Set the Stage – Why Your Subject Line Can Make or Break Your Emails

The central focus of an email marketing campaign can cover topics such as product development, organizational changes, new arrivals of merchandise or other interests that come to mind. Your email messages will appear in the recipient’s in-box alongside messages from family and friends. For that reason, it is vital that you create a subject line that makes a reader take notice when scrolling through other messages. An eye-catching email subject line can make that happen. Here are a few pointers that can help you get started.

Establish a Relationship

The establishment of a trustworthy relationship starts long before you send that first email out. Engage in target market audience research to get to know your customer base inside and out. Learn what their main problem is and how your product or service can solve that problem. Add in a little entertainment for personal measure to provide a personable approach for your business.

Maintaining a personal approach is key to customers interacting with the emails you send. As your email appears in an inbox, a quick view of the sender’s name and subject line is typically all that appears without opening an email. Avoid using a company name as the sender use a first and last name instead. Pair this preview information with a subject line that includes the recipient’s name and your solution to the market problem.

Use Shock Value

When sending an email, you need a subject line that is going to stand out in the crowd. It needs to be something that a reader will click on just out of curiosity. You need to create a subject line that makes your customers feel as if they will be missing out on something big if they don’t click on your email. Consider using some of the following phrases to give your subject lines that shock value.

● This just in
● Breaking news
● Hey, did you hear about
● You can’t afford to miss out on

These and similar short, shocking subject lines will make it hard for readers to resist opening your email messages.

Be Honest

You can also take the approach of providing everything your reader wants to know right in the subject line. Upon reading a subject line telling them exactly how you are going to solve their biggest problem, they already know it adds a benefit to their current situation. They will open the email to find out what action they need to take to resolve the issue. Consider using the following longer phrases to create honest-based subject lines.

● How to [add benefit] in [certain time frame]
● [number] of things you need to know about [problem]
● [Famous industry name] guide to [problem resolution]

Although these subject lines are longer than usual, it works to inform readers that they will learn something upon opening the email and engaging with the content inside.

Use Exhilarating Punctuation

Adding special character punctuation into an email subject line gives that email an eye-catching appearance. It also works to create an element of mystery to the contents of your message. Creating an element of mystery results in readers opening your message out of sheer curiosity about what you are trying to share with them. You can use a set of ellipses (….), hyphens or dashes in your subject lines to help your emails stand out in the crowd.

Consider adding emoticons to your email subject lines for extra visual appeal. Be cautious about the type of emoticon you select by making sure it is appropriate for the audience of your email campaign. Using the winking smiley face emoticon in a subject line may send an impression of your company being silly and not taking the message content seriously. You can however use the smiley face emoticon in a ‘Hey thought you could benefit from this’ subject line is acceptable.

Look at the Competition

There is a good chance that your competition is actively engaging with your target market audience through email messages as well. You need to have a general idea of the type of emails that they are sending out. The best way you can do this is to create a promotional account that does not provide any identification for your or your company. Use this email to sign-up on your competitor’s email lists.

As you begin receiving their emails, pay attention to the types of subject lines they create. Ask yourself what part of their email subject lines stand out the most to you. They may take a shock value approach in combination with exhilarating punctuation to catch the attention of readers. Compare their email subject lines to the ones that you use and make adjustments as necessary Doing so works to help you create emails that your customers will notice before the competition emails.

You need to put as much thought in your email subject line as you do with the message content. You can have a great message in the email, however, it gets lost when the subject line fails to capture the recipient’s attention.

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