Three Email Subject Line Secrets

Email marketing is an extremely competitive field. To garner success, it’s imperative that you employ strategies that help you to stand out from the rest. The subject line of the email is the most important element of your message. If it contains anything that causes your message to go unread, you’ve unintentionally sabotaged yourself. There are many tips and pointers in the how-to field to help you achieve your marketing goals. Some are more critical than others. In truth, they shouldn’t be labeled secrets. They’re so simple, so obvious that you’ll say, “Well, of course, that makes sense!” Too often the most familiar tools are the ones we inadvertently miss. Consider these three:

1. Don’t Attract Filters

Daily, your recipients’ inboxes are overflowing with mail urging them to order, begging them to subscribe. The function of filters is to separate perceived junk from real content. If your subject line contains words that register as “trash,” it won’t matter how skillfully you’ve presented the selling points for your service or product; the reader will never see them. The key is to avoid words that are, in essence, made to order for the Spam and junk folders:

• Free
• Special
• Winner
• Act now
• Limited time

While such words may truly be relevant to your content, they’ll definitely say sales’ pitch if they leap from the subject line. Another ingredient to be included in this caveat section is the usage of all caps. Rather than grabbing the recipient’s attention as you intended, research in marketing methods has shown that a subject line with complete capitalization tends to turn readers off. Exaggerated emphasis can translate as a rude shout. It can be viewed as bullying; demanding that your mail be read. People don’t like to feel as if they’re being forced into action.

2. Shun Ambiguity

Gimmicky wording has no place in a serious marketing email subject line. Attempts to be witty or cutesy-clever often backfire. Such methods are generally interpreted as amateurish. The hook for whatever you’re selling should be crystal clear. Let the recipients know what your message is about right from the start. At the beginning of the subject line, use keywords that will appeal to the client segment you’re targeting. It’s a plus when you let people know they’re about to read something that directly relates to their interests. They’re made aware that your message isn’t meant to waste their time.

• Be Clear
• Be Honest
• Be Professional

3. Embrace Brevity

You may want to write the next great American novel but your subject line isn’t the venue for it. If your recipients can’t scan the line at a glance, your message will probably go unopened. Remember, time is what everyone seems to be short on these days. No one will spend that precious commodity wading through a lengthy subject line. A good rule of thumb is 30 to 50 words. Craft them carefully, keep each word on point and watch your click-through rate soar.

Aubrey Phelps is a writer for Fibernet. She has been in the SEO industry for six years. 


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