The importance of email marketing in business continues to grow as the use of technology becomes increasingly popular. Twenty Over Ten is known for developing successful websites for financial advisors, but we want to take it a step further. So, to help you tackle email marketing, we’ll be sharing some of the knowledge and experience that we’ve gained in this area in a new blog post series: Email Marketing 101. The first feature in this series will be an informational post on writing the perfect subject line. Enjoy!
What’s the first thing that you notice when you receive a new email in your inbox? For most people, the first thing that they read is the email’s subject line. Subject lines determine a person’s initial reaction to that message and often decide if the subscriber opens the email at all. The success of your company’s email campaigns begins with a strong subject line.
We’ve compiled information from our own experience, as well as from research completed by MailChimp and Business Insider, to develop 7 Things to Keep in Mind When Writing A Subject Line:
1. Always write a subject line
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to not include a subject line. An email with a blank subject line will most likely be deleted, sent to spam, or immediately annoy the subscriber, who is forced to open it to figure out what it is. A blank subject line is simply a bad first impression to your company’s message.
2. Keep it short and use the most important words first
Most people only spend a second scanning a subject line before deciding if they will open, ignore or delete an email. There is not only a limited amount of time to catch a person’s attention, but there’s also limited space.
To keep your subject line to the point, eliminate any filler words, like “hello” or “nice to meet you,” that can easily be included in the email’s body. Six to eight words is the typical subject line sweet spot. Some studies also note that about 50% of emails are read on mobile phones. Since you don’t always know how much of the subject line will be viewable from each unique smartphone, it’s important to put the most important information at the beginning. Key details may get cut off otherwise.
3. Be clear and specific about the email’s topic
The value and main purpose of your message should be communicated clearly in the subject line so that subscribers are able to prioritize its importance without having to open it. One common mistake that some companies make is beginning a sentence in the subject line that they finish in the body of the email. While this may pique a subscriber’s curiosity and can make it more likely that the email will be opened, people often get annoyed by this because they felt forced or tricked. You want subscribers to feel respected by your company, so these messages are often counterproductive if a person feels like they were misled or their time was wasted.
4. Use logical keywords for search and filtering
Many professionals have folders or filters to manage all of the email that they receive. Including keywords in your subject lines will increase that likelihood that your message will standout, be opened, and even be referenced again later.
People are more likely to open relevant content, so personalization is key.
Referencing a subscriber’s name or a company name is one of the best ways to show people that what you’re sending them is relevant to them. MailChimp research shows that including the city that a subscriber lives in may be even better. If someone referred you to the subscriber, be sure to use their name and put it in the subject line to grab the reader’s attention right away as well.
6. Avoid the spam folder
Certain words or phrasing in a subject line can make it more likely for that email to end up in a person’s spam folder. Words and phrases that are overused or associated with sales, like “free” and “help,” are more likely to trigger a spam filter or simply be ignored by subscribers. Subject lines in all caps or ending in exclamation points are often susceptible to being sent to spam as well. It’s generally recommended not to use caps and a lot of exclamation points anyway, as it comes off as aggressive and yelling. Frame your subject line as a question for better results. Other words and phrases common in the finance industry that often trigger spam filters include:
Check out the ultimate list of email spam trigger words via hubspot!
7. Switch it up
Subscribers may easily become bored if they repeatedly receive an email from your company that contains the same subject line each time. Even if the message is part of a weekly or monthly campaign, get creative and develop a new subject line each time that reflects the unique content of that message.
Hopefully these tips provide you with some guidance in writing your email subject lines. Check out our other posts in the Email Marketing 101 series: Best Times to Send Campaigns, Email Service Providers, Message Content, and Building and Segmenting Subscriber Lists!
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