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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Power Up Your Marketing with Eye-Catching Email Subject Lines

    Posted by Jasmine Henry

    5 Tips for Email Subject Line Copy


    Email subject lines are your lead's first impression of your marketing automation efforts. The strength of your subject line copy not only determines your open rate, but the success of future marketing automation efforts. Your company's sender score will determine whether future leads even see emails, and studies have indicated that up to 70% of Americans will mark emails as spam based on bad or desperate subject line copy. Recognize that writing eye-catching email subject lines requires playing by some time-proven rules for best results:

    1. Keep it Really Short

    The optimal length for an email subject line is approximately 25-50 characters, with around 35-40 being ideal. Your subject line should convey information in as few words as possible, so readers can determine the relevance of the content at first glance. 35 characters is exactly 1/4 the limit of a Tweet. Writing something compelling in such a short limit isn't easy, but it's essential: Hubspot recommends 50 characters as a hard upper limit for email subject lines.

    2. Be Realistic

    The key to building your leads' trust in your company is to avoid deceptive subject lines. Committing to realistic subject lines could prevent people from opening the email just to opt-out of future communications or mark you as spam. When it comes to marketing automation in my personal inbox, I automatically distrust emails with a subject line that I know they can't live up to. Don't promise your readers that opening will save kittens or help them drop 20 pounds in 3 days. Great email subject lines tell the reader exactly what is inside, such as "10 Ways to Save on Software," or "Save 35% on Summer Sandals."

    3. Ask Questions

    Eye-catching email subject lines make readers stop and take action by opening the email. One great way to grab attention without being obnoxious is to ask a question that they want to know the answer to. Great questions carry a little emotional charge, such as "What if Your Business Server Crashed?" Almost every small business owner knows that losing data would be devastating, so this question is likely to inspire them into action. Sometimes the most eye-catching email subject lines interrupt readers without being too shocking.

    4. Don't Trigger Spam Filters

    Unfortunately, some words that marketers know are powerful have been picked up as problematic by spam filters. Even the most eye-catching email subject lines might not be read if major email platforms think they contain the markers of suspicious content. Avoid using the word "Free" or any common variations, such as "no cost." Terms that pack a punch in eye-catching email subject lines without going straight into the Spam folder include "You," "Reminder" or "Savings."

    5. Don't Be a Pest

    Make sure your emails offer eye-catching email subject lines that aren't obnoxious. Avoid trying so hard to be noticed that you commit major faux pas that will make your opt-outs soar. Don't go for a hard sell, avoid contrived humor and never type in all-caps. Also avoid emotional pleas that are sure to be perceived as insincere, such as "We Miss You!" Focus on describing the value without being over the top or desperate. 

    If you thought making every Tweet count was difficult, wait until you've experienced the challenge of making your email subject lines count. Drafting eye-catching email subject lines is a challenge for even the most experienced email marketers. To get started on writing eye-catching email subject lines that matter, summarize the value of the content and present it in a way that matters to your readers without catching the attention of spam filters or being too pushy.

    Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net/FrameAngel

    Topics: Inbound Marketing