Little known ways to improve your subject lines

Engaging your customers by email is tricky, so how do you get them to read it in the first place? Many email marketers have struggled with this over the years. Some have made it work, most, however, have not. How can you increase your chances of success?

Studies have shown that certain words and phrases in subject lines have a far more positive affect on your open rate and others quite predictably have the opposite effect. “Thank you” is the subject line that gets the most opens. This could be because so many automated responses and receipts contain this as the headline, and as you are likely not to open with “thank you” unless it’s your first email to someone or you’ve just had interaction with someone, it’s hardly going to be your first port of call for your subject lines.

Subject Lines that include separate topics divided up on the next best thing. For example, “Mid-season Sale | New, bigger and better than ever | Win an Apple iPad | Show us your autumn look with #thisautumn”. The impact of these could be down to either the feeling of getting more value from just one email, or simply that by covering more topics you attract different demographics with different sets of interests.

Keeping your subject new, relevant and up to date can also make a difference. Words like “bulletin”, “breaking” and “order today” are all good ways to draw your subscribers into your emails. They appear to appeal to our yearning for being in the know, a strong desire, one that has led to the rise of global news and social media that should not be underestimated.

Which words should you be avoiding though? “Journal” has got to be one of the worst, with “training” and “forecast” not far behind. Mostly you should do your best to avoid words that feel like they belong in a business. They are all well and good for use within your business but can have a catastrophic effect if you try them on your customers. Oh and yes, this does apply to B2B businesses. Even when dealing in a professional capacity they still like to be treated as people, and furnishing them with your latest “whitepaper” or “report” may be useful to them, they may even want a copy, but it certainly won’t make them open with your emails.

If you’re struggling with your subject lines or are uncertain of how your customers might see them, send us a copy and we’ll rate them for you.