Email marketing is effective marketing, but most marketing emails get sent to the spam folder or the recycling bin without a second glance. A captivating subject line means the difference between instant deletion and lead conversion. How can you ensure that your marketing emails get read? Read on for some tips on writing email subject lines that will help you stand out from the crowd!

Email subjects

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Mind Your Ps and Qs

Said to source from an adage for apprentice typesetters back in the days of hand printing, this sage advice is still relevant in the digital age. One spelling, grammar, or punctuation error in your subject line is enough to make the wrong impression. You’ll seem unprofessional and careless. Worst of all, your customers will already be on alert for spam and scam emails, which means that a mistake like this could get you permanently ousted from their inbox.

Keep Calm and Carry On

There are a few different signs that will alert customers to spam, as well as some cues that can trigger a spam filter, and some of them appear in subject lines. It’s best to avoid ALL CAPS, Multiple!!! Exclamation!!! Points!!! and esoteric *~*~ punctuation. A clean-cut professional approach is best. When you write marketing emails, communicate just the way you would to a client or colleague. Your customers will be impressed, and they won’t worry about spyware.

Click here to learn how to ensure that your marketing emails will be compliant with anti-spam regulations.

Introduce Yourself Up Front

Your emails will seem much more authoritative and professional if they come from a domain name, so consider purchasing one. “FSmith@SmithSolutions,” or “Marketing@SmithSolutions” lets your customers know exactly who’s writing to them. If that isn’t possible, note the source in the subject line.

Name Recognition

Addressing customers by name is a stellar way to personalize emails and catch a reader’s attention on a quick scan through an inbox. Customers will also be more likely to see an email as directed to them, rather than part of a blanket email blast. This strategy is especially effective for reorder reminders, cross-selling appeals, and transactional emails updating customers on the status of a purchase. You can also personalize emails by targeting a specific city or state.

Brevity Is the Soul of Lead Conversion

The more concise you can be, the better. Customers will appreciate the clear message, and they’ll be more likely to click through when they know what they’re about to read. Simple headings like “Christmas Promotion” or “Quarterly Update” provide solid information. Any concrete number is helpful – for example, a “40% discount” is much more attractive than a “big discount.” You can use this same strategy for a blog post or update to your site – “Five Reasons You Need Facebook Live” is a lot more intriguing than, “Why Facebook Live is Awesome.”

Click here to learn how to make sales emails more effective.

Provide a Call to Action

A “Call to Action” is an instruction for your customers – for example, a “Download Now!” button at the end of a teaser for an e-book. You can use this same technique to turn every email subject line into an imperative that can convert leads and drive traffic to your website. “Learn How to Craft the Perfect Email Subject Line,” for example, or “Preview Our Summer Catalog.”

Create a Sense of Urgency

This can be tricky, because it’s easy to come off as too aggressive. But just like the “Call to Action,” words connoting urgency can help motivate customers to open and read. “Reserve Your Seminar Tickets Today” or “Order Now and Get a 30% Discount” are good examples. You can use take advantage of this same strategy with phrasing like “Weekend Sale,” or “Special Back-to-School Promotion,” so customers get a sense of immediate value.

Click here to learn about 3 innovative ways to collect emails.

Ask a Compelling Question

This is a twist on the “Call to Action” strategy. If you ask a question in the subject line, you persuade customers to open and read the answer. “How Can You Make the Most of Your Retirement Savings?” and “What’s the Best Way to Protect Your Investments?” package specific information about email contents in the form of a question. Remember, it’s important to back this strategy up with solid information. Customers will be annoyed if they click through to flimsy or unrelated content.

Click here to read about writing great subject lines for email newsletters.  

Lighten Up

A joke, even if it’s a play on words or pop-culture reference, will give you a memorable subject line that will stand out from more generic sales emails. Don’t be afraid to be goofy, either. A corny pun will help you seem accessible and personable. This strategy is also a great way to keep your subject lines current. Reference Stranger Things this week, and the Summer Olympics in Rio the next.

Writing attention-getting email subject lines can be as creative as any other advertising practice, so long as you keep it light and remember to have fun. With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be on your way to sending intriguing, openable emails in no time!

Are you interested in learning more strategies to increase your email marketing impact?  We recommend that you get in touch with a digital marketing firm whose team of experts can advise you on the best way to reach and engage customers and leads.  Contact Square 1 Group for a consultation today!