You want your emails to be opened and read, which means you’re going to need an email subject line that compels users to do so. If you're like most people, your inbox is probably overflowing with unread emails. The average person receives 121 emails per day and sends out 40 of their own, according to a study by The Radicati Group.
With so many messages vying for our attention, it's no wonder that nearly half of all emails go unopened. The subject line is your chance to make a good first impression and convince the reader that your email is worth their time. So, how do you get your email noticed? By writing a catchy subject line, of course!
The first step in writing an effective subject line is to understand your audience. Who are you writing to and what would be most likely to catch their attention? Once you know who you're writing to, it's time to start brainstorming.
A great way to come up with ideas is to think about what questions your recipients might have or what problems they might be facing. For example, if you're a real estate agent, your clients might be wondering "What's the best time of year to sell my home?" or "How can I get the most money for my house?" Use these questions as inspiration for your subject lines.
Now that you understand who you're writing to and what they want to know from you, you're ready to write a catchy email subject line that grabs the reader's attention. Use these tips to get started:
Keep it short and sweet: Your subject line should be short, sweet, and to the point. Longer subject lines tend to get cut off in inboxes and users are less likely to open an email if they can’t tell what it’s about right away. Aim for 50 characters with spaces or less—the shorter, the better.
Think like a journalist: You only have a few words to make an impression, so make them count. A great way to do this is to think like a journalist. A good headline needs to be attention-grabbing, informative, and interesting. It should give the reader a taste of what's to come without giving away too much information. Just like a news headline, your goal is to make people want to read more.
Be specific: Vague subject lines are unappealing and often uninteresting. You want your readers to know exactly what they’re going to get when they open your email, so be specific about what you’re offering. For example, “Save 20% on Your Next Purchase” is more compelling than “Sale!”
Use keywords strategically: Just like with any piece of writing, it's important to use keywords strategically in your email subject lines. Keywords are the words and phrases that people use when they're searching for something online.
By including relevant keywords in your subject lines, you can boost your chances of showing up in someone's inbox when they're searching for a topic related to your business. But beware of keyword stuffing— packing too many keywords into your subject line will not only turn off potential customers but could also get you marked as spam.
Personalize it: Personalized subject lines are more likely to be opened than generic ones. If you have the name of the recipient, use it! A simple “Hi [name],” can go a long way. Or, if you have segmented your list, send emails with relevant content directly to those segments—users will appreciate feeling like you understand their needs and interests.
Make it urgent—but not too urgent: Crafting a sense of urgency in your subject line can be a great way to get users to open your email right away. But beware—too much urgency can come across as pushy or desperate. A good rule of thumb is to use words like “today only” or “24-hour sale” sparingly and mix them up with other types of subject lines frequently so that users don’t become immune to them.
Another approach is to make your subject line sound urgent like there's something your recipient needs to know right away. For example, "Time-sensitive: new listing in your neighborhood!" or "Important update about your upcoming appointment."
Use actionable language: When possible, use verbs that inspire action in your subject lines (e.g., “start saving now,” “ Shop our new arrivals,” etc.). This type of language helps initiate the desired behavior from recipients and gets them excited about what they will find when they open your email. Just be careful not to make promises you can’t deliver on in the body of the email!
Include your brand name: Brand recognition is a powerful thing, and seeing your company name in the subject line can prompt people to open your email, even if they don't recognize the sender. Including your brand name in the subject line can also help to build recognition and trust, both of which are essential for maintaining a successful business.
Of course, you don't want to overdo it - using your brand name too frequently can come across as spammy. However, including it once in a while can be a great way to increase open rates and ensure that your message is seen by your target audience.
Test, test, and test again!: If you're finding that your open rate is not what you expected, you may need to do some investigating. One way to improve your open rates is to A/B test your subject lines. This involves sending out two different versions of your email with slightly different subject lines and then tracking which version performs better. By carefully analyzing the results of your A/B tests, you can gradually refine your subject lines until you're getting the best possible results and optimize your open rates over time.
An effective email subject line is key to getting users to open and engage with your emails—after all, if they don’t open the email, they can’t take advantage of whatever great offer or content you have inside. By following these tips, you can write compelling email subject lines that will help increase both the number of opens and clicks for all of your emails moving forward!
Do you have any other tips for writing great email subject lines? Share them in the comments below!