Email subject lines: 7 ways to boost open rates

You can send the most engaging, well-designed, personalised email to the cleanest, most perfectly segmented data list, but without an attention-grabbing email subject line it’ll likely remain unopened in the inbox. Approximately 47% of email recipients will open an email based on the subject line alone, and 69% will report the email as spam based on the same thing. It’s safe to say that good subject lines can be the deciding factor in the success of your email marketing campaigns.

So, just how can you go about writing email subject lines that will increase your open rates? Here are some of the standout considerations and best practices to consider when constructing an email subject line.

1. Clarity

Creating intrigue to encourage the email open is one thing, but you don’t want to go too far. Make sure that the message of your email is made clear enough in your subject line so that your audience know what they’re clicking through to.

2. Personalisation

Email marketing platforms enable users to create personalised subject lines, meaning that while an email can appear targeted to the individual, it is actually the product of good data collection and utilisation. Personalisation can range from the recipients first name or company name, to past purchases, downloads, or even location – really you are only limited by the data you have.

 3. Time

Creating a sense of urgency can encourage the recipient to act quickly, so when you have an event coming up or an exclusive offer ending soon, adding a countdown to the subject line can push the individual to open and engage further.

4. Humour

A clever joke or pun can be enough to stand out in an inbox and grab the attention of the recipient. But make sure that this approach reflects the message and the audience, and that you do not lose the purpose of the email in the process.

5. Length

The longer your subject line is, the less of the email copy itself will show in the inbox. So how long should your email subject line be? With approximately 46% of emails being opened on mobile it is best to keep the subject line short, 7 words and 41 characters are optimal, in order to maximise its impact across a broader range of email clients and devices.

Using the preheader text in your emails allows you to keep your subject line short and snappy, whilst also having an additional line of text to convey your message and entice an open.

6. Benefit

What does your intended reader gain from opening this email? Whether it is helpful insight, downloadable content or access to offers, when crafting your subject line consider outlining any incentives to make it clear what your audience has to gain.

7. Question

Adding a question into your subject line can initiate a conversation between you and the recipient. It can also create intrigue, resulting in them wanting to open your email to find out the answer.

When writing your subject lines, remember there is no concrete formula for the perfect one. What works for one audience might not work for another so consider your audience demographic, the timing and the type of message you are sending and remember to always A/B test your subject lines to maximise their effectiveness.

If you’re looking to optimise your email marketing strategy, then get in touch so our experienced team can help you.