Resources Hub » Blog » 6 Subject Line Tips to Break Through the Clutter

How much time and energy do you put into writing your email subject lines? Many people spend so much time focusing on what’s inside the email that they completely neglect their subject lines. And more often than not, their open rates take a hit as a result.

Optimizing your email subject is a crucial step in maximizing your marketing campaign. After all, if your subject blends in with the rest of your readers’ inbox, they’re probably going to skip right over your message.

So, how do you write subject lines that grab the recipient’s attention? Here are six tips to help you get started.

1. Personalize your email subject lines

A guaranteed way to improve the effectiveness of your targeted email campaign is to personalize your subject lines.

The simple act of adding your subscriber’s name in the subject can increase your email open rate by 26%. That’s because a name in the subject line makes subscribers feel as though your email was meant specifically for them.

Not only that, email personalization techniques are useful for custom tailoring your email campaigns to suit the needs and expectations of the individual, making your content stand apart from the rest.

2. Create email subject lines that target specific audiences

Building segmented lists can go a long way in helping you deliver content to the people who value it the most. List segmentation allows you break followers up into various demographics, which helps you to adjust your tone and content to best suit each grouping. This includes age and location demographics, buying habits, and more.

For example, you might send one email to a segment of people interested in a specific type of product you sell (like shoes), while another segment gets an email focused on your new clothing products.

3. Get right to the point

The average desktop client shows roughly 65 characters in a subject line, while mobile phones display as little as 25-30 characters. For this reason, it’s important to make your point known to the reader right away.

We recommend using as little as five or six words to convey your message. That’ll give you a subject line that’s optimized for both desktop and mobile users, which is important considering more emails are opened on mobile devices than desktops.

4. Put your important words at the beginning of the subject

Your subject line is the reader’s first impression of your email. And if you’re unable to effectively capture their attention, it might be your last impression as well. Avoid this by being strategic with your word placement, putting the most important words at the beginning of the sentence where you know they’ll be spotted.

Consider the following examples:

  • All winter clothes are marked down by 50%
  • 50% markdown on all winter clothes

In the first example, we don’t know that clothes are half off until the very end of a 43-character subject line. The second subject, on the other hand, tells us the most important information at the beginning of the sentence. As a result, the second example does a better job at attracting the reader’s attention.

5. Lose the filler words

Starting your subject line with filler words and phrases like “hey there,” “hello,” and “nice to meet you” creates unnecessary clutter by taking away from your intended point. And in the age of mobile browsing, the last thing you want to do is use some of your prime subject line real estate on words that have no real value.

One phrase that does have value, however, is “thank you.” Great for strengthening the relationship with your following, simple expressions of gratitude tell your readers that you recognize and appreciate their support.

6. Run A/B tests

There are going to be times when you perform every subject line tip in the email marketer’s handbook and your subjects still fall flat. Fortunately, with the help of A/B testing, you can reduce the chances of creating a boring and uneventful subject line.

Marketing platforms like Campaign Monitor make it easy to test open rates for different titles. All you have to do is come up with a list of subject lines that vary in length, tone, and the usage of power words.

Some example of A/B tests include:

  • Testing emails with and without the reader’s name in the title
  • Testing short versus long subject lines
  • Testing generic subject lines versus subjects written with specific segments in mind

Once finished, you’ll be able to check the results of your A/B tests and see which subject lines had the highest open rates. This not only helps you choose the best subject for your next newsletter, it also gives you a better understanding of what subject line styles work best with your readers.

Wrap up

Remember, your subject line is almost as important as your email content itself. With the help of this guide, you’ll be more likely to create attention-grabbing emails that speak directly the reader—not your mailing list.

Want to learn more about building the perfect email campaign? Reach out today to learn more about our all-inclusive email marketing platform. We make it easier to develop customized email campaigns designed to target specific segments of your following.

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This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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