An email inbox is a competitive space, and the subject line is your first line of contact with your subscribers. Writing email subject lines is the most critical part of your email and, for many, the most challenging.
Get it right, and your carefully crafted content within your email will be seen and read. Get it wrong, and all the hard work you put into it goes to waste.
There’s a bit of a science to crafting great email subject lines, and even the best copywriters can find it a challenge to get it just right. There’s a long list of best practices with tried and true methods that work well. Here are a few if you’re just getting into the email game:
Tip #1: Add a Sense of Urgency
It’s not uncommon for people to check emails and then file them away for future reference. But do they ever get back to them? Probably not—out of sight, out of mind as they say.
By adding a sense of urgency to your subject line, you can reduce the likelihood of your email being added to the growing “to be read” pile that rarely gets revisited. Here are a few examples:
- Tax season is here: Beware of fraudsters
- Last call for season tickets
- Final hours: All shoes 50% off
Tip #2: Pique Their Curiosity
A strategy that works well with email subject lines is appealing to a reader’s curiosity. The idea is to make them instinctively want to learn more. Here are some examples:
- 5 reasons a paleo diet may be right for you
- This is THE most eye-opening thing you’ll see all day
- The secret’s out… we can’t hide this any longer
Tip #3: Keep It Short
Short and sweet email subject lines are not only catchier, but they display better on mobile devices, which is likely where half or more of your subscribers will read their email. So what’s the best length? Mailchimp, one of the top dogs in the email marketing space, suggests no more than nine words and 60 characters. Here are a few examples:
- 5 tips for landing high dollar clients
- What your first job says about you
- The ultimate guide to selling your home
Tip #4: Keep Spam Filters in Mind
Certain words can trigger spam filters, as can subject lines with all caps, multiple exclamation points or other characters, or too many emojis. Hubspot, a leading marketing and sales software developer, published an exhaustive list of words to avoid, some of which may surprise you. Here’s a shortlist of some of the words that spam filters pick up on:
- Earn $
- Work at home
- Fast cash
- Why pay more?
- No hidden costs
- Lose weight
- See for yourself
- Free gift
- Free consultation
Tip #5: Give Your Readers a Call to Action
An action-oriented subject line works if there’s a clear call to action that inspires someone to click. Some examples are:
- RSVP now: Just 10 spots left!
- Join the movement: Volunteer spots are open
- Pizza or burgers? Cast your vote!