Email Marketing Subject Lines Inbox

Email Marketing Subject Lines Customers Won’t Skim By

Let’s face it; we live in a world that skims for content. Given the amount of reading material you receive any given day—quarterly budget reviews, emails, even the occasional social media post—we don’t blame you. When it comes to your inbox, you probably spare a few minutes to peruse email marketing subject lines, right?

We know. Chances are, your customers feel the same way.

According to Convince & Convert, 35 percent of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone. If that’s all they’re reading, your next email campaign needs more than a few snazzy headlines. You need to engage customers and spark their curiosity while appealing to their interests as well.

Check out these proven tips to improve your subject lines and keep customers from skimming past your emails. As a result, you’ll remind them why they signed up for your mailing list in the first place.

Personalized Touch

Coca-Cola knows that personalized products go a long way. The same strategy is effective with emails, too. By adding a personal touch to your email marketing subject lines, your emails are 26 percent more likely to be opened (Experian). Why? Customers feel like the content is more relevant for them, and when that’s the case, they’re more likely to care.

To add personalization to your next email campaign, use your customers’ first names in the subject line, or change the sender name. Sending your email campaigns from an actual person, instead of “” adds a human element to the email. Receiving an email from “noreply” won’t exactly engage customers, anyway.

Personalizing emails goes beyond the subject line, though. According to The Aberdeen Group, 96 percent of organizations believe that personalizing emails can improve their campaign performance.

Besides, everyone likes to feel special. Personalization tokens make people feel like they’re in on the exclusive, which also builds brand loyalty. Altering content by gender, location, interest, or other customer segments can make all the difference, too. Want to learn more? Discuss your next email campaign with one of our experts.

It’s URGENT You Don’t Do THIS!!!

Well, that certainly demands attention. No, we don’t suggest caps lock and excessive exclamation points. No one enjoys getting yelled at, and formatting your email marketing subject lines like the one above only comes off as spammy.

We do, however, recognize that creating a sense of urgency encourages immediate action. After all, urgent subject lines can give a 22 percent higher open rate (Email Institute). Using certain words such as “alert” can even increase opens by 61.8 percent (Adestra).

Think of subject lines as their own call-to-action. How can you encourage customers to click open your email?

In the past, prescription eyeglass company Warby Parker used the subject line, “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring.” This subject line creates urgency—and timely relevance—without stressful exclamation points. In fact, it comes off as a friendly reminder. Similarly, you can use specific deadlines in your subject lines (“today only”) paired with catchy, playful language.

Starting your subject lines with action-oriented language immediately conveys that sense of urgency. Using an encouraging, lively verb as the first word inspires customers to take action—starting with opening your email.

What the People Want

Remember shaking wrapped birthday presents to try and figure out what’s inside? Well, the right subject line shakes the box and gives you a peek.

As customers are skimming through their inboxes, catch their eyes by offering exclusive content. According to Adestra, the words “Sale,” “New,” or “Video” in email marketing subject lines also boost open rates. Matching these words with specific offers (Ebooks, blog posts, coupons) reveals relevant content—content customers want. As a result, they’ll stop skimming through their inbox and open your email to discover what’s inside.

You can also tease the content a little more subtly. A subject line that reads “Our Birthday Gift to You” hints at an offer. However, since it only teases the content, we feel compelled to open the email and find out exactly what that gift might be.

Besides, who wouldn’t want presents?

Short and Sweet

There’s not much to skim passed if the subject line is short, right? Subject lines with three or more words are opened 15 percent less than those with one to two (ContactMonkey).

However, a concise headline, regardless of length, should still capture the purpose of your email. A compelling headline stands out among other items in a jam-packed inbox. Combine these two elements to entice customers with clear messaging that, while short, still sparks interest and excitement.

After all, “Our Gift to You” reads a lot better than “Download Our Ebook Guide for Writing Emails Your Customers Can’t Help but Click Open.”

Besides, you don’t want your witty, well-written subject line to get cut off on mobile devices, do you?

Make it Fun

Speaking of wit, adding a little playfulness can go a long way when attracting readers. Don’t be afraid to use puns and word play to your advantage. If you can get readers to smile, you’re definitely standing out against the rest of their emails—and they’re more likely to remember you, too.

Buzzfeed is known for their friendly, often snarky articles, and that tone reflects in their subject lines. Doing so doesn’t just attract relevant readers, but helps Buzzfeed stand out by leveraging their brand. Use a fun, engaging subject line that plays off your brand while encouraging customers to continue reading.

Just don’t overdue the puns. They can be as punishing as they are rewarding.

Looking for more ways to improve your next email marketing campaign? Check out these 10 tips!

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