Would #You Open This Email?: Five Tips for Better Subject Lines

By Jon Katz, Client Services Manager

It’s that time of year. Our inboxes are inundated with holiday offers, such as this one: “Cyber Monday: $2,000 Discount on Our Top Tier Research Service.” So how can you do a better job of differentiating yourself and attracting your target audience’s attention? Here are five keys to more engaging email subject lines:

  • Keep It Short: One of the most common mistakes marketers make in subject lines is wordiness. The most common subject line word length is seven words, and that may be too long, according to a SendGrid study. Three-word subject lines have the highest engagement rates at 21.2%, according to cloud-based SMTP provider SendGrid. Engagement rates for seven-word subject lines were just 15.8% (17.2% for all other subject-line lengths).
  • Watch Your Buzzwords!: Overly promotional emails can get caught in spam filters. Avoid words like “free,” “percent off” and “reminder.” These words are typically associated with sales, according to MailChimp. Also, SendGrid said subject lines that refer to “yesterday” and “tomorrow” have higher engagement rates (20.5% and 22.3%, respectively)  than “today” (11.8%).
  • Eliminate Links and Hashtags: Subject lines with URLs have average engagement rates of just 9.9%, compared with17.2% for subject lines without URLs. Subject lines with hashtags have average engagement rates of 10.5%, compared to 17.2% for subject lines without hashtags, according to SendGrid.
  • Localize Your Subject Lines: Whenever possible, address recipients by name and include the recipient’s city name, as well, MailChimp suggests.
  • Keep Subject Lines Fresh: For recurring campaigns, such as newsletters, MailChimp warns against repeating the same subject line. Deliver something fresh.

You’re not the only marketer trying to catch buyers’ attention. A catchy, well-crafted subject line will increase open rates and customer engagement.

 

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