Remember the last time you opened an email that you knew came from an email marketing campaign. What was the thing that made you open it? It had an attention-grabbing subject line. If the subject line didn’t mesmerize you, then you wouldn’t have opened it. Your time is too precious to check every email that you receive. Without a good enough subject line, you would have simply marked it as read, and it would have remained in your inbox.
Table of Contents
- What is the Subject in an Email?
- Why is the Subject Line important in Email Marketing
- How to Measure if a Subject Line is working as intended?
- 12 Best practices to create good email subject lines
- 15 Email Subject Lines that work in Email Marketing
- 5 Email Subject Line testing tools
What is the Subject in an Email?
The subject line is the first that the reader will notice in your email. The moment the email lands in their inbox, they will see the subject line. It is often a short phrase and may have horizontal bars, commas, or even an exclamation mark. Traditionally, the purpose of the subject line is to provide the reader with a small gist relevant to the content in the email.
In marketing, the purpose is slightly different. In marketing, we use this subject line to attract the reader. The idea is to demand and attract the reader to read the subject line. It is not to seek attention, and that is why the content on the subject line has to be relevant to the content on the email. This is one of the most essential tricks to learn in email marketing. A compelling subject line will increase your Open Rates and may even positively impact your email marketing campaign’s click-through rate (CTR) rate.
Think of your email marketing subject line as the headline of a news article. An effective headline will captivate the reader and welcome them to the content that the article contains. Similarly, a marketing email subject line is a captivating tool to make the customer open your email. If you do it right, you will make the first step of getting them in the funnel. If you don’t get it right, the lead will be so cold that you will need to work twice as hard to open it up.
Why is the Subject Line important in Email Marketing?
Imagine you have a beautiful hotel, where you have set up some of the best possible facilities known to people around the world. You are open 24/7 and have staff across four different shifts, each shift consisting of 6 hours a day. You have every reason to be proud of yourself because there aren’t that many hotels that can compete with you. There is one small catch. You don’t have the most guests in your area mainly because your hotel doesn’t have a welcoming vibe. No, it is beautiful and everything it should be. The problem is that no one knows about your hotel; you never bothered marketing it. There are no signboards or banners suggesting that it is a hotel. Therefore, no one visits it.
Your marketing email is exactly the same thing. Usually, an email that has no subject either will bounce back to your inbox or will go to the spam box of the recipient. This is not the only reason to use a subject. As we have explained with the above example, you want your email to be read. You have worked hard for this campaign; you can’t let this go to waste just like that. Therefore, it is important from your perspective that your customer gets to read your email. A subject line also helps the customer understand the content of your email. If your email doesn’t have a subject line and it still lands on the inbox of your customer, they are likely to move it to bin or spam.
You don’t want those things; you want them to go through your email, enable loading images, and click on the buttons, images, or links. The best way to ensure those things may happen is by including a subject line.
How to Measure if a Subject Line is Working as Intended?
There are many ways of testing a subject line. The most common being through a test mail. For this, you would have to create a list with a small portion of your contacts. After arranging the list, you may put your content on a test mail and share it with the list that you have created for testing your email. This email test should help you understand how well your email marketing subject line may do on the campaign. If you really want your campaign to be a hit, you would need a subject line that has a very good Open Rate.
Open Rates of an email marketing campaign often decide the outcome of the campaign. At the same time, it is true that Open Rates are not everything. There are far more important things to consider, like CTR. However, that doesn’t mean that an open rate isn’t useful at all. In most cases, a customer opens your email after reading the subject line of your email. So, the Open Rate of an email could be considered to be an interesting point. You would need to make sure that your email subject line has everything that you would need to captivate the customer. If you do that, the customer is bound to open that email.
There are many marketing tools available where you may check the open rates for the emails in your campaigns. Sendinblue has a statistics section, where you may check most of the data that is relevant to your campaign. This feature is also available with other service providers like Mailchimp, Sendgrid, etc. The statistics usually include the Open Rate, Click Through Rate, Email Bounces, etc. These statistics are meant to assist you in your email marketing campaign. You may use these statistics for reference in your campaign. They are indications of the progress you have made.
12 Best Practices to Create Good Email Subject Lines
- Creating a sense of urgency in your email marketing subject lines is sure to catch attention. This is the first step towards creating a good subject line. For a subject line to work the way it should, it needs to have an impact on the customer. The idea is to compel the customer to act, and a sense of urgency is the best way to do it.
- You need to arouse their curiosity and make them think twice. When you go fishing, you throw a bait, and if the fish bites, you can reel it in. What makes the fish bite your bait? There’s enough food in the water for that thing. Hunger isn’t your answer; it is curiosity. This concept is also applicable in email marketing. If you can make the customer curious, then there is a higher chance for them to warm up to you.
- Personalize the subject line to appeal to the recipient. The recipient of the email may be a bank employee, a doctor, or even a CEO of a multinational company. The idea is to appeal to them and make them open your email. So, personalize the subject line into something that would appeal to them. If it isn’t appealing to them, they would never open it.
- Think of a cool title to grab attention with your email marketing subject line. A customer is like a kid in a candy store. Kids are attracted to three things; colors, cool titles, and images. This is also applicable for your customer who wants to see a cool title on the subject line. Something that would convince him to open that email. The only difference between your customer and the kid is that you may be able to hold your customer’s attention for a longer period of time.
- Keeping it short is the best way to go as far as subject lines are concerned. A long subject line will bore the recipient. You don’t want them bored; you want them eager and ready to devour absolutely anything you throw at them. The best way to go about it would be to keep yourself a word limit or a character limit. Something like that should help you concise the email marketing subject line.
- Don’t lie or make false promises in the subject line. Imagine you receive an email with the subject, “You have won a million dollars.” When you opened it, you realized that the content of the email had nothing to do with the subject. Would you be disappointed? Yes, you would be heartbroken and may consider reporting the email. That is the reason you shouldn’t lie on the subject line or make false promises. Apart from that, a reported email from a campaign will have a negative impact on it.
- Giving away too much information may not be fruitful for your campaign. You don’t want the customer to find out too much about your campaign until they decide to open the email and read it themselves. This is because you want them to go through the email. Hence, it would be better if you could just keep things subtle on the email marketing subject line. Keep it interesting, though; they are more likely to open if they are interested.
- Using action-oriented verbs on your marketing email subject line could help your email marketing campaign. As we stated earlier, you want them, customers, to be compelled to open the email. To do that, you need a subject line that begins with an action-oriented verb. Action-oriented verbs will help you get the message across and increase your chances of making the recipient open your email. Just make sure not to be a little too liberal with the verbs.
- Making your customer feel special is another good strategy to compel them to open the email. Phrases like “exclusively for you” and “Special offer” get thrown around like it’s no one’s business, and that isn’t necessarily something that you should be doing. You need to use these words to make the customer feel special, but not overuse them. Just like the action-oriented verbs, the best option is to keep the subject line subtle and the customer interested.
- Try using puns if you really want to get their attention. A good pun, when intended, can make or break a deal. Once again, the trick is to keep things simple. You don’t want the customer to think too much after reading the pun. They should be able to understand it after reading it. Using a simple and harmless pun will help you in your customer engagement as well. Who knows? They might even end up clicking on the button or link on the email.
- Avoid using all the capital letters in the email subject line. A subject line shouldn’t have all the words written in capital letters. It creates a false sense of intensity, as the recipient may perceive it to be a little aggressive. You shouldn’t come across as overly aggressive. That is a wrong move in marketing. The idea is to come across as approachable, friendly, and calm. A subject line with all capital letters isn’t the best way to achieve that.
- Don’t use too many exclamation marks in your email subject line. This is something you need to follow. In marketing, we avoid this for two reasons; it doesn’t look nice, and it may come across as too aggressive. By now, you already know how you should sound to your customer. Being Aggressive isn’t the way as it will drive them away. You want to lure them into you.
After giving that information, it is important that we discuss some ideal subject lines for email marketing campaigns.
15 Email Subject Lines that work in Email Marketing
- Subject lines that talk about lessons or things to learn. For example, 5 Lessons to learn about Life from Email Marketing.
- Use “How” on the subject on emails that learning material or informative content. For example, Here are 25 reasons why the Earth is a Globe.
- Talk about “The Best” on emails that are meant to promote explanatory or educational articles. For example, Here are some of the Best Practices for Email Marketing.
- Explain the things that you do to a recipient. For example; Here’s why We Use Google Pay and not PayTM
- Use emails that show urgency. For example, Open this Email Right Now to learn about a New Offer.
- Talk about case studies to promote articles on case studies. For example, This Case Study on 50 million people will blow your mind.
- Sometimes it is best to keep the subject line very simple. For example, Your Request for an Upgrade is being processed.
- Sometimes a bit of humor could be useful too. For example, Learn to Defend against the Dark Arts of Internet Hacking.
- Draw attention by using outrageous information that many people aren’t likely to know. For example, Everyone is Polygamous: Here’s What Science Says.
- Utilize short subject lines that could be very useful. For example, Your Renewal Button is here.
- Use numbers in email marketing subject lines. For example, 21 Reasons why you should sleep more.
- Use lists on your subject lines to attract the customer. For example, Here’s a List of To-Dos to Lost Weight.
- You could use personalized email and make them feel special. For example, Only for you: 5-Day Trip to Goa.
- Ask compelling questions in your email’s subject line. For example, Is the meat available in restaurants truly Kosher?
- Tantalize their Fear Of Missing Out. For example, Oops! Your missing out on our Sunday Offers.
Email Subject Line testing Tools
Many tools could be used to check the subject line for your emails. However, some stand out from the rest of the herd because of their efficiency.
Test Subject by Zurb
Test Subject is a great subject line testing tool provided by Zurb. This tool provides an overview of how your copy will appear to your audience. This includes everything; your content, link, subject line, etc. This tool puts you in your customer’s shoes and makes you see what they see.
Email Subject Line Grader:
Email Subject Line Grader is a free subject line testing tool that comes with an overall numerical score for your email after analyzing all the different aspects of it.
They rate your subject line on a scale of 100. Apart from rating your subject line, the tool gives you tips on improving your subject line to get the highest opens.
Headline Analyzer is considered to be one of the best tools to check your email marketing subject line. This tool was primarily supposed to analyze the headers for blogs and articles, but it somehow still works on emails.
ISnotSPAM is one of the most used tools by email marketers. The reason it is so popular is its efficiency. This tool could check not only your subject line but also the spam score of your email. Thus, making it one of the most versatile tools for email marketing.
All you have to do is compose an email marketing campaign and send a test email to the email address given on their website. Once you send the email, you can view a report of your email detailing potential problems, if any.
Automizy has one of the independent subject analyzers on the internet. You can simply copy-paste the subject line from your email and drop it on their website. Yes, it’s that simple.
The bottom line is that the subject for your email will vary depending on the campaign, the recipient, and the campaign period. I hope the tips and examples for the email subject line help you in your email campaign venture.