Marketers hoping to entice prospects to open, read, click or act on emails face the need for a delicate balance. How do you write a subject line that’s urgent but informative? Enticing, not off-putting?
Online email marketing consultancy Phrasee studied the click rates and open rates of about 700 emails. It found that even very subtle differences in word choice can have a major impact on the likelihood of the recipient taking the action you want. While the right phrasing in email marketing helps increase business sales, language that suggests boasting or too much urgency can backfire on marketers. Even minor grammatical distractions like too many commas or capitalized words can land an email in the trash folder.
Some subject line tips for your next email campaign:
What’s new? Words in subject lines indicating something new, such as “introducing,” tend to perform well, Marketing Profs explained. Also successful are experiential verbs such as “celebrate.” They often perform better than more straightforward action words such as “spend” or “buy.”
Order references. When it comes to sales, emails that appear to refer to outstanding orders, such as “on orders over” and “your next order,” encouraged the most action from customers, Marketing Profs reported. This was true even in comparison to less popular subject lines containing words that suggested discounts, such as “only,” “further reductions” and “buy one get one free.”
Mobile-friendly. Mobile phones show fewer characters in subject lines. Not only do you want to keep subjects short, but you should place the more important terms first if possible. For this reason, unnecessary niceties such as “thank you” may be better left in the body of the email.
Specifics. Marketers get more clicks when emails are tailored to specific items, services or events. Customers don’t necessarily need to open it immediately, as long as they get around to it. If your subject line is specific enough, this will help recipients prioritize, possibly setting it aside for a moment when they have more time to respond.
Keywords related to the topic of the email will also help you circumvent filters set up on the other end, Business Insider said. Effective marketing emails may include calls to action, such as deadlines like “please reply by Monday” and requests like “please read,” the website said.
Personalization. In our personal lives, we know to include names in a subject line – for instance, when contacting someone on a recommendation. When possible, this rule should also apply to your marketing campaigns.
Familiar and casual. In the last presidential election, of all the fundraising emails sent out by Barack Obama’s campaign team, the most fruitful subject lines were things recipients may see in their inbox from other people.
Sometimes it’s best not to over think it. One subject line – “Hey” – was among the campaign’s most successful in raising cash over the long haul.