Did you know that, on average, an employed person receives about 100 emails a day?
Let the number sink in for a while.
This includes work-related emails, emails from friends and family, forwards, correspondences from websites they follow (e.g. newsletters) and unsolicited promotional emails (better known as SPAM). While emails from colleagues, friends, and family will be read, everyone else is in a constant battle for attention. A battle that may see their emails read and some sort of action taken or forever deleted as spam.
Rising above the clutter, while an uphill task, requires one key element – a well-written subject line. Here’s why:
Your ability to write an effective subject line is correlated to the chances of your reader opening your email, thus increasing the possibilities of him being (or continuing to be) receptive to your content. Here are…
6 key tips to crafting powerful subject lines to drive more clicks for your emails
#1 Every email must have your audience and your goal at heart.
When drafting an email subject line, the key thing to remember is whom you’re writing to and what you hope to achieve with that email.
Answer questions such as:
- Am I trying to make a sale?
- Tell them about an upcoming promotion?
- Informing your subscribers about the latest with your business?
Your goal will tell you what element is crucial in your subject line, so they too, at a glance will know exactly what the email is about.
#2 Segment your email database.
Segregating your email subscribers based on types of product/service they are interested in or demographics will help you write subject lines for specific goals. E.g. Let’s say you’re launching a new meat dish at your restaurant and are offering a special promotion. If you segment your audience into groups by food preferences you will avoid the mistake of sending this promotional mail to vegetarians. Targeted emails with the right subject lines will help increase click rates.
#3 Keep it short and to the point.
Email subject lines tend to get cut off if they are too long. And with most people using their mobile devices to check email, the chances of this happening are much higher. Also, with the vast number of emails that people get, they spend mere seconds skimming through their inbox. Short and snappy subject lines are better at standing out and catching their eye, thus increasing the possibility of being opened. Be very strict when writing subject lines and ensure every word earns its way there. Be ruthless in cutting out words that don’t add value.
Create a sense of familiarity by using the recipient’s name or location in the subject line. This builds rapport and increases the likelihood of them responding to the email. The Science of Email Marketing reveals that recipients are much more likely to click on emails that have their first names, compared to ones that don’t.
Location-specific emails also help create relevance, thereby increasing clicks. If you received both the following emails, which one are you most likely to open?
- Scrumptious dinner menu to tickle your palate or,
- John, dining out in Sydney? Check out our newest menu.
#5 Create a sense of urgency.
Subject lines which prompt action by creating urgency have higher open rates. This works great if the content of your email is on a special promotion or offer that you have opened up to you subscribers or email list. Play around with examples such as “24 hours left”, “Sale, today only”, “Only 50 spots left” etc. “Urgent” headlines will make the recipient fear that he may be missing out on something great, thus will click on the email.
#6 Tell the truth, always.
An enticing subject line is different from a deceitful one. Don’t resort to clickbait strategies by making “over the top” promises in the subject line. With high expectations, your recipient will open the email. When he finds that the promise in the subject line was not in line with the content, he will be thoroughly disappointed. Although this strategy will help boost clicks the first time around, in the long run, your audience will be privy to your shady tactics and resort to flagging your email as spam or unsubscribing from your mailing list.
Remember, if your emails are not being clicked, they are not being opened and read. And your content, not seen. Prove to your audience that you have content that is useful and relevant to them by writing a powerful subject line. Let us know in the comments section below how well the above tips worked for you or others that have worked for you in the past.
On Yavin is the Founder and CEO of Online Performance, a professional SEO agency based in London, UK and Founder and UK CEO of Executive Marketing, an advertising agency, focused on digital marketing. He is an expert in search engine optimization (SEO) with years of experience in web and mobile marketing.