What You Need to Know Before You Write Your Next Subject Line

Alissa MacDougall
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Posted on:
Tue, Nov 29, 2016
Reading Time:
2 minutes
Categories:
Blog, Email Marketing
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Subject lines are your recipients’ first impression of your email and massively influence your open rate. In fact, 33 percent of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone. It’s important to know how your subject lines are performing and make changes based on the results you receive. Subject lines are easy to optimize and improve constantly through testing and tracking.

On average, email open rates stand around 25 percent. To help you improve your email marketing and increase your open rate to something that is far above this average, we have compiled some of the best subject line optimization tips.

Write for mobile

Over half of all emails are now opened on mobile devices. Because of the smaller screens, mobile email clients cut off subject lines after a certain number of characters. With iPhones, subject lines are cut off after 35 characters whereas Androids wrap the subject line onto the next line. To stay on the safe side, keep subject lines short — around five or six words — to make sure that all readers can view the entire subject line. As an added bonus, subject lines with six to ten words have the highest open rate.

Add personalization

Personalization is a huge part of email marketing and it is not to be excluded from subject lines. Adding a recipient’s first name to a subject line increases open rates 2.6 percent. Adding a first name is such a simple thing to do and provides tangible results.

Include several topics

Most subject lines include only one topic to try and grab the attention of the reader. If the reader is interested in that topic then the subject line is a success. If the reader isn’t interested in that topic then the subject line has failed to entice the reader. When your email contains several topics, as in a newsletter, make sure that several of the topics are mentioned in the subject line. This way, if a reader isn’t interested in one of the topics mentioned, they may still open the email if they are interested in another.

A/B split test for best results

If you have several options for subject lines and cannot decide which to use, try all of them. A/B split testing allows you to try multiple options at the same time and determine which one performs better at a glance.

Many marketing automation platforms allow you to automatically A/B split test emails, making it easy to see which one is better and then switch all outgoing traffic to that version of the email. To see if marketing automation can help you improve your subject lines, sign up for a 14-day free trial.


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