Email Marketing Tips – Creating subject lines that get opened

A subject line seems like such a simple thing, but it’s the difference between your next email being opened or trashed. The average person is bombarded with dozens if not hundreds of email subject lines every day. Most of us have developed the skill of tuning out when we sense an email subject line is trying to sell us something! Email MarketingHere are six tips for creating subject lines that get opened:

  1. Ask Questions: Engage your reader with a question that encourages them to open the email to find the answer e.g. “Are you free on September 19th?”
  2. Keep It Short and Sweet: Mixing up the length can keep people curious. They can’t simply assume to know what you’ve included in the email. Try one word subject lines where possible!  According to MailChimp, subject lines that are 28-39 characters have the highest open rate.
  3. Tone: Talking to your customers in a conversational way can make your emails more relatable and less sales-pitchy!
  4. Make it Personal: Including a name in the subject can help the user feel personally addressed e.g. “Mary, join us at our free training course next week.” Even better is segmenting your lists by area, such as “Mary, join us at our free training course in Cork next week.”
  5. Appeal to your subscribers: There was a reason why your subscribers signed up to receive your emails – give them what they want. E.g. discounts, free resources, tips or information etc.
  6. Include Action Words: Including a call to action is a great way to motivate people. Join, start, visit and meet are all ways of encouraging people to act.

As with everything, it’s a matter of trial and error so test, test, test! Also, the open rates differ depending on your industry as well as your relationship with your subscribers. The folks at MailChimp say it perfectly: “When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what’s inside, and the worst subject lines sell what’s inside.”

MailChimp is brilliant at email marketing and they have a great guide to subject lines here:

Do you receive emails from companies? Do you open them?


Written by

Aoife Rigney is a digital marketing and social media strategist, advisor, trainer and event speaker. Aoife loves her work – it’s her passion! From training one to one or a large group, advising a business on their digital strategy or speaking to a room of people – she simply loves it!

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