Growth Marketer Academy: Episode 15 – Supercharge Your Email Open Rates With These Killer Subject Line Tricks
When it comes to email marketing, your subject line will make – or break – your campaign.
No matter how great your offer, if you can’t get your lead to open your email, you’re efforts are wasted. I hate wasted time.
Even worse, you could get tagged as spam.
Fear not! We have some tricks up our sleeve to ensure your emails get opened…
Isn’t email a dead medium? Who cares about a subject line?
By the end of 2017, there was an estimated 3.7 billion email users.
To put that in perspective — Facebook has 1.94 billion users.
90% of adults in the US use email.
Email is the most popular online activity across all age groups.
Better yet — ROI.
For every dollar spent on a successful email campaign, you can expect $38 in returns.
Open Rate is key.
Open rate is how many people actually open your email.
But, you should try to outperform average.
Infamous design principle “Keep it Simple Stupid.”
Clear and concise subject lines perform extremely well.
Remember: the average person receives 121 emails per day,
Short and sweet is effective.
- Click-through rates are highest in this range
- Short subject lines improve email experience on mobile.
- Long subject lines can truncate important words
2. Arouse Emotions To Motivate Action
People make decisions based on emotions more than logic.
Fear of missing out
Use the subject line to trigger a feeling of urgency or loss aversion
Hint at time-sensitivity.
Mention an upcoming deadline
Refer to limited time remaining to take advantage of an offer
Get readers to act fast and click-through.
Use phrases like
or “Get this deal before it’s gone”
Subject lines that create urgency get a 22% higher CTR. (according to Email Institute)
Tip: Don’t overdo it.
You don’t want people to get fatigued
If everything you send is tagged with urgency, recipients will think of you as the “brand who cried wolf.”
Alternative: tease a recipient’s curiosity.
The subject should create intrigue
Generate interest without giving away everything
Give them a reason to click-through.
“Ever had this problem? Tell me about it.”
Your brain wants resolution and closure.
Use your subject line to open a loop to initiate interest.
Once your reader is hooked, close the loop in the body of your email.
3. Be Personal And Friendly
The emails we look forward to seeing in our inboxes are from family or friends.
These are people who we know.
They refer to us by our first name.
We are accustomed to seeing our own name in an email.
Subject lines that personally address a recipient enjoy 30% higher click-through rates. (according to Experian Marketing Services)
Personalization makes the email unique to the recipient.
Warning: So many marketers are using the name method to personalize email that people are associating such emails as spam.
Consider instead referring to the recipient’s location.
“The Best Coffee House in Carmichael”
“Secret to Saving on Home Insurance in Spokane”
4. Add Some Visual Jazz
Some marketers have started adding emoji to subject lines
Cute and visually engaging
Can save valuable real-estate,
Can convey emotion
Helps your email subject line get noticed in a crowded inbox.
Warning: badly-placed emoji can negatively impact open rates.
Guidelines for adding emojis to subject lines:
- Make it relevant
Popular emojis aren’t necessarily relevant to your subject line.
Pick an emoji related to your message, regardless of its popularity.
- Match it with your tone
Consistency with your message
Consistency with branding
Example: “Traditional” industry like finance or construction – quirky emoji will likely lead to negative reactions from your audience.
- Mind the rendering issues
Your recipients won’t all use the same email client.
If their email doesn’t support emojis, it will convert a part of your subject line into an unrecognized symbol
You will seem spammy.
Emojis can be effective if used carefully.
Don’t go overboard or use them in every email subject
Recipients will tune you out.
5. Numbers And Lists Are Your Friends
Numbers and lists help the mind breakdown and visualize information
Makes the message seem more easily digestible.
“5 Ways to Help Your Kindergartener Read Proficiently”
“Top 10 French Restaurants in Alberta”
Don’t spell out a number. Use the actual number itself.
Start subject line with a number instead of one being featured later.
Use odd numbers as much as possible.
Psychologically, odd numbers such as 5 or 7 are easier to remember than even numbers
Odd numbers have a 20% higher click-through rate.
6. Focus On The Benefits
Citing a common pain point creates immediate interest
Done well, readers want to learn more.
Universal pain points:
- Saving time or money
- Increasing profits
Instead of listing a feature, be specific and tell them something they care about.
Instead of “how to increase your conversion rate”
be specific: “how to increase your conversion rate by 50% in one week.”
7. Social Proof
People conform to the actions of others
Creates an allusion that the behavior is correct if “everyone is doing it.”
In psychology, this is known as social proof.
Most successful brands include reviews or “as seen on” social proof on landing or product pages
Drives a sense of product reliability.
How to include social proof in your subject lines?
- Mention influencers
- Show strength through numbers
“why [influencer] uses your product”
or “why more than [number] people use your product.”
A good subject line has to grab a reader’s attention and convince them that your email is important enough to warrant a click.
You need to stand out from the crowd of other messages in their inbox.
For every email campaign, prepare at least 5-7 subject lines and analyze which subject line has the best click through.
This will cue you into the most effective subject lines for YOUR audience.