- by Alyson Shane
First impressions matter.
This is especially true when it comes to email subject lines. A well-written subject line will inspire your readers to not just open your email newsletter, but also to click through and read more.
However, if your emails are lacklustre then all they'll convey to your readers is that your content isn't worth their time. That sucks - not just for you, but for your reader!
So today let's stop the spread of bad email subject lines, and turn those so-so subject lines into subject lines with pizzaz (aka: earn high drive Open Rates and drive those click-throughs that are an integral part of our inbound marketing strategy.)
Let's dive right in:
Why Do Subject Lines Matter?
To understand why subject lines are so important, think about how you feel when you receive an email: what's the first thing you see?
The subject line; and whatever that subject line says determines how excited you are to open the email, right? Right - and this applies to everyone else out there, too: it's often the determining factor in whether or not a reader is excited to open your email.
In fact, Convince & Convert concluded that 35% of marketing emails are opened based on the subject line alone. This means that your subject lines are your first (and best) tactic to get readers to engage with your content.
What Makes a "Good" Email Subject Line Good?
When it comes to creating email subject lines that drive action it's imperative that we tap into a few areas that resonate with our readers. Those include:
Stating the Benefit
How will your reader benefit from opening your email? Are you offering them a great deal; providing them with info that will move their business forward; or teaching them something new?
By telling your readers what they can expect inside your email you can encourage them to open it right away. Some examples of headlines that state the benefit of the email include:
- Become a better public speaker (benefit: becoming a stronger public speaker.)
- PowerPoint hacks for your next presentation (benefit: PPT tips.)
- Reduce meeting length with this simple trick (benefit: make meetings shorter.)
Think of your subject like an article headline: would you click on an article with your email subject line? If not, it may be because your subject line isn't emotional enough.
When we say "get emotional" we don't mean throw a tantrum like Kim K's kid at fashion week. We mean using words that appeal to a reader's emotions and which incentivize them to take action based on how they feel. These can include:
- Happiness. Use your subject lines to make people feel happy, or joyous about something.
- Curiosity. Pique readers' curiosity with an enticing email subject line.
- Urgency. What can you say that will make your reader want to take action right now?
- Excitement. How can you make your readers feel excited to read your email?
This may sound all well and good, but what are some rhetorical tactics you can use to actually convey those emotions in your subject line? Let's look at a few ways:
Subject Lines That Inspire: Excitement
Nobody wants to open a boring email, and if your subject doesn't let your readers know that something exciting is inside then your email might find it's way straight to the Trash bin. Get your readers excited to discover what's inside by using these tactics:
- Use action verbs. Think back to your English class and tap into those action words! We love ThriveHive's list of powerful words for powerful email subject lines.
- Make your emails sound exclusive. Copy like "can you keep a secret" and "just for you" will make readers feel like they have the inside scoop by opening your email.
- Use powerful statistics. Use accurate but interesting or surprising statistics like "marketers who use this tactic see a 72% increase in conversions" to make readers feel excited about what's inside your email.
Subject Lines That Inspire: Curiosity
Don't over-explain in your subject line! The best subject lines are ones which leave a little to the imagination and leave readers wondering what's next. Use some of these examples to create your own:
- Start with the end. Use subject lines that ask a question, like: "how did this marketer wow CEOs at their company?"
- Start with an open-ended question. Subject lines like "what's new with us..." are perfect openers to inspire curiosity because they can only be answered by opening your email.
- Use cliffhangers. Start your subject lines with sentences that don't tell the whole story, like: "Matt used these 6 steps to increase his email open rates..."
Subject Lines That Inspire: Urgency
Urgency inspires them to take the action you want them to take right now, and is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book. Some examples of how to use urgency in your subject lines include:
- Giving your reader a deadline. Using countdowns ("only 3 days left!") and copy that implies a limited time offer ("before time runs out," "before it's too late." etc.)
- Tap into your reader's FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is a big driver, so use your subject lines to imply that they'll miss out on something amazing if they don't take action.
Subject Lines That Inspire: Happiness
Making your readers feel happy or joyful is one of the best ways to make your emails memorable and to inspire them to take the action you want. By making your readers feel good you're helping them associate those feelings with your brand, which can yield real long-term ROI.
Some ways you can craft your subject lines to inspire happiness include:
- Use humour. Making people laugh is one of the easiest ways to make them feel happy, so get creative with those opening lines!
- Don't be afraid of emojis. Many businesses avoid emojis because they worry they look "unprofessional" but they can make a big difference in earning those Email Opens.
The key to writing successful email subject lines is to write with intentionality. Determine what your email is about before you write it, which will save you time trying to determine the kind of emotion you want to evoke in your reader.
Examples of Great Subject Lines
We've put together a collection of some of our favourite email subject line collections so you can see what a killer subject line looks like. Take a look:
- 40 Great Email Subject Lines (via ThriveHive)
- 13 Insanely Clickable Email Subject Line Examples (via Sumo)
- 164 Best Email Subject Lines to Boost Your Email Open Rates (via OptinMonster)
- 16 Email Subject Lines You'll Probably Want to Click (via HubSpot)
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- by Alyson Shane
For many people, their inbox is their home-base in the sea of information that is the internet.
Gaining access into this sacred space as an outsider is not an easy endeavor, but is of the utmost importance when developing meaningful relationships with potential and existing clients.
Email newsletters allow businesses to attract new readers, sell products, and share important information on a continuing basis. We’ve developed some tips to help you create eye-catching content and engage leads with a well-designed newsletter.
Choose a Focus
Carefully curated content that has been developed to share specific information helps create a well-rounded brand, and why subscribers should be reading the content that you’re sending their way.
Before you write your newsletter, sit down and choose the content you want to share, such as:
- Blog posts
- Helpful tips or how-to’s
- Events and important dates
Make It Personal
Genuine content will keep the right readers engaged, and helps you to build a reputable brand online.
When developing an email newsletter, lose the “sales” gimmicks, and focus on cultivating meaningful relationships with your readers.
You appreciate your subscribers, so communicate with them like they’re friends, and demonstrate the value that they provide you and your business.
Overly persuasive content will only turn-off readers. Write content that is friendly and approachable, and provide incentives for your dedicated clients or prospects.
Organization is the difference between a messy newsletter, and a branded, clear message. Decide on your topics beforehand, so that you can cultivate a brief and concise message that is helpful to your recipients.
Humans are visual creatures, so creating similarly sized blocks of content that are easy on the eyes will help readers quickly scan and digest the information that you are sharing. Clarity reigns true in the world of newsletters, so having a well-developed, yet brief, message will keep readers engaged throughout your email.
Likely, you’re sending out email newsletters with the intention of increasing traffic to your business’s blog or website. A clear CTA (call to action) should be included towards the end of each newsletter, using buttons or incentives to get readers clicking back to the page you’re trying to market.
Create Catchy Headlines
For a reader to access your content, they must open your email in the first place. Headlines should convey your message briefly, but in an intriguing manner.
Building a trusting relationship with readers without coming off as “spammy” can be a tough task, but as always, being genuine and providing incentives will help you gain access into their inbox.
Strive for Consistency
Many readers look forward to receiving newsletters from brands and businesses they trust, especially when they know exactly when that newsletter is going to hit their inbox.
If you promise to send out weekly newsletters, do everything in your power to ensure those newsletters are going out on a weekly basis.
Email newsletters can be amazing marketing tools to build meaningful relationships with subscribers, while growing your awesome business.
Need some help in creating engaging newsletter campaigns? Get in touch to see how we can help you share your story with brilliant content.