4 Tips to Create the Best Subject Lines

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The subject line of an email is your first interaction with your reader. These few words are essential for the reader when making that split second decision — open or delete? According to Convince and Convert, 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone. Here are four quick tips to get you started building out useful email campaigns.

Make it straight forward

Your inclination might be to make a really funny subject line, or something shocking enough to grab your reader’s attention. While you need to know your audience, this is usually not the best route. Set your readers’ expectations — tell them exactly what they will find inside. This might sound crazy, but because it’s a subject line, it should tell readers about the subject of the email.

Don’t sound spammy

Even if what you are offering is 10% off a product or service, it usually doesn’t help to include it in the subject line. People receive way too much email to allocate a lot of time to being discerning. So if you and nine others email about “a FREE gift!”, it would appear obvious that your chances of having your email opened drop significantly. Nearly 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line (Convince and Convert).

Include names

MailChimp analyzed over 40 million emails sent through their software. The ones with the best open rates — 60% - 87% — almost always included the company name of the sender. In fact, of the top 20 best email subject lines, only three did not contain the sending company’s name — check out the graph on their site. The name of the sender and the reply-to email are also very important. According to Convince and Convert, 43% of email recipients click the spam button based on the email “from” name or email address.

Keep it short

Even if you have the best, most straightforward and relevant subject line, if people can’t read it, you might as well have written “I have the privilege of transferring you 7 million dollars!” Try to keep your subject lines under eight words, as anything over 40 characters has the potential of getting cut off. More than ever before, email is being opened on a mobile device, which means that staying under five words is ideal.

Of course, not everyone is going to respond to subject lines the same. It’s important to be constantly testing and trying new iterations to see what gets the best open and click through rates for your target audience.

How can we help?

With our new MAST 10X tool, agencies can send targeted email campaigns to their customers to quickly identify those who are ready to buy digital. We’re constantly testing and iterating the subject lines of this primary campaign. For many reasons, including the subject line, we’ve been able to reach open rates of over 50%, while average industry open rates for marketing, advertising and PR firms stand at 10.37%, according to Constant Contact. That means nearly five times the number of people opening your emails.

Visit our Content Library to see a 10X case study and learn more.

Nykea Marie Behiel

Nykea is the Director of Content at Vendasta, where she heads up our content marketing team and inbound marketing initiatives.