April 8, 2018

Email Marketing Subject Lines

How to write catchy email subject lines that earn you clicks

When you provide your customers an offer over email, they are 138 percent more likely to buy your product. The hardest part is getting your customers to actually open the email with the great offer inside. Enter catchy email subject lines!

What does it take to get them to open it?

Writing the best email marketing subject lines is a delicate balance of science and art. Subject lines should be tested and optimized; however, subject lines also need to appeal to people’s emotions.

Email subject lines are an elevator pitch for your email. But, instead of the length of an elevator ride, you’ve got only two seconds to convince someone to open your email. This elevator pitch is a speedball.

Selling the message in an email subject line

Before we dive into the ins and outs of email subject lines, let’s talk about what recipients want in an email. The best emails answer “What’s in it for me?” Overall, people want:

  • Something quick and easy
  • A benefit, because they’re self-interested
  • News, especially if it’s good
  • Their curiosity aroused

Effective emails deliver on those wants, and irresistible subject lines sell those wants, hard.

Winners and losers in email subject lines

Hubspot® broke down what works when it comes to creating the most tempting email subject lines. These are the strategies that help, or hold back, email open rates.

 The highest-performing catchy email subject lines contained:

  • Personalization. Your customers are getting overloaded with buckets of emails every day. Stand out by taking a moment to consider your customer’s needs and preferences. Take advantage of the mass amounts of consumer data to tailor your content to what they are really looking for.
  • A time element. Words and phrases such as “Act now” “Breaking” and “Order today” capitalize on FOMO (fear of missing out).
  • Curiosity. Giving readers just a taste of what is to come in the email might make them more inclined to take a bite. Try phrases like, “Find out how to save big on your next order” or “See how you can double your savings.”
  • Use emojis. These little graphics stand out among the sea of text in your customer’s inbox while also adding touches of personalization. If you need more convincing, consider that subject lines that include emojis have a 56 percent higher open rate than text-only subject lines.

To compare, the lowest-performing subject lines contained words that often trigger SPAM folders such as:

  • As seen on
  • Make money
  • Free
  • You’re a winner!

Sharing information isn’t enough. The best email subject lines need to include a benefit— time and money savings, competitive advantage or relief from some business pain.

Mobile matters for email subject lines

More than half of emails—55 percent—are opened on mobile devices. And, this has a big impact on optimizing email subject lines.

Smaller mobile screens call for shorter email subject lines. Best practice is to limit character count to 30 or less.

Shorter subject lines aren’t the end of the world. Use the from line and preheader text, which appear next to the subject line, to also sell the email. Make every word and character count!

One simple rule for email subject lines—2-2-2

If you remember one thing about writing effective email subject lines, remember the 2-2-2 rule:

  • 2 seconds: Recipients decide in two seconds whether to open an email.
  • 2 words: Recipients read the first two words of an email subject line.
  • 2-day: Recipients want email that matters to them today.

We want to hear from you. Do you want to kick-start your email marketing campaign with some catchy email subject lines? Give us a call today!