Better Email Marketing Pt 3. Writing A Great Subject Line

Jun 13, 2020

Part 1

Is Email Marketing Still Relevent

Part 5

The From Name and Address

Part 2

Putting The Customer First

Part 6

The Style & Body of the Email

Part 3

Writing A Great Email Subject Line

Part 7

Segmenting Your Mailing List

Part 4

The First Line or Preview Line

Part 8

Building Your Email Marketing List

Part 3 of the Better Email Marketing blog series is looking at the subject line.

Remember you can jump to any part of the series by clicking the buttons at the top of the page.

The email subject line

The subject line is probably the most important thing to get right as it directly affects how many emails are opened.

Without an open you’ll never get a click, lead or sale. This is the place where you have the chance to grab attention and get that email opened.

Remember the subject line is the first thing your customer will see when your email lands in their inbox, so it needs to be concise and informative.

Don’t fall into the marketing trap of being cryptic or a little clever with your subject, just say what’s in the email.

Some good subject lines:

  • Celebrate 10 years with us. Win £100 to spend online.
  • New season styles in store & exclusive discount voucher.
  • 5 ways to wear our new season dresses.
  • Personal invite to our new Manchester store opening.
  • 6 bookkeeping tips to save you time and effort.

All the subject lines above have some sort of value and say exactly what the email is about. Your customer won’t have to guess what’s in the email or have to solve some puzzling sentence. They just know what they’re going to get.

Some bad subject lines:

  • Here’s our weekly newsletter.
  • See what we’ve got for you!
  • We want your feedback. Complete our survey.
  • Get 5% off everything in-store today.
  • Book now and don’t miss out.

The five subject lines above are all real and pretty bad. Let’s go through them and see why.

  • So what if it’s your weekly newsletter, what’s in it?
  • What have you got for us?
  • Don’t just ask for feedback, offer an incentive for someone to fill in a survey.
  • Offering small discounts like 5% may not be enough.
  • Tell people what they’re booking for and what it is that they may miss out on.

The key is to be specific.

The length of your subject line should be no more than 65 characters – but the shorter, snappier and more descriptive you can make it, the better. Don’t use unnecessary words or punctuation, so no multiple exclamation marks!!!!!

Most desktop email software will show around 65 characters but mobile software could be as little as 32 characters so always remember to keep things as short as possible without losing any of your message.

The main attention grabbing part of your subject should be within the first 32 characters.

Most Email Service Providers like Mailchimp or Zoho Campaigns will have a way to send yourself a test email so you can see what it looks like on a phone or tablet.

Take time over your subject, don’t just come up with something quickly. Brainstorm a few ideas and then decide which one you think will work the best.

Move on to part 4

Now that your subject line is looking a lot better, let’s move onto the First Line or Preview Line.