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27/02/2019

Email subject lines for high open rates

Nailing the subject line of your email marketing campaign can be the difference between breaking even and turning a profit. The subject line is the most important aspect when it comes to deciding on whether or not a recipient will open an email; therefore, it’s crucial that you get the subject line right. Luckily, we’ve written a guide to help you write better subject lines to give a boost to your email marketing campaign.

First thing’s first, a good subject lines must be gripping; it has to grab the attention of your subscribers and make their mind up for them to open the email. There are many different ways to do this, and the purpose of your marketing campaign and the values of your brand will dictate what’s best for your business.

Subject line tips for your email campaign

  • Descriptive vs Trends – Sometimes it can be tempting to write a subject line that shouts about a current trend or seasonal event, but this often isn’t what will get you the best results. Something to consider is that many of your subscribers are probably already getting emails along the lines of “Valentine’s day deals” from the countless other businesses and companies they subscribe to. Sometimes it might be best to write a relevant, snappy line that describes the contents of your email. However, it works both ways, many people are receptive to trends and seasonal events and will respond to salesy script. At the end of the day, it’s important to know your customer – and one of the best ways to know your customer is to test and experiment (which we will cover later).
  • Personalisation – Most email campaign platforms such as Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor give users the option to add personalised fields to their emails, which has been shown to increase open rates. This can be especially effective when targeting subscribers on their birthday or when contacting ‘VIP customers’.
  • Careful use of emojis – Emojis add a bit of zest to your email campaigns, looking fresh and standing out in a recipient’s inbox. They can also be used in place of words to shorten your subject lines – especially useful when trying to fit your subject onto a single line for mobile users. But be careful, don’t overuse emojis in a single subject as it can look spammy, they should support your subject and not be the focal point.

Testing your email subject lines

The more campaigns you send out (without spamming your subscribers), the more data you have to compare the results of different subject lines. One of the amazing things about many email campaign platforms is their in-depth analysis they offer on your campaigns. By experimenting with different styles of subject line you can start to get a feel with what your subscribers are most responsive to that increase your overall open rates.

The best email campaign platforms (our favourites are Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor) offer a service called A/B testing or split testing, which is a clever service that aims to maximise your open rates. It works by sectioning a small percentage of your subscribers into two groups (A and B) who are then sent your two different email variations. The email sent to the group with the highest open rate and click rate is then sent out to the rest of your subscribers, effectively optimising your email campaign. This allows you to try out different variations of your subject line to see which one delivers the best results.

Email marketing can be an extremely effective tool to add to your repertoire of marketing methods. Spending a little more care and attention on your subject line can be an extremely effective way to improve your open rates so that you can showcase your business to as many people as possible.

To find out more about how Sharp Minds Communications can help with your marketing, email communications@sharpminds.agency 

 Based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Sharp Minds offers brand development, digital marketing, offline marketing and public relations to businesses across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Greater London. You can see what our customers say about us here.

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