We talk a lot about email subject lines on the mailingmanager blog, but for one very good reason.

Of all the time you spend on your email marketing campaigns, the time invested in crafting the perfect subject line will be the most important.

It’s the thing recipients see first, and if you get it wrong, your hard work will disappear without trace, no matter how great the content within the email happened to be.

Get it right, however, and you’ll enjoy a fantastic return on investment.

Start by making sure you include these five things in every email subject line:

1. Get really personal

Nope, we’re not suggesting you resort to calling your recipients nasty names – just their own.

If you include the contact’s name within the subject line, they’re more likely to open it, because it shows you care; your email, clearly, was for this person and this person only.

Example: Dave, your subscription to Service X just got more awesome!

2. Try a little poetry

Sound daft? Not so.

Subject lines should slip off the tongue and demand to be read. And, when you think about it, that’s exactly what poetry does so well.

Try using rhyming couplets, alliteration and puns in your subject lines. As daft as it sounds, these kinds of technique are more likely to get you noticed.

Example: Our top tech tools that’ll make you drool

3. Put the important stuff first

Often referred to as ‘front loading’, if you put the important words at the start of the subject line, people will get to see what it’s all about, quickly.

Your recipients are time poor, and you simply don’t have the luxury of their attention for any more than a few seconds. Make it easy to discover exactly what your email is all about – instantly.

Example: Earn 30 more points by inviting a friend

4. Ask a question

Humans love talking about themselves.

Come on, admit it – you do, too. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but as marketers, we need to make sure we take advantage of the desire people have to rattle on about their own interests and beliefs.

If you ask a question in the subject line, we think you’ll see some impressive engagement.

Oh, and make sure you combine it with some personalisation, too!

Example: Sarah, we’d like your opinion on this…

5. Add a number, or 2

Most of your recipients will respond well to numbers within subject lines if they relate to a statistic that matters to them or a particular offer.

We’ve done it with the title of this blog post, and if you’re still reading, clearly, it worked. Expect the same level of engagement from your subscribers if you employ similar tactics with subject lines.

Example: 5 reasons to check out our 20% discount weekend

Wrapping up

Most importantly, have fun with your subject lines! I can guarantee that the emails you’ve received recently that most interested you were the ones which were playful from the off.

If your subject lines are stuffy, non-inventive and entirely safe, your emails won’t get opened.

Use our tips above, and all that hard work you put into your email marketing campaigns won’t be lost.

About 

Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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