7 Tips on Writing Irresistible Subject Lines for your Email Campaign

On June 8, 2010, wrote:

An E-mail marketing campaign is a great, cost-effective way to communicate your messages to a target audience – but only, of course, if you get them to actually open the E-mails that have come from you. Which isn’t guaranteed: sometimes you spend hours crafting a message for your campaign and when it finally gets to the inboxes of your mailing list and subscribers, they just delete it without ever reading. The wasted effort! The lost time! The missed opportunities!

Don’t worry. There is a solution, and it comes in the form of a great, irresistible subject line.

While it’s easy to think that your recipients will hardly care about it, the text you write out in the subject line is one of the single most important factors in the success of your E-mail marketing campaign. It separates the kind of E-mail that goes straight to the trash bin and the kind of E-mail that grabs the attention and tickles one’s curiosity and therefore cannot not be read.

Here are seven great tips on how to write an irresistible subject line:

1. Be Concise

Think of your subject line as a Twitter status update – only, you have a count of 50 characters or less. According to E-mail marketing studies, subject lines with 50 characters or less enjoy higher click-through rates than those with more than 50 characters – and the difference is by a staggering 75 percent. Tease your recipients and subscribers – not lengthily, but briefly and concisely. And don’t forget to write out your subject line in a way that gives them an idea of what your E-mail message is all about.

2. Brand it

For most small business owners and marketers, majority of those in their mailing lists are subscribers or customers. This means that the people had signed up one way or another to receive updates and follow the brand, company, or product. If you’re in the same position – if your recipients are subscribers and customers – then it’s going to be hugely beneficial to harness the power of name recognition. Include your brand name in the subject line. That way, recipients will know that they indeed made the decision to hear from you, and that there’s no harm in opening your E-mail message.

3. Take a cue from the papers

A great way to craft an irresistible subject line is by scanning your local paper and taking a cue from the headlines that grab your attention. How were these written? How did they highlight or encapsulate the corresponding story’s contents despite restrictions on space? From there you will find similarities and clues on how to grab the audience’s attention using your subject line.

4. Create intrigue

As mentioned above, an E-mail with a subject line that tickles a reader’s curiosity is more likely to be read than a generic one that doesn’t hold much mystery. So create a bit of intrigue as you write your subject line. Make recipients feel as though they just have to read the E-mail, lest they have to endure the feeling of letting something possibly important or amazing pass them by.

5. Teach or ask

If you cannot quite pull off that perfect, trash-bin-proof subject line, consider writing something that offers readers helpful, educational information. Think along the lines of “how to do this” or “the ultimate guide to that” or others of the same sort. You can also immediately engage with recipients by asking them a question. By the time your message arrives in their inbox, they’d already be answering the interrogative subject line in their minds.

6. Avoid spammy language

When planning any E-mail marketing campaign, remember to never go overboard with your attempts to be catchy. This means avoiding spammy constructions of words, as well resisting the temptation to use ALL CAPS and multiple exclamation points. If you’re not quite sure how to draw the line, you can run your subject line through online spam check tools and checkers.

7. Test

Before rolling out your whole E-mail campaign, conduct tests first to see which subject lines are most effective. It’s a classic tactic, and the information that you gather will certainly help you make significant improvements in crafting irresistible subject lines.


Stay Connected, Subscribe to the Lakeshore Branding blog feed via RSS, email and you can follow Lakeshore Branding on Twitter!

What do you think? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

3 responses to “7 Tips on Writing Irresistible Subject Lines for your Email Campaign”

  1. Andy Donovan says:

    Great advice especially for “newbies” to email marketing and positive reinforcement for those of us doing this for a few years.

    The key is to break through the clutter and get our subscribers to open the email and offering these tips up can only help everyone here. Thanks on behal of those writing and reading them. Cheers,

    Andy

  2. Aliza Shehpatii says:

    Really useful stuff – I do believe that e-mail is still important, if you know the sender of the e-mail you’re bound to read the content, otherwise the subject line is where we decide “read” or “rather not”.
    cheers

  3. Chris Campbell says:

    Thank you, Aliza!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *