The Art of Writing Effective Subject Lines

You probably already know that email marketing is an important part of growing your business. It’s also one of the easiest ways to build trust with your audience online. Most people access their email many times a day on multiple devices. But just because you’re sending emails doesn’t necessarily mean that people are reading them.

There are a few key factors that will help you ensure your emails get read. How you acquired your list and the frequency with which you send emails both matter. But by far the most important part of making sure your emails get opened is the subject line! Here’s how to make sure you’re writing effective subject lines for your business.

1. Be specific!

What is the purpose of your email? What do you want your readers to know or do? Use your email subject line to make it obvious what your audience will find inside. If you have an offer they need, let them know! If they’ll find encouragement or inspiration, invite them in to read it. Don’t worry about being overly clever with your subjects. The best thing you can do is tell your subscribers exactly what to expect from you, and then follow through. This goes a long way in establishing a relationship of trust with your brand.

Example: A 4-step plan for losing weight fast

2. Create some mystery. 

While you should make your subject line specific, make sure you don’t give away the whole story before your email gets opened! Whether you’re introducing a new project, launching a course, or opening a storefront, your subject should let your audience know you have something they need. But you don’t have to share every detail. Before finalizing your email subject, ask yourself, “Would this make me want to find out more?” If the answer is no, it may be time to go back to the drawing table.

Example: Will I see you on August 4th?

3. Embrace emojis (occasionally)

Depending on your industry and the audience that you serve, emojis can be great for adding humor and lightheartedness to your emails. They can also increase your open rates! Fifty-six percent of brands using emojis in their subject lines had a higher unique open rate. You won’t want emojis in all your emails, but sprinkling them here and there in clever ways can help you get noticed! If you have an international audience, be careful that your emojis don’t have multiple meanings that could distract from the main message of your email. When in doubt, go without.

Example: Tis The Season For Holiday Style ::christmas tree emoji::

4. Take advantage of A/B tests

A/B testing lets you try two different subject lines for the same message by sending the email out to two sample groups. The subject line that receives the most opens is then sent to the remaining emails. Most email marketing service providers, including ConvertKit and Mailchimp, give users this option. You don’t need to A/B test every email you send, but A/B testing is especially helpful for large launches or upsell emails when you have a lot at stake. Testing your subjects also helps you learn about your audience so you can better direct your marketing efforts in the future.

Example: A: Here’s that info I promised you
B: I thought you might like this helpful resource 

5. Don’t be afraid to resend. 

This last tip is one far too many business owners fail to use. If you want to improve the open rates for your emails, resend the email to the people who didn’t open it the first time! Sometimes emails aren’t opened because of the day of the week, the subject line used, or the time it was received. All these factors can make it easy for your most important messages to be missed by the people who need them. If you’re unhappy with an open rate and decide to resend an email campaign, the best practice is to change up the subject line to make it feel fresh.

Example: If you change your mind about joining us…

With these 5 tips, you’re well on your way to writing convincing, effective email subject lines!

Looking for a little more help and support as you revamp your subject lines? One of our favorite tools is the Email Subject Line Tester from CoSchedule. This free tool scores your email subjects and gives personalized feedback to increase your open rates. A win, win!

Ready to take your email marketing efforts to the next level? Red Bird Social can help you develop an email strategy you can be proud of, turning your leads into lifelong customers. Find out more about what we do right here!