In this day and age, getting people to pay attention to what your brand has to say is trickier than ever. We are bombarded with messages daily. From social media adverts, to chatbots, to product placement on TV; it’s no wonder people are beginning to switch off. If only there was a short and snappy way to alert people of the value your content could bring them…Enter your secret weapon: the subject line.
When done correctly, subject lines are a fantastic tool to grab your audience’s attention, inform them of what’s in your email and leave a lasting impression of your brand’s personality. However, if you stick to the usual yawn-inducing formula of GREETING + OFFER + PROMPT, you can expect disappointing open rates.
You want your content to reach your audience’s heart rather than sitting sadly in their inbox. Learning to make your message stand out is super important, and surprisingly, not enough brands are optimising their subject lines. So how do you get heard above the noise?
Don’t go all cloak and dagger on your audience. We know that creating curiosity is a great way to get them to open your email, but it’s got to be done right.
You’ve got to build up with contents of the email enough to make them want to open up, but without making it uninteresting. For example, “Thanks for signing up” is a bit flat, they know it’s just a courtesy message and probably won’t see the value in opening. “Welcome aboard! Check out our free guide” incentivises their sign up and continued engagement with you.
We know you can’t say it all in the subject line, but giving them an idea of what’s inside will prompt them to find out more. This also prevents your emails from looking spammy or suspicious.
Maybe I’m just a narcissist, but does anyone else ever get a little flutter of intrigue when a brand addresses you by name in their subject line? Email personalisation has been around for some time now, but it’s still as effective as ever.
Including your recipient’s name in the subject line assures them that the email was intended for them personally and not just for anyone and everyone. It also gives the illusion that a living, breathing human has personally decided to email them, rather than an automated batch send.
Keep it simple
Because of pesky character count limits, email subject lines often cut off on mobile devices after 50 characters. You really want to keep it short and sweet so none of your messaging gets lost in the ether. Flowery language and long sentences won’t compel someone to open your email if it’s not immediately clear what they can expect from it.
Interestingly enough, this email report from Adestra showed that certain words actually decrease open rate significantly. Words like “newsletter”, “latest” and “top stories” can bring your score down, so avoid using them where possible.
Join up the dots
It’s great to have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your industry and area so you can jump on the trends with attention-grabbing prompts. It may seem obvious, but it really helps to join your subject matter up with stuff that’s going on at the time so your content doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
Timing also plays a huge role in catching your customer when they’re most open to communication. For example, if you were putting on a lunchtime offer, you could send it at 11am when people’s bellies are starting to rumble with a subject line “Feeling peckish, Bob? Lunch is one click away”. BOOM! You’ve got Bob’s mouth watering with your promise of an easy lunch just when he’s at his most impressionable.
We know it adds a few additional steps to what should be a straightforward email send, but you’ll reap the rewards by building a stronger, more trusting relationship with your audience. Your content is worth reading, so view the subject line as your perfect vessel for that last push to ensure it gets seen.