September 26, 2013

ID-100178870Email marketing is an easy, inexpensive way to connect with your customers and engage them instantly. It also makes it easy to reach a large audience – almost all of your customers have email addresses, even the ones you can’t reach on social networks. It’s smart to take advantage of such a great marketing opportunity – but important to do it right. The subject line of your email can determine – in a matter of seconds – whether your emails will be read or discarded.

A Great Subject Line Is Short

“More is not necessarily better” is especially true when it comes to subject lines. You don’t need to cram a ton of information into the subject line – the goal is to entice the reader to open and read the email. Studies have shown that emails with the highest click rates have subject lines of 28 to 39 characters. Besides, if your subject line is too long, the whole thing may not be visible by email programs that cut off subject lines at 50 or so characters.

A Great Subject Line Has No Spam Triggers

Your email masterpiece will amount to a whole lot of nothing if it ends up in a reader’s spam folder. Reminding your readers to add you to their safe list is a good idea, but they won’t all do it, so you must still avoid words and symbols that could trigger spam filters whenever possible. Look for a list of words to avoid; it will include terms like “free,” “cash,” “sale,” “weight loss,” and “winner.” Dollar signs, excessive exclamation points, and using all caps are other potential spam triggers.

A Great Subject Line Creates Urgency

If your customer does not read the email as soon as he or she receives it, chances that it will get read at all dwindle. The subject line is the place to communicate time-sensitive things like when a sale ends or that spots for a course are limited. This compels the reader to open the email to learn more.

A Great Subject Line Is Crystal Clear

A little mystery can be a good thing, but your busy customers (who are inundated with marketing attempts) usually appreciate knowing up front what an email is about. If they aren’t sure if they might be wasting their time by reading your email, they may decide that deleting it rather than finding out is the better choice. A don’t mislead readers; that’s a sure-fire way to reduce your credibility.

A Great Subject Line Is Relevant And Timely

Relevant current events make good topics of interest; find a way to tie one into your message. Also, don’t forget to focus on the benefits you are offering the reader. If your reader knows how he or she stands to benefit, he or she will be much more likely to keep reading.



Sean McPheat
Managing Director
The Internet Marketing Academy


(Image: / Stuart Miles)

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