We all love our email. Well, maybe that is not quite true. We love that we can communicate instantaneously across the globe. We hate the way our inbox seems to grow out of control. Whether we are marketing a product or just trying to get the attention of a particular person, we have to make sure that our email stands out among the hundreds of emails that appear in the inbox of our recipient each day. We all know that much of what goes into our own inbox does not even get opened. We simply ignore it and eventually delete it if it does not appear immediately useful. How do we keep the emails that we send from this fate? Is there a way to improve the chances that the recipient opens and actually glances at the email that we have sent? The best way to do this is to write good subject lines for our emails. Here six tips for writing subjects line that will get our emails opened.
1. Think It Through
Given that the subject line is so important, we must put some thought into it. Vague and general subject lines are going to be ignored. Definitely avoid just writing “Hi!” in the subject line. “Open this” will probably be ignored as well. “Suzy, this is important. Open now!” probably generates the opposite action more often than not. The most important point is that we should be planning our subject lines and not simply whipping them off as an afterthought.
2. The Bottom Line
The best subject lines summarize the content of the email. They give the recipient the bottom line of the email. If there is some action that we wish the person to take, we should include that in the subject line. If the information is time sensitive or has a deadline, we should also include that in the subject line. Our subject line should be as precise as possible. This helps the recipient to quickly identify what we are talking about. For example, “Great deals” is a bit vague. “Widget Promotion Week: Save 20%” is better. The second is more specific about the deal is and it is clear that some immediate action must be taken. The second subject line is more likely to get opened.
Giving a summary is especially important for senders of regular newsletters. These subject lines should not just give the name of the newsletter and the date. People may read the initial few newsletters but future editions will be ignored. Each newsletter subject line should summarize the most important content of the newsletter. This will induce people to open the newsletter.
3. Short and Sweet
Subject lines should be approximately 50 characters or less. If the subject is too long, the message will not get across. No one has time to sort through long subject lines. It is acceptable to leave out excess words, including articles, adjective and adverbs. This will conserve characters and give a punch to the subject line.
4. Identify Yourself
Readers want to know clearly who is sending the email. If they recognize the source, they are more likely to open the email. We can use the subject line and the from field to provide this information. Giving all the pertinent information about the sender in these fields is important.
5. Localization and Personalization
A good subject line is one that gives the recipient some indication that this email will be relevant to him or her. A personal touch is important in this area. However, this is often not enough. People realize that it is easy to insert a name into a subject line from a database. The next step is to provide some local information. People are interested in things going on around them. If we can give something of local interest or include a city name in the subject line, then the email is more likely to be opened.
6. Words to Avoid
There are long lists of words to avoid in subject lines. In general, we want to avoid asking for help or money. Email subjects that seem to sell something or ask something of the recipient scream, “Ignore me!” People do not want to receive all sorts of requests in their email. They want messages that add value. You want to craft your email subject line to clearly show the value of your message. To this end you want to avoid words “donate,” “help,” “percent off” and “free.” You also want to avoid the word “reminder.” No one wants to be hounded in their inbox.
These six tips are great ways to start crafting email subject lines which recipients will open. When our emails are being read, our message is being received. This makes our email much more effective and productive.