Does your subject line matter?

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 9:14 am Written by

In this article we are going to focus on one of the most important yet overlooked parts of your email campaign – the subject line. Along with the’ from’ name and email address this is the first thing you see when the email arrives in your inbox so it is vital to make sure this is written to show the contents of your email campaign.

The estimation is that you have up to 5 seconds to catch your subscriber’s attention with your subject line. With most people receiving on average 50+ emails per day you really have to make your subject line appealing to your readers and make them want to open and read your email.

How have your recent campaign open rates faired compared to older campaigns? What we recommend is that you look at your previous campaign open rates from the past 6 months and look at the subject line for the highest open rates you have. This will help give you an idea on what is working for your email campaign subject lines and what isn’t.

Subject length
Some email clients will cut off or truncate the subject line if it is too long. Anything from 40-55 characters should be OK, just make sure you test this first before sending it out to your subscriber list.

Be honest about the content
The best thing to do is write a subject line that is honest with your subscribers – don’t try to fool them and lie about the content of the email as this could cause more unsubscribes if you try to mislead them. Be honest about the content – if necessary ask colleagues to brainstorm some suggestions for you!

Set a deadline
If you have a time sensitive offer, try to include the remaining time in your email subject. By setting a deadline, as such, you are giving the subscriber a time limit to adhere to, so they know how long they have before the offer runs out.

Your number is up
Add numbers to your subject line to catch the subscriber’s attention. Studies show that the human brain will focus on reading numerical characters over words. So instead of using the subject “Four days left”, use “4 days left” instead.

Don’t neglect the from fields
I know, I know – this blog post is meant to be about the subject line but remember to make sure your from name and from email address are both clear and correct. Check that your email arrives with these set correctly and also make sure the email address they reply to is monitored in case of anyone questions or problems anyone may have.

Test, test, test
As with any email marketing campaign, make sure you test the email to yourself first. Here at NewZapp we always recommend you should send a test to yourself, your colleagues and one or two external addresses like an Outlook or Gmail account of your own. This is so you can see how different email clients deal with your email and check they do not mark the email as spam.

Change the type of subject you write
Ask a question – “Did you know that Exeter opens next week?”
Set a deadline – “Our Sale ends tonight at midnight”
Make a statement – “Our new Exeter store opens next week”
Add numerical characters – “Only 100 tickets left”

Re-sending to non openers
If you want to send your email again, but to your non openers, make sure you change the subject line completely. There must be a reason they didn’t open the original email so try a different type of subject line to tempt them to open your email.

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