Simple Ways to Spice up Substandard Subject Lines

by Victor Green
3 mins read

While there’s no denying that was goes on inside of your emails matters quite a bit, the simple truth of the situation is that if you can’t convince these readers to stick around and check out your messages in the first place, it doesn’t matter what’s going on behind the open button. If you’re on the fence about the importance of the subject line in the email marketing process, look no farther than this stat from Nathan Safran of the Moz Blog.According to Safran, 80 percent of readers don’t look any farther than the subject line of promotional emails. Essentially, if you can’t win the battle surrounding subject lines against your inbox competition, you’ve already lost the email marketing war. To ensure this fate doesn’t befall your brand, here’s some simple ways to spice up your stable of subject lines and really make a major splash with your audience moving forward.

Utilize the Right Amount of Brevity

The first thing you can do to give your subject lines a facelift is to simply trim off any excess fluff. As Pamela Neely of Web Marketing Today points out in her look at improving open rates, having a subject line that hovers between six and ten words produces the best response. Naturally, there’s more factors at play here, including the engaging nature of this content, but ensuring you don’t write a novel in this header is a great way to start off on the right foot. Considering that the Harvard School of Business’ Nancy Koehn reports that the average attention span for a human stands at eight seconds, a full one second less than a goldfish, opting for brevity is a decision that can truly pay dividends in the inbox.

Find the Right Words

Spam filters are redefining what’s acceptable in regards to subject lines, so Neely goes on to recommend treading carefully in this area. Some of the biggest offenders that can relegate your offerings to the trash bin include “help,” “percent off,” and “reminder.” While these offerings might seem innocuous at first glance, they are common tools of the less than savory sect of email marketing.If possible, you’re much better off utilizing words like “announcement,” “alert,” and “free delivery.” If you can sneak in a “freebie” somewhere in the subject line, Neely notes that consumers respond exceptionally well to this type of inclusion. Obviously, subject lines are highly customizable and depend a lot on what you plan on promoting, but steering clear of the prime offenders is well worth the effort.

Making Good Use of Your Audience Information

Speaking of your target audience, chances are you’ve worked hard to learn as much as possible about these consumers, so why not put this information to good use? As D.J. Waldow of Entrepreneur magazine explains, adding flair and flavor to the subject line based on what resonates with these viewers is an excellent way to surpass the mundane offerings of other brands. For instance, if fashion is the primary focus of your industry, firing off an email with “A Dress For…” is a smart way to capture their interest and preview the contents of the message.It might take some time tinkering with this customization considering our previous discussion surrounding brevity, but the best in the business know that if you can cater your subject lines to what matters most to the reader, you’ve entered a special spot in the email marketing world.

Say Goodbye to Guesswork

Additionally, Waldow points out that even if you think you have a great idea that embodies everything we’ve discusses so far, there’s no guarantees that this subject line can be successful until you test it against other variations. By split testing against other subject lines via select portions of your contact list, you can settle the discussion once and for all and leave the guesswork to other brands.Aside from learning about the effectiveness of the test subject lines, utilizing this method can also tell you even more about your deliverability rates and potential steps for improvement. Considering how valuable your time is, employing the “two birds, one stone” approach can help optimize your time investment and improve the effectiveness of your overall marketing plans at the same time.By combining these tips with what everything else you’ve learned about subject lines in previous articles, you’ll have everything you need to knock the digital socks off of your targeted customers when they see your messages. Naturally, you’ll still need to follow up with some powerful content in the body of the email, but at least you won’t have to worry about getting lost in the see of substandard offerings that flood the inbox anymore.

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