Do you want to ensure that your subscribers open more of the emails you send them? Do you want to learn techniques to create subject lines with appeal and impact your key email marketing metrics? One of the biggest problems affecting those of us involved in online marketing is the fact that our subscribers do not open all of our emails.
Whilst the average email open rate within the sector usually falls between 20% and 25%, these remain relative figures, as the longer the list, the harder it becomes to maintain a high open rate.
Some time ago, in this blog, we published an article wherein we discussed 7 Tips to Make your Subscribers More Likely to Open Your Emails. This entailed tactics focused on “context”, that is, on everything that you should have prepared before you start sending emails: preventing servers from viewing you as spam, ensuring that your subscribers remain loyal to you over a long period and creating a newsletter that offers more content of value than the content presented in the blog
Today, I would like to take to you about email subject lines with appeal. These subjects will not only make your subscribers want to open your emails as a result of the trust they have in you, but also due to their curiosity, aroused both by the manner in which the subject line is written and the inclusion of certain elements.
Below, we provide 8 tips relating to subject lines 😉
# 1. Put the keyword at the beginning of the subject line
Don’t abuse this in all of your emails, but if you want the subscriber to focus on the subject line that you are going to discuss, the keyword can represent an element that makes your email stand out from all the others received over the course of the day.
The same technique might also prove useful for posts. Indeed, at times, if the title of your post has sufficient appeal, it can be used as the email subject line.
# 2. Play with visual elements
If you want your message to stand out, employ visual elements. I am not telling you to overload the subject line with emoticons – sometimes it is useful to employ them – but rather to employ brackets, parenthesis or other elements that serve to highlight a word or key sentence that is of interest to you.
- [Exclusive Content] Here are all your eBooks!
- [Free Tools] Download the tools we promised you.
# 3. Use the subscriber’s name in the subject line
We normally limit this approach to those emails wherein we truly want to attract the user’s attention for a given reason: a promotion, a subscription or a campaign.
When you write a subject line of this nature, you must ensure that the sentence is fresh. You do not have to always place the name of the subscriber at the beginning: include it within the discourse.
- David, did you know that…?
- We have finally done it, David!
# 4. Imagine that you are writing to a friend
If you want to convey freshness, a very good technique is to imagine that the recipient is someone you know very well.
We actually think of specific friends: Jonathan, Alex, Felix… and we imagine the subject line that we would spontaneously employ if we wanted to draw their attention to a specific question.
Evidently, these friends respond to a given profile: the profile of potential clients interested in our niche and with whom we maintain fairly frequent communication. Nevertheless, I urge you to refrain from abusing subject lines with the user’s name for two reasons:
- A loss of effectiveness. If you always employ the subscriber’s name, this approach will prove less effective when you really want to capture their attention (for example, this may prove redundant in a general blog newsletter).
- The benefits of the content. It is often better to stress the benefits of the content that you are going to offer, rather than capturing the attention of the subscriber.
# 5. A good subject line, where brief, is twice as good
The use of short subject lines is always recommended. In my opinion, the reason why the following is a good maxim has a two-fold explanation:
- When something is good, if it is brief, it is twice as good. 😉
- How many characters do you think that a reader sees on his or her smartphone? When an iPhone is positioned vertically, when using Gmail, less than 40 characters can be displayed.
If you fail to make your subscriber understand why he or she must read your message within these 40 characters, you may have lost the possibility of having your email opened.
# 6. Use the “number technique”
If you know that the subject line is not going to be short, you can take advantage of this opportunity by employing the number technique: using numbers to specify the benefits of the content. For example:
- 100 tools and applications for Community Managers
- 2 cases of Content Marketing: How SocialBro and MOZ generate content of value
This technique, in a very subtle manner, enables you to link the subject line heading to 2 psychological perspectives that are of interest, from the point of view of the reader: information and depth.
- Big numbers. When you create content with a large amount of tools, for example, what the reader perceives is that you are going to represent a source of information that will provide a great deal to investigate and test.
- Small numbers. If the subject line includes small numbers, such as 2 or 3, the reader will understand that you are going to focus on a few cases relating to your sector in greater depth.
Therefore, you must employ numbers in a strategic manner:
- To focus the reader’s attention on the subject.
- To ensure that readers understand what they will find within your content.
# 7. ‘Re:’ for sales emails
I have to warn you that you must be very careful when employing ‘Re:’ prior to writing the subject line. This technique is increasingly widespread. We have tested it on a single occasion (during a sale) to gauge its effectiveness and we noted a 5% increase in the open rate of the emails we were sending.
HOWEVER – and the capitals are deliberate- not everyone likes emails of this nature.
Remember that what your subscriber will understand when he or she sees such a message is that you are responding to an email that he or she sent to you, whereas, in reality, this is not true. Therefore, if you want to try this technique, go ahead, but do not abuse this approach as it may prove detrimental in the end.
Indeed, we also observed that the unsubscribed rate rose… The open rate increases but you lose potential clients. Be careful.
# 8. Employ the GetResponse “Time Machine”
I have been using and recommending GetResponse as an email marketing tool for some time. This is the tool that we employ in Socialancer, and there are many reasons why I favor it over other tools. This link will allow you to access our GetResponse Resource Centre, where you will find articles and videos (in Spanish) wherein we outline the reasons why we work with GetResponse.
In relation to open rate, GetResponse has two features that I really like:
- Perfect Timing. This feature allows you to send messages to each subscriber when they are most likely to open their emails. To this end, GetResponse grounds its decision on the time at which each subscriber opened previous messages.
- Time Travel. GetResponse sends your emails at the time you determine, according to each subscriber’s time zone. If you have a clear idea of when your subscribers normally open your emails, this feature will fine tune the delivery and improve the open rate.
As you can see, there are many ways of improving the open rate of your messages. Have you tried any of them? Which have served you best? Share in the comments below!