5 Tips for Improving Your Email Subject Lines

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The subject line is the most important piece of your email marketing message. If it isn’t strong and interesting, your readers will never open the message. And if it contains the wrong words, it could get flagged as spam, meaning your emails won’t get delivered and you could get permanently blocked.

So, what can you do to improve your email subject lines? Here are 5 easy tips to get you started.

  1. Keep it short—According to research from MailerMailer, emails with shorter subject lines significantly outperformed those with longer subject lines. There are a couple reasons for that. First, the average email carrier only displays 38 to 47 characters in the subject line. So, if your subject line is too long, some of it won’t even show up. Second, your readers are in a hurry. You need to give them as much information as possible in the fewest words as possible. Always edit your subject lines for brevity.
  2. Brand it—A lot of people used to think that including the brand name in the subject line wasted too much precious real estate. Turns out they were wrong. According to a Silverpop study, subject lines with brand names in them were shared more often than those with just offers. And Marketing Sherpa’s study says that branded subject lines are among the most opened emails.
  3. Make an offer—Discount offers and free product offers are 2 of the top 3 most-opened email subject lines. Subscribers love a good deal. Your offer needs to be strong enough to grab their attention and clear and concise enough to easily fit into the subject line. Like they say in The Godfather, “make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Just make sure you don’t include spammy words in your offer as this will cause your message to get blocked.
  4. Don’t personalize—Another myth is that personalizing emails causes them to get opened more often. Turns out the opposite is true. Here’s another stat to consider:


  • Emails that had only the subject line personalized (12.4% Open Rate & 1.7% CTR) did worse than those with no personalization at all (13.5% Open Rate & 2.7% CTR). -MailerMailer

     5.  Never stop testing—Every email marketing campaign is different. A tactic that works for one company may not work for you. The only way to find out what works best for you is to test different subject lines. Try running different formats alongside each other to see which gets better open rates and more click-throughs. Never stop testing!

Do you test different subject lines in your email marketing campaign? Has it helped you get more opens and conversions?

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