Your email subject line has a very important job, but at the same time, it’s a very simple job.
That job is to get people to open your email. That’s all it has to do. It needs to pique your subscribers interest, so they open up. It doesn’t necessarily have to tell them what your email is all about or create world peace. It just needs to get them to open up.
Here are 10 ways to work your subject lines for better open rates:
1. Use Numbers In The Subject Line. One of the most effective tips for grabbing attention is to use a number in the subject line or headline. For example, “3 Tips to Live a Better Life”, “5 Mistakes You’re probably Making Right Now”, and so on. You can place the number anywhere in the headline. For example, “How to Increase Your Savings by 10%”, or “How to Win Big. 5 Lottery Secrets”.
2. Add Urgency. Now you probably know that using phrases like “Act Now,” and “Limited Time Offer” are a surefire way to trigger the SPAM filters and they tend to get deleted rather than opened. Instead, try softer approaches to urge your readers to open the email. For example, “I’m shutting this one down,” or “3 Days until the biggest sale of the year.”
3. Make a Promise. Demonstrate the value of opening the email right in the subject line. If the email is about saving time, then tell your readers in the subject line. For example, “How to save an hour, or more, a day.” If you’re offering a coupon or promotional offer, say so in the subject line. “I’ve never offers such a deep discount before.”
4. Ask Questions. Questions get people involved. They are intrigued and want to know the answer. For example, “Are you making these gardening mistakes?” or “Don’t you hate it when…” and fill in the blank.
5. Keep it Short. Your readers are only going to be able to see the first couple of words of your subject line. Try to keep it to fewer than 50 characters. One short sentence should capture your message.
6. Get Personal. People don’t like to see their name in the subject line every time, but it’s a great technique to use sparingly when you really want to get their attention. In the revers, you might try including your name or your information in the subject line. For example, “How I Recovered from the Biggest Mistake of My Life.” or “Julie’s Closets Reveals our Best Organization Tips.”
7. Consider Trends and Keywords. What’s hot in your industry right now? Capitalize on it and include the phrases in your subject line (as long as it’s relevant to the email content.) For example, when the 4-Hour Work Week was published coaches, assistants, time management software and anyone who thought they could, attached themselves to that concept and hot phrase.
8. Use Emotions. You know what your readers are feeling and what they want to experience. Use that information to craft subject lines that they can relate to. For example an organizing expert might use the following subject line, “Want to have the closet of a debutante?” Or, “If you get frustrated by _______, open this email.”
9. The “How To”. The “How to” approach isn’t a new trick, however it still works provided that what you’re telling your audience how to do is relevant and interesting. For example, “How to frost a cake,” isn’t particularly compelling. “How to frost a cake that makes Martha Stewart proud” is more interesting.
10. Track the Data. Whatever technique you use to increase open rates, test and track the results. You won’t know what your audience responds to unless you take this extra step. Pay attention to what they like and craft subject lines you know your audience will open. You can also split test different subject lines to learn what your unique subscriber base responds too and build on those test results.
The key thing is to experiment and try different things, so you know what works. Add to that, your subscribers will probably respond to the variation as well. If they see the exact same thing each time, they may become desensitized, so keep working at it and grow those open rates.
Oh and remember when we mentioned Alice’s 30-Day Email Challenge a little while back? When you join here, you get all kinds of swipe files and handy tools, including a subject line swipe file that will come in handy when crafting your emails.
Go ahead and get started with the 30-Day Challenge. We’ll be back next week with some email conversion tips for you, so you can sell more stuff.