10 Expert Tips On How To Write Irresistible Email Subject Lines

email marketing

Email marketing is an incredibly valuable form of digital marketing that, when done properly, yields an exceptional ROI, better than any other online marketing tactics as you can see in the graphic below. Of course, it’s the “when done properly” that’s the problem and many brands don’t believe they’re getting the return they want from their email marketing effort. So, how can you ensure that your email messages get opened and that subscribers click on your links? A big factor is writing irresistible email subject lines.

email subject LinesRead on and we’ll share some expert tips on how you can write irresistible email subject lines for your campaigns.

How to write irresistible email subject lines

We’re all busy with inboxes filled with a variety of messages (the average user receives about 126 messages per day although some receive significantly more than this number) so whenever an email turns up in our inbox that doesn’t capture our interest at first glance, we hit the delete button without giving the email another thought. So, how can you entice subscribers to open your missives? And, unless they open the message, they never see your offers and you wasted the effort to get them to engage or buy your products. The good news is that there are over 4 billion active daily email users and that number is likely to increase by about 3% per year based on past metrics. So, if you do your research, perfect your craft, and try some variations of the following tips, it is entirely possible for you to use email marketing to produce the ROI you need to create business success.  Here are some helpful suggestions for crafting the right message:

1. Know your audience

It might sound silly, but you really must conduct thorough research into who your audience is before constructing email subject lines and messages. For example, if you are targeting plumbers in Dallas, what is the average age of this group? What gender are they? What are their biggest fears? What are their most common pain points and what can you do to alleviate them? The more you know about the subscribers in your email list, the easier it is to craft compelling email subject lines that compel them to open the message to read its content. As you can see below, the subject line has a lot to do with whether your message gets opened or not.

email marketing

Also, segment your subscriber list to create email subject lines that resonate with individuals based on their characteristics.

Not everyone wants the same deal — they want what they want based on who they are,” Wells says. He adds that people who deliberately opt into an email offer, “want to think they’re special, part of a club of customers who are the only ones getting that offer. You don’t put those offers on Facebook. [Constant Contact]

You can learn more about list segmentation and how to implement it by reading this post.

2. Create a sense of urgency

Another efficient way to craft a compelling email subject is to create a sense of urgency. Is there a start and end date for a specific promotion you’d like to push? Will the recipient ultimately miss out on an awesome deal if they don’t take immediate action?

At the very least, creating urgency piques interest and gets people to open the message to learn more. Then you can get to work on crafting some magical sales copy to seal the deal.

3. Spark emotions

Emotion triggers more email opens than any other type of email subject line (in fact, emotion in almost any marketing communication drives a higher response rate). Try to resonate with those who have a curious nature by writing an email subject line that creates an air of mystery (e.g., “This is the last email you’ll ever need to open”). Try storytelling as a way to both gain more opens and clicks. You can add a story teaser to your email subject line to improve open rates.

Try using emojis in your subject line to improve open rates or use words that evoke positive emotions.

4. Personalise the email where possible

Of course, if you are sending out emails you want to add as much personalization as possible. As mentioned above, deep personalization is possible by segmenting your subscriber list but also ensure you collect information either on your subscription form or your welcome message so you can add individual personalization. For instance, capture the subscriber’s name so you can include that in the subject line and within the message. Also, think about how you can use other individual factors such as children’s names or the company they work for to show you care about them as an individual.

5. Make it relevant

Timing is also important when sending emails. For example, incorporating certain trending topics in your subject lines that are relevant to their industry can be a great way of establishing trust and understanding. If you’re following a certain event or topic, then you clearly share common interests.

Relevancy is one of the most important factors when you want to engage with people and build a following online so make sure you know how to resonate with the right people.

6. Pose a compelling question

Using your subject line to ask a question relevant to your target persona encourages them to open your message. For instance, I might send a message to my subscribers with the subject line; “Are you doing SEO wrong?” This encourages my subscribers to open the message because it promises something they’re interested in and will likely find valuable.

If you use a lot of other efforts to build your reputation as an expert in topics related to your business it further enhances to the likelihood of getting subscribers to open the email with a question subject line.

7. Learn from the emails that you open

When was the last time you opened an email you found compelling? Do you remember what it was that prompted you to do so? One of the best ways to learn how to write enticing email subject lines is by simply thinking about what always works for us. Try to emulate that in your own writing and see how you get on.

You’ll also find lots of resources online with great advice on writing a good subject line. Remember that technology and tastes change over time so don’t get complacent with what worked in the past but keep learning.

8. Keep it crisp and concise

The ideal length of an email subject line is:

  • No more than 9 words
  • Max 60 characters

Keep it crisp and concise. Labor over the subject line and remove any unnecessary words. When it comes to writing awesome sales copy that makes people want to explore further, my favorite tip is: “Cut the fat”.

9. Use action-oriented verbs

One excellent way to get people to take action is to have them picture themselves taking such action. For example, “Dive into X”, “Dine with Y”, and “Drive a Z”.

When you use clear and actionable words that conjure imagery in the reader’s mind’s eye, they’re far more likely to click on it than something that is otherwise rather dull and generic.

10. Make them feel special

Just as we like the sound of our own names, we also like to feel special as well. One great way to entice people to open and read your emails is by using special phrases like:

  • “We have an exclusive offer for you.”
  • “Our special gift to you.”
  • “We want to hear your opinion.”

Final thoughts: It may take a lot of trial and error

There are many approaches you can take to crafting email subject lines bound for the highest open and click-through rates. It’s definitely worth trying different options before settling on an optimal solution that works for your subscribers. Most email programs feature several performance metrics to judge the success of your email marketing programs such as opens and clicks. Many even offer the option to split-test different subject lines with your subscribers. Just be sure to identify the purpose of your email, determine a call to action, draft multiple subjects, and test them all!

Of course, if you have neither the time nor desire to dedicate so much time and resources to crafting and managing a successful email marketing campaign, it may be worth hiring the experts. Find yourself an SEO expert in Dallas with experience in email marketing and creating sales copy that converts like crazy and you can sit back and relax!

Either way, we hope that you’ve found this inspiring and now have a better idea as to where to begin with crafting yours. And remember: cut the fat!

Need marketing help to support business growth?

We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.