How to Create Email Subject Lines People Will Open

Email Subject LinesHow often do you check your phone for emails or messages? Six times a day? Ten times? Maybe you’re one of the thousands of people who check their phone more than 20 times daily.

According to a recent study taken by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the average mobile user checks his/her phone 150 times a day. This study also revealed that the average person checks their messaging 23 times daily.  This is good news for marketers because it increases the chances of people opening our emails.

This makes you really appreciate technology. The old days of waiting for people to get to a PC to check emails are long gone. Thanks to email apps, Smartphone users no longer have to login manually to read emails. Emails just instantly appear on the mobile screen.

That means, every person you send an email to who has an app, will see your email appear on their mobile screen. The question is, will the person actually open and read your email.

How Do You Increase Your Email Open Rates?

Take a moment, and put yourself in your email recipient’s shoes. You probably don’t have time to read every single email that lands in your inbox. You start off reading the most important email first, work your way down to unsolicited emails, and spam the ones that appear salesy. This is how most people handle their email messaging.

There is one important thing you need in order to increase your email open rates. You must have good subject lines. A subject line is your 3 second elevator pitch. If your pitch doesn’t resonate with people, they will not open your emails.

Think about the last time you opened an unsolicited email. What compelled you to open it up? It was more than likely the great subject line that caught your attention.

Recently, MailChimp did a study on email subject lines. They analyzed the open rates of more than 200 million emails. They discovered that people are more likely to open emails with personal messages than corporate emails or offers that were too good to be true, and money requests. Here are a few more interesting things the study revealed:

Earn Their Trust First

Have you ever read a whimsical subject line that was so clever you wished that you thought of it? Good examples include subject lines, such as: “Any business can use this”, “Just for fun”, “Can you join me Monday?”, and “Your 5 shortcuts to major publicity”. These are just a handful of great subject lines people have used.

Using clever subject lines is an effective way of getting people to open your email. However, make sure you have established your email subscriber’s trust first. Otherwise, people may delete your email or send it straight to spam.

You establish trust by simply getting to know your audience first. Then after you have sent at least three or more emails, you can start sending out more personable subject lines. Just make sure you keep your target audience in mind. You want to always speak their language when creating email subjects.

Don’t Use These 3 Words

Try to avoid using words like ‘reminder’, ‘percent off’, and ‘help’. According to MailChimp, these words can actually trigger spam filters.

Give People a Teaser of What’s Inside

If you want to pique people’s interest, give them a hint of what is inside of the email that will interest them. This is especially important for newsletters. Although newsletters have high open rates, they can drop if you repeat the same subject line for every newsletter you mail out.

For example, instead of using a subject line like: “(Your Company Name) July Newsletter,” include something interesting that is inside of the newsletter.

Let’s say you’re a public speaker, and this month your newsletter includes your success story. Instead of using a generic line like: “(Your Company Name) Newsletter”, use something like: “My road to success as a public speaker” or “Steps I took to become a successful speaker – now it’s your turn”. The general idea is to get people excited about opening your email.

Make Subject Lines Short and Sweet

Subject lines that are kept under 50 characters tend to have higher open rates. Remember, you have only 3 seconds to capture your reader’s attention. Use your time wisely.

For Promotional Emails

Subject lines with questions work very well. A good example would be: “Are You Struggling to Get Your Business Organized? Also, make sure you avoid using exclamation points, ALL CAPS, and contrived promo phrases.

The Quality of Your List Really Does Count

People with high-quality lists have the best open rates because readers usually know what they’re going to receive. However, if you bombard people with too many emails, it can have a negative impact on your open rates.

Examples of Good Subject Lines

Often times, many people will attempt to use catchy email subject lines, but if you’re not careful, it can come off as spammy. The best subject lines are descriptive and short. They should offer a person a good reason to open the email. Here are a few great examples of good subject headers:

  • Invitation for (Person’s Name) Dance Recital
  • Can Using An Old Email List Hurt Your Marketing Success?
  • Success Tip: 3 Ways to Become Better at Time Management
  • Invitation – Lunch with (Guest speaker’s name and topic.)

Here are email subject headers that have low open rates:

  • Sale Ends Today! Get 20% off Our Clearance Products
  • Download My FREE E-book Now!
  • Help spread the news and ‘like’ our Facebook page for a free sample!
  • Reminder: You Have Only 3 Days Left to Get $50 Off Your Next Purchase

Improve Your Email Marketing Campaign with A/B Split Testing

How do you know which subject lines work best? One effective way of finding out is to do an A/B test split. With most email marketing tools, you can test and see which subject lines work best for your audience. The results will show whether or not a particular subject line affects your click rate. The great thing about these tools is that you can test a variety of things. For example, you can test and see what’s the best time of the week to send out your emails, and many other test points.

Lastly, before submitting your next email marketing campaign, make sure you focus on the subject line. Ask yourself, ‘Will this email subject line compel people to open it up? Will this trigger spam filters?

The subject line you use can determine the overall success of your marketing campaign.

What subject lines have you used that worked well? Please share. I would love to hear.

About Gina Nieves

Gina Nieves is an expert at getting increased sales through websites. Since founding MarkNet Group, she has overseen the design of 500 websites and $30 million in sales. She writes about how to increase sales through your website. You can follow her at Google+ or Twitter.

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  1. James says:
    06/13/13 at 10:12 am

    Great post. Thanks as always good stuff from the trenches. Can you write something on your experiences with affiliate marketing?

  2. Great post. I am writing down some notes on how to improve my email campaigns, thank you for this. I have a question, are certain colors better then others to use in an email campaign, if I have a background color or text color or should I just use black font color?

  3. Great post. I would like to share w our members.
    Thank you Gina!

  4. Extremely Helpful. With my email list growing. Taking it into my own perspective, I don’t like to open emails which seem generic or contain a form of internet personality I don’t like. This is extremely helpful for future use, heck, I might be even be able to use this towards clients who don’t specify a subject line. Post was awesome.

    Thank you Gina,
    Christopher Cuna
    Motivation For Writers

  5. Excellent web site. Plenty of helpful info here. I’m sending it to several buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thank you in your effort!

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