First impressions count. When it comes to emails, this means the subject line. Email software for business helps to make your overall email campaigns easier, but the business email software still needs you to use it properly, and come up with the subject line.
In our previous post, we pointed out what you shouldn’t do when it comes to subject lines. This includes things such as accidentally sending placeholder text or broken personalisation. This article, however, looks at what you should be doing.
It takes some practice
Subject lines are an area where you will need to concentrate some testing efforts. It doesn’t matter how good and wonderful the content of the email is if no one clicks through to read it.
Therefore, accept that you will need to test subject lines to see what works best for your business. Your ultimate goal is that it is enticing enough, and absolutely top-notch in terms of functionality, to ensure maximum click-through rates.
Getting the basics right
Use your business email software to get the basics right. Configuration, working personalisation, and the like, can be easily achieved with the right software. Beyond this, there are some other basic points you need to get right:
- Use urgency and scarcity: It’s good practice to inject a small amount of the fear factor into your subject line. What you don’t want is the reader to think they can open it later – they won’t – they’ll forget. You want them to open it now. This is why limited time offers work.
Do bear in mind, though, that you shouldn’t use this tactic with complete abandon. You need to be sure that the urgency and scarcity are genuine, and won’t be matched by an equally great offer the next day. So use it sparingly so that it retains its power.
- Pique curiosity: Ideally, your subject line needs to whet the appetite and pique curiosity. You want your readers intrigued to find out more. A small sense of mystery can work wonders to get them to click through to read on.
Good subject lines for this are questions where the answer lies within.
- Offers: It’s classic and old-school but still here with good reason. Highlighting an offer in the subject line is the perfect bait to get increased click-throughs. Fundamentally, people love a bargain, and they definitely love freebies. Use that knowledge to your advantage in the subject line.
- Make it personal: We also know that people are far more likely to open an email if it addresses them directly. This is where email software for business makes things easier. You can use it to create captivating subject lines that include the individual’s name. They simply can’t resist.
Personalisation needn’t just be their name. You likely have information to hand about their preferences, gender, likes and even income. Use this information to tailor the subject line.
- Make it relevant: Your audience has subscribed to your email newsletters for a reason. You need to understand that reason and make sure you are delivering on the promise to provide them with what they want.
Therefore, meet their requirements. Provide them with tips or industry news. Give them the latest information on product releases. Let them know they were right to hand over their details to you.
- Use story-telling: We evolved by telling stories. We still love them. And they work fabulously in email marketing. Therefore, if you are taking a story-telling approach to your whole email, then take a story-telling approach to the subject line. It needs to allude to what’s inside, but not give away the plot.
What else do you need to know about subject lines?
- Be short and sweet: You have around 50-60 characters to make your subject line count before it’s not visible in display on a desktop. You have considerably less if the email is likely to be viewed on a mobile device. Pop the most important word at the start and then work from there.
- Be known: Your business emails need to come from the same address: one that is easily recognised. Your email marketing software should make this nice and straight-forward. Using a name rather than ‘info@’ or ‘hello@’ can be very powerful and definitely avoid ‘no-reply’. Along with the subject line, this is all your reader sees to help them make a decision on whether to open the message.
- Use segmentation: Your email software should enable you to use segmentation so different subject lines can be used for different people. This helps to make sure that the subject line is relevant to each recipient, rather than attempting to catch water with your bare
- Be truthful: Don’t make false promises in your subject line. You may have got click through on today’s email but you’ll be unlikely to ever get action again, in fact, you’ll likely be marked as spam. So have integrity, and only offer what you can give.
This also applies if your email campaign is on the back of them doing something, such as downloading a free guide. The subject line should convey that you are following through and indeed, inside the email, is exactly what they expect.
- Use call to action principles: If you’re familiar with crafting calls-to-action then you’ll be well-placed for writing a subject line. Use action-based verbs to ignite action in the subject line. You want the audience to imagine themselves doing what you want them to do.
- Be specific: The problem with many email subject lines is that they are simply too ‘woolly’. People are busy and don’t have time to wade through reams of information. Therefore, they are more likely to open an email with the subject line: ‘5 ways to save money’ than they are to open the more generic ‘ways to save money’.
- Remember your spelling and grammar: There’s nothing quite so off-putting as an email subject line that has typos, prolifically uses exclamation marks, or simply shouts at you using cap locks. Every character in a subject line matters, so give each of them careful attention.
Use a good business email software, and you can ensure that your emails get off on the right foot, right from the subject line. Make those first impressions good ones.