Writing emails can sometimes be difficult, but what’s even more difficult - writing email subject lines! They may be short, but they’re the number one factor in determining whether or not people actually open (and read!) our messages.
No pressure or anything.
That said, we were thrilled when last week at the American Society of Association Executives’ Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference, Craig Wood, Managing Director and Chief Engagement Officer at 360 Live Media, and Jay Schwedelson, President and CEO of Worldata, spoke about subject line tricks bound to get your emails opened.
Want to know what they had to say? Well they offered more than 45 marketing tips and tricks, but nine in particular - regarding email subject lines - stood out:
- Use the word free (when it makes sense, of course) - Free used to be deemed a bad word in the email marketing world (destined for spam), but not anymore. Now, the word free actually boosts email opens. Try it! (Free white paper, free swag, etc.)
- Play around with exclusivity - People like to feel special. That said, try using words like exclusive, private, or sneak peek in your email subject line. You can even play around with words like psst and shhh as well.
- Avoid words like meeting, chat, and alert - Your members and prospects are busy, and seeing words like meeting and chat will likely just stress them out. (As will alert - yikes!) Avoid those words, if possible.
- Ask a question - Get this: Emails with questions in the subject line actually have an 11 percent higher open rate than emails without. Try things like “Have you heard the latest news?” or “Have you registered for our biggest event of the year?” People will likely be intrigued!
- Build suspense - No one wants to be left on a cliffhanger! Tease your members with subject lines like “And the winner is…” or “2017 XYZ of the Year” (paint color, car model, teaching trend, etc.).
- Test emojis - Say what you want about emojis, but according to 360 Live Media and Worldata, B2C companies using emojis in their email subject lines have increased open rates of 31 percent (and B2B = 34 percent). Might be worth a shot! (A clock emoji to emphasize time running out, a sun emoji to represent a summer event special, etc.)
- Use the word minutes - We’re all pressed for time, your members and prospects included. That said, if you can let them know your email will only take a few minutes, they might be more inclined to open/read it. (Example: How to grow your business in 15 minutes or less.)
- Experiment with “Just for…” - This kind of goes off the exclusivity concept. Try things like “Just for our members” or “Just for HR professionals.” Emails with “Just for…” actually have a 17 percent increase in open rates!
- Create a sense of urgency - The number one thing that drives email response rates? Time running out! Create a sense of urgency with subject lines like “2 days left,” “Registration ends,” or “Last chance to save.” People will be more inclined to open/click!
And for a few email marketing tips of our own - how to personalize your messages, how to simplify/spice up your design, how to comply with federal rules and regulations, etc. - check out our free guide, Best Practices for Email Marketing, below!