10 Killer Email Subject Lines to Increase Open Rate by 200%

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You've crafted the perfect email that is guaranteed to net you tons of sales and new visitors to your site. You hit send and your email arrives in your subscribers' inboxes. And then it happens: the new sales and visitors to your site never materialize.

What is going on?

It may be that your email subject lines are discouraging users from opening your emails. Your subject line is your first impression on users. It can be more important than your email body. A bad initial impression might sour them on your site entirely and your email might end up in the trash folder.

Below are some tips to improve your email subject lines and encourage users to open your emails. Megan Marrs of Wordstream has put together a list of the 10 best email subject line styles to increase your open rates. Utilize some of the tips below and you may find that you generate more traffic from your email newsletter.

10 Email Subject Line Examples

#1 Simple, No-Nonsense Email Subject Lines

According to the study conducted by Mailchimp, it is observed that short and descriptive subject lines work better than more long-winded, humorous and creative subject lines. This approach applies most to notification or update emails.

Example: Your Order Has Been Shipped

#2 Funny Email Subject Lines

Humor can stick out because it is a strategy that is infrequently attempted. Most email subject lines are pretty dull and repetitive. Marrs notes that humor works best if you know your audience well and your emails are targeted.

Example: Bummed you missed out? Console yourself...

#3 Controversial/Shocking Email Subject Lines

Controversial or shocking email subject lines can steal the attention of viewers. You must be careful not to offend your customers, however, so controversial or shocking email subject lines must be crafted with care.

Example: Your Marketing Sucks: Why You Need to Think Local

#4 Single-Word Subject Lines

Single-word subject lines can catch the eye, standing out from the mass of longer subject lines in the email inbox.

Example: Panic

#5 Email Subject Lines with Numbers and Lists

Marrs notes that our brains are naturally drawn to digits and lists. They are easier to process and read. They also stand out because they are visually different from other email subject lines.

Example: 10 jaw-dropping drift videos on YouTube

#6 Personalized Subject Lines

Some examples of personalized subject lines are the use of location-specific offers and language or emails targeted to a specific demographic.

Example: Best Burgers in Boston

#7 Questions and Other Punctuation in Email Subject Lines

Question marks and unusual punctuation stand apart from the bulk of boring email subject lines. If you ask your readers a question, you will instantly involve them, making it more likely that they will open your email.

Example: What is your retirement plan?

#8 "Missing Out" and Other Scarcity Tactics

People don't like to miss out on a deal. That is why email subject lines announcing that something is scarce or that a deal is about to expire tend to lead users to open emails.

Example: 5 Hours Only: 50% off all jeans

#9 Mysterious Email Subject Lines

People will click on mysterious email subject lines just to figure out what that weird subject line is referring to!

Example: It's all over December 25...

10) Alliteration

Alliteration attracts readers. Make use of it to encourage users to open your emails.

Example: Bringing Back Buy One, Get One Free!

More Email Subject Line Tips

Marrs lists several tips to keep in mind when coming up with email subject lines:

She notes that one should write 10 subject lines for every email, and then choose the best to send.

She also notes that you should keep your email subject line under 50 characters because this leads to higher open and click-through rates.

She cautions against using caps lock.

She notes that the best email subject lines are geared towards the audience. You must get to know your audience in order to cater to them.

You should use a conversational tone to attract readers.

A call to action in your subject line may lead users to click through to the email. A call to action might begin with an action verb suggestion to the reader, such as "Build" or "Go."

Marr notes that you should use "you" and "your" in email subject lines.

The "from" section of your email should include your brand name so people know you are legitimate and not spam.

You should always A/B test subject lines. An A/B test helps you figure out which version of an email subject line is more successful at getting viewers to click through.

You should also pay attention to the email preview. This should also be crafted to maximize the amount of users that click through to the message.

You should borrow from those email addresses that you like. Tweak them to make them unique and then try them out on your own users.

To Wrap Up...

Remember that the best email subject lines are usually short, describe the topic, and give the viewer a reason to open your email. You should make sure that your subject line immediately captures the attention of the viewer; otherwise they might discard your email or focus on another email in their inbox.

There are people who receive hundreds of emails a day and they can't possibly read them all. They rely on email subject lines to guide them as to which emails to focus on and engage with further. In addition, email subject lines are especially important because they are often the first and only impression that you give a customer. Craft an email subject line with care and you may encourage click-throughs and repeat business.

Hopefully the above post has been helpful and you will put some of these tips into play the next time you write an email subject line.
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