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10 Surefire Tips to Craft Email Subject Lines That Boost Open Rates

10 Surefire Tips to Craft Email Subject Lines That Boost Open Rates

Even though social and mobile marketing are growing at hyperspeed in today’s marketing playground, email marketing still reigns supreme. In fact, 73% of marketers believe that email marketing is a cornerstone of communication and lead nurturing, and that’s especially true for B2B marketing. However, even the best written emails might be sidestepped if your reader decides to simply not open them. In practical terms, an unopened email means zero chances of clicks, and no clicks mean no conversions will ever happen. So what makes your emails stand out in this crowded world of email marketing?

Your email subject lines, that’s what.

Much like wearing a flashy hat in a literal crowd, your email subject lines are your only ticket to standout in a crowded inbox. Done right, email subject lines can help you make a knockout first impression, leading to email opens, then – hopefully – link clicks, and finally – fingers crossed – conversions! So to help you get your conversion hat on, we’ve compiled a list of 10 surefire tips to jazz up your email subject lines.

10 Tips to Craft Converting Email Subject Lines

1. Use a Real Sender

With the rising number of forgotten dead uncles trying to transfer their fortunes to us (read: badly written spam emails), as well as the phishing and malware we receive in our inboxes, it’s no wonder that we think twice about opening every email. And we don’t know about you, but we find hard to trust the scores of “Infos”, “Noreplys”, and “Admins” that contact us daily. So to make sure your email doesn’t end up in your recipient’s spam folder, drop the generic email address. And never, we repeat, never use a no-reply address.

Using the name of a real person as your sender makes your recipient feel at ease. Even if the email is from the whole organization, this humanizes your brand. It also comforts your reader to know that a person is at the other end of the digital line who would actually listen if they decide to reply back to the email you sent.

Are you a Pardot user? We thought you could use some help! Here’s how to edit the sender name and address for your emails.

2. Get Personal

Obviously, we don’t mean use pet names – and if you’re doing that, don’t say we advised it. But having permission to email your leads definitely puts you on first name basis with them. What’s more, using a recipient’s first name in the subject line can increase open rates by almost 20%. People are bombarded with so many updates and newsletters on a daily basis that it starts feeling robotic. As such, using your recipient’s name will make your subject line pop-out to them – sort of like calling out to someone in a crowd. It makes your email feel less mechanic and foreign, and more friendly and familiar, which makes them more likely to open it. And that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Another one for all you Pardot users reading this, here’s how to use variable tags to personalize your emails.

3. Count Your Characters

The latest studies have shown that 81% of people surveyed check their email via mobile. With that in mind, consider this: Android phones show only 33 characters of an email subject lines in portrait mode, while iPhones show between 35 and 38 characters. So what’s the moral behind this story? Keep your subject lines short and sweet, ideally at around 24 characters and definitely not more than 50.

Try to relay your message in as few words as possible. Following our previous note, avoid words like “Update” or “Newsletter”. Not only do they use up characters, but they’ve also been shown to reduce open rates. And just in case you’re still struggling to keep it concise, at least start with your most important words. That way your message gets through to your readers before their tiny screens eat up the rest.

4. Segment, Segment, Segment!

Ever received an email offering discount on cat food, when you don’t even have a pet rock? It was probably a bit awkward. We’ll also go on a limb and assume you unsubscribed from that sender. This stuff can happen and it doesn’t do the brand any favors. (Though if you did receive that email and you do have a cat, that’s on-point segmenting.) So to avoid losing emails and improve your email open rates, make sure you segment your email lists inline with your company goals. This ensures that your recipients only receive emails that are relevant to their persona or to their stage in the conversion funnel.

5. Don’t Use Click Baits

You’re better than that. On a similar note to the previous point, tricking your recipients into opening an email with false details or call-to-actions won’t win you any brownie points, either. An example would be promising free content without delivering on your promise. Just like that boy who cried “wolf!”, you will betray the trust you worked hard to build and quickly start losing email subscribers, as well.

6. Use actionable sentences

We’ll repeat that once more for good measure. Always use actionable sentences. This is one of these pieces of advice that applies everywhere, from your email subject lines, to your blog titles, to your marketing strategy… even to your life! Life-coach counsel aside, avoid using generic sentences or the passive voice in your subject lines. Instead, starting your subject lines with action verbs gives off a sense of urgency. When paired with good segmentation, this tactic entices your recipients and improves their chances of opening your email.

7. State Your Offer

When was the last time you turned down a freebie or a limited time discount? People love offers, and will almost always pounce on a chance to redeem them even when the chance of benefiting from them is slim. So make sure you clearly and concisely state your offer in your subject line. Assuming it hits the sweet spot with your segmented email list, we’re positive they won’t think twice before opening that email, clicking through your link, and – ‘lo and behold – converting!

8. Use Numbers

Numbers convey facts. Using them in your subject lines helps you instill trust from the very first impressions you make. As a matter of fact, numbers in subject lines have been found to increase email open rates by as much as 206%! These numbers could represent a special discount percentage, the pages of a downloadable ebook, the number of people who have also shown interest in your event, the days remaining on a limited time offer, the number of happy clients you’ve worked with, or any quantifiable metric that’s relevant to your topic.

Remember, it’s very easy to spread fake content in today’s fast-paced, digital world, and your audience knows that first hand. So since numbers don’t lie, use them to help you with your goals.

9. Ask Questions

You know the saying about curiosity killing the cat? Well, curiosity also packs a punch when it comes to boosting email open rates. Whether it’s a pizza parlor struggling to get its tomato sauce right, or a fortune 500 aiming to increase its ROI, every lead has a burning question that they need answered. And using that very question as your subject line will definitely pique your recipients’ interest enough to almost always open your email. Now don’t go asking us what these questions are – you know your leads best!

10. Always A/B Test

If you’re not testing, you’re losing money. That’s one thing we strongly believe over here at Changi. Steve Fadden and Mark Geyer from Salesforce said in regards to customer preference, “Despite what we think is best… data should be used as a guide to make informed decisions.” Even if you’ve conducted the most extensive research, and even if you follow these tips to the last letter, what works best for others may not work the same way for you. So just like testing a software for bugs is essential to ensure optimal performance, or testing a menu item is a must to see if your customers like it, you need to test your subject lines. It helps you know what makes your own audience tick – or in this case, click – and, as a result, be able to deliver exactly that in every single subject line.


Looking For An Easier Way to Do Email Marketing? Think Pardot!

Pardot is a B2B marketing automation platform by Salesforce that helps your marketing team create more leads, generate more pipeline, and empower your sales team to close more deals. In a nutshell, Pardot helps you achieve more with less effort! Sounds interesting? Get in touch with us to book a free consultation now and discuss your business challenges and requirements.

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