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Six Tips for Creating Powerful Email Subject Lines

writing-email-subject-linesEmail marketing is an inexpensive but powerful marketing tool. When done well, it can deepen your relationship with your customers (or potential customers) and put your small business in their thoughts and inboxes.

There’s only one little catch: Your recipients have to actually open the email.

To make that happen, you need an effective, engaging subject line. Think about your own experience as a consumer weeding through your inbox. What makes you open an email? When you’re the one writing that all-important subject line, ask yourself six questions.

1. Is this subject line targeted to my audience? Who are your recipients? Small business owners who met you at a conference? Former or current customers? People who signed up for your newsletter? You can use this information to really give your recipients something they want.

2. Does this subject line offer something to my audience? What useful content does this email have? Can you solve a problem for them? Can you otherwise help them or keep them informed? Again, by knowing your target you can write a better subject line.

3. Does it actually tell you what’s in the email? Don’t confuse your message. Go for straightforward subject lines that aren’t too gimmicky or overly cute. If your email has a simple call to action (“Read this article” “Schedule a consultation”) that should be reflected in your subject line.

4. Will it make my recipient want to know more? Your subject line needs just the right amount of information to hook your our reader and make them want to read more. Some tricks you can use include “5 tips for…” “Want to…?” “How to…”

5. Is it too spammy? “50% OFF! FREE! SALE!! Buy now!” All those percentages, capital letters, and overly “salesy” elements don’t necessarily lead to more clicks. Even worse, they can trigger filters that consign your marketing effort to the black hole of the spam folder. Your email marketing is most effective when it builds relationships.

6. Is it too long? Shorter is better. Subject lines of 50 characters or under tend to perform more. One reason: think of all your recipients who check their email on their mobile devices. Not much room for a long subject there.

Effective email subject lines are an art and a science. Spend time and thought on your email subject lines, and your email will stand out in your recipient’s inbox. And you can see what works and what doesn’t right away. If you use email tools such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact, their reporting tools can tell you the subject lines that give you the most results.

Still wondering how email fits in your overall marketing plan—and how to get it right? BlueTreeDigital has helped many small businesses plan, write, set up, and track email campaigns. Contact us if you’d like to learn more. Or join our own email newsletter list for monthly marketing tips and news.