Having worked with email in one form or another for almost 5 years, I have seen my fair share of junk land in my inbox. Why do I know its junk? Because the subject line gives it away before I even open the email. Even after all these years and the realization that the average person is now getting around 90 emails a day (business & personal), marketers are still using subject lines likeâ€¦
Need a Home Loan?
The best offers today
Deal of the weekend
Are you todayâ€™s winner
Need extra cash?
Borrow up to Â£1000 with no fees
And so onâ€¦
All these subject lines share a few things in common but the major one is that they are all so predictable. They tell you everything you need to know about the email content before you open it and therefore have no need to do so. They do not create any intrigue or encourage the reader to think, â€˜What can this be?â€™
With the volume of email going out in 2016, marketers need to get a lot smarter when it comes to grabbing the attention of a potential future customer. How much time is wasted coming up with amazing email content that is never read because the subject line is poor? Too many people have not taken the time to really understand how consumers are engaging with email and what it takes to actually draw them in.
Some may argue that a subject line should represent the message in the email, and you would be right however there are various ways of saying the same thing and now is the time to start getting creative. Yes, if your practices are solid and you are sending email to a targeted database of people that have signed up to hear from you then the open rate will be higher however you are still competing with an average of 89 other emails a day.
â€œOf course, you may be one of those brands whoâ€™s members cling to everything you say and do, therefore have no such concerns. If youâ€™ve built a base that will scan through the crap to get to your communication each day regardless of subject line, you have well and truly cracked it! The other 95% need to read onâ€¦â€
The average person signs up to many things over the course of a year so a full inbox does not take much doing, especially with the amount of data sharing that goes on, whether you have agreed to it or not! Your loyal users are not just yours, they belong to many different advertisers, list owners and spammers so even with a targeted list, you still need to stand out from the crowd if you want to get opened.
So how do you get creative?
Think about what the offer is and how you bring it to life. What is it about the offer that benefits the user? Leave the user with more to find out as opposed to giving everything away in the subject. A question like â€˜Have you responded to this?â€˜ can be quite powerful in a subject line as it generates a response. If not a question then a request for an action like â€˜You didnâ€™t complete your journeyâ€˜ can also work well.
If your emails are more corporate, and examples like the above are a little mis-leading you can certainly still make something work.
We thought you were perfect for these
We need your thoughts on this
Is this one more suited to you?
Last week your response to this was perfect
Stop scanning your emails, you may miss somethingâ€¦
Your expectations werenâ€™t met â€“ What about now?
A subject line must generate a mental reaction, an impulse, an interest to see what is behind the door so to speak. It must build anticipation much like something you know is coming at a certain time of the day. You may choose to make it time specificâ€¦
You have 1 hour to grab this opportunity
You missed this yesterday, today is the last chance
How ever you decide to engage your audience, testing multiple subject lines is the only way you will truly understand what works for your base. You must remember how many emails people are now receiving and that to stand out you have to be different.
Donâ€™t spend hours perfecting an email creative only to send it with a boring, uninspiring subject line that will simply be scanned over.
Remember â€“ Donâ€™t give everything away in the subject line. Make sure you leave something to the imagination of the reader and watch your open rates increaseâ€¦