One of the many variable aspects of an email campaigns success is the subject line. Normally this is the first indication a reader receives in regards to the relevance and content of an email they are being sent. If a subject line is engaging, appeals to our psychology, or is found to be relevant to a recipient it will be opened. The higher the open rate–the higher the response–the higher the response-the happier you and/or your boss is.
So the core question becomes what subject lines or most effective? This question has no obvious answer, and is variable depending on your contacts and why they have opted–in to receive your emails. Consideration in regards to what recipients want to receive and why your communications will be beneficial to them should lay out a general overview of what direction to go with your subject lines and how to increase your overall open rates.
The remainder of this article should help guide you to think a little out of the box when it comes to the subject line and hopefully push you to consider some more fun and interesting methods to get a recipient to open your communication. Here are 5 strategies for subject line improvement and I hope you implement these and fill my email box with messages I cannot wait to open.
1. The Questions – Our Pursuit of the Unknown.
A question prompts a part of us to read and then respond. To start your subject line with a question engages the reader with a small challenge they naturally want to overcome.
Some questions can be targeted to the segments you are communicating too.
[Name] Are you ready for retirement?
Some can probe into our inquisitive nature
Where the best burger in town is?
2. The Tease – Our Psychological Need for Closure and Completeness
Like the “Question”, the unfinished sentence awakens something deep within us, answering the unknown. If your subject line is relevant and engaging enough you should be assured to garner an open from any recipient that receives the email. Here are some examples of how the teaser is best used to optimize open rates.
Tease them with an offer
You are important to us. To show this you will receive…
Tease them with a solution
The ten most important things you can do today are…
3. The Sense of Urgency – Now or Never
One of the oldest sales techniques is the use of urgency to pressure a consumer to make a decision. Though most consultative sales people avoid this technique it has found to be very effective in email marketing. Highlighting a limited time sale or emphasizing the scarcity of an offer will make many of us respond with interest and in–turn open the email.
An example for using time urgency.
One day only sale, respond today for your special offer.
An example or scarcity urgency would be.
A massive discount for the next few who respond.
4. Exclusivity – Make People Feel Special
No matter if communication is in person or digital, people want to feel important and special. If they support you and your business and are willing to receive communications from you then reward their loyalty by reminding how unique and important they are. Exclusivity based subject lines will provide a recipient value while confirming their correct choice in supporting your business.
Some examples of this are.
[Name], A special offer just for you.
A limited engagement for our favorite contacts.
5. Brevity – Short and Sweet
There have been numerous studies done on the shrinking attention span of the consumer. You really cannot blame consumers for moving on quickly. We are overloaded by media content from morning until the night. Therefore, it is important to keep your messaging aligned with our short attention spans. Even if you represent a complex or technical product or service, highlight its benefits to the reader in as few words as possible and insure higher open rates.
Here is an example of a typical subject line improved.
Let us help you refinance your mortgage with one of our special loan programs today.
Lower the cost of your mortgage today by…