Email Subject Lines: 10 Tips to Make People Open – Email Thursday

By Exclusive Concepts


Most peoples email boxes are full of emails with offers, I know mine is. Therefore getting your email list subscribers to open your emails is crucial, you don’t want to get lost among the SPAM and no one can buy what you are selling if they don’t see the offer. Therefore you need an intriguing Subject Line to compel them to open. As the Marketing Associate here I find that creating the email copy is sometimes easier than writing the subject line. I am going to go over some tips today that are important to consider when writing an Email Subject Line, here are some tips I follow.

  1. Short and Sweet
    Fewer than 50 characters is best, if possible. Some studies suggest that keeping it fewer than 35 is more effective, but 50 is the usual cutoff. If you must go longer, make sure you put the important information first and keep it under 70 characters. Remember all of these limits include spaces!
  2. Avoid Spam Triggers
    Avoid words like Buy Now! Free! Or even $$$. Excessive punctuation can also set of spam triggers. Also Don’t use all Caps. Basically think of what type of language would prevent you from opening an email. Put yourself in their shoes. Three other words to avoid are help, percent off, and reminder.
  3. Don’t Sell, Sell, Sell
    Avoid hard sells. Don’t tell people what they NEED or MUST do – they are more likely to get annoyed from you bossing them around than they will feel a sense of urgency.
  4. Use the right Urgency
    Again order hard sells, but setting a deadline like “Order by 3pm Today” or “Mid-Season Sale ends at Midnight” will cause urgency. This can also allow you to conduct an email campaign. On a Monday you can send out a message that says “Only 5 days left” and on Thursday send an email that says “Only 24 hours…”
  5. Don’t Mislead
    Don’t stretch the truth in the subject line or promise more than the email can deliver. Readers will begin to distrust you if your subject line doesn’t reflect the offer – your open rate might be great but conversion is what you are looking for, you want your readers to take some sort of action.
  6. Personalize
    Personalizing based on your user’s product preferences or past purchases will increase opens. You can also personalize be location, name, or business type. One of my favorite things about Rue La La, a website that offers deals from famous brands, is that they send me an email when a brand I have bought before becomes available again.
  7. Identify Yourself
    If you are sending out to a database regularly, over time you want the most open worthy thing about the email to become that it is from you. Be clear about who you are in your “From” field. If you continuously provide read-worthy content, people will find it hard not to open your email.
  8. Focus on being Useful
    Make sure the promised message is useful to your reader. Let them know that what is in this email is worth reading and will be of benefit to them. Throw a bit of tease in to intrigue them, but like I said before, don’t stretch the truth!
  9. Test, and then Test Again
    Test continually to determine what works with your list. Pretest if you can. The day before, send two subject lines to a pre-set of your list, then send the winning subject line tot eh rest of your list.
  10. Write Early
    I find myself sometimes writing the subject line last and in a hurry. It should probably be the other way around. As you plan your email campaign think about what you want the subject line to get across. That way, you can better plan your campaign.

I will say it again. The subject line is SO important because it gets you in the door. If no one is compelled to open your email then no one will see all the great things you have to offer. Remember, open rate isn’t the only metric that matters, pay attention to conversions as well. Even if a small subset of your list opens, but they all convert, then it was a worthwhile campaign.