How to Write Compelling Email Subject Lines

When you want to connect with customers, email marketing works.

How well it works starts with the first thing a customer sees: The email’s subject line.

A good email subject line inspires while being short and to the point. It teases without being trite. It stands out among all the other emails in the inbox and makes customers eager to open the message and read on.

How to write email subject lines? Like all digital marketing, it takes a little practice. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Be Brief

Keep your subject line within 30 to 40 characters. That’s four to eight words, including spaces. 

If a subject line is too long, your customer won’t be able to see all of it, especially when checking mail on a smartphone. Plus, shorter subject lines are easier to read and will catch the eye of your customer.

Add Time Elements

Point out a deadline or that a limited amount of a product remains to add urgency and importance to your email. FOMO — the fear of missing out — drives action, in this case, opening your message to learn more. But remember: The goal is to inspire, not frighten or trick your customer. 

Don’t Try Too Hard

There’s content that is clever, and content that tries to be clever. Customers can tell the difference. So don’t try too hard to be cute, especially if cute isn’t really part of your brand. 

When you do come up with a fun, clever, pun-filled email subject line, ask a few other people to read it behind you. Make sure that your words make sense and that they don’t carry some other, unintended meaning.  

Write a Newsy Headline

Decades of journalism has proven the worth of straightforward subject + verb headlines. Those work equally well for email subject lines and add a professional tone to your message.

Need inspiration for a good email subject line? Look through online magazine and newspaper headlines to get some ideas.

Ask a Question

People are naturally curious and want to know get the answer waiting in your email message. A good question will draw your customer in and can really drive engagement rates.

Don’t Forget to Measure Success

Good analytics will show you what types of subject lines work with your unique customer base. 

Always track open rates and engagement as you go. Also try AB testing — write two different subject lines and split your email list in half. See which subject line gets a better response.

Want help crafting the perfect digital marketing campaign? LeadPoint Digital, Roanoke’s digital marketing company, is here to help tailor your message — complete with compelling email subject lines — for a successful campaign that gets noticed. Drop us a line for a free consultation with one of our digital marketing experts.

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