won’t get anywhere if the subject line can’t get your readers to open the email. Keep these points in mind to avoid ailing open rates:

Short and Simple
The ideal subject line is 50 characters or less. That’s not much space to expound on the content of your message, so don’t. Stick to summing up the most important point – the benefit.

Words to Avoid
Avoid cluttering up your 50 characters with spammy buzzwords and special characters. Words like “discount,” “save,” and “open” have long sent mass emails straight to the spam filter, but some unlikely keywords have also popped up. In a recent study by Adestra, a British marketing firm, the words “learn” and “report” delivered the worst results. MailChimp, a popular U.S.-based e-mail service provider, also discovered that using the words “help,” “percent off,” or “reminder,” hurt open rates.

Test
The best way to gauge the strength of your subject line is to put it to the test. Many email marketing service providers have features that allow you to view open rates and some, like iContact, will even let you segment those results by test subject line. MailChimp has developed a subject line researcher that can help you determine the strength of your buzzwords. They also feature an A/B split testing tool that lets you run two different subject lines in the same batch of emails. If your provider doesn’t include A/B testing, you can also try sending two batches with different subject lines, then comparing the open rates and what links were clicked. Which subject line ultimately led to more click-throughs?

By Prasana William

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