Your subject line is the first (and, in some cases, the last) impression that users have of your message. Many times, the subject line of an email is more significant than the content of the email body in terms of importance. After all, a fantastic newsletter is meaningless if it never makes it to the inbox of a single recipient.
When it comes to writing slam dunk subject lines, there are several different schools of thought. The nine types of effective email subject lines will be discussed, with examples thrown in for good measure. The reason is that more opens equate to more online transactions.
1. Email subject lines that are straightforward and straightforward.
A lot can be said about simplicity – people rely on you to be clear and succinct in your subject lines because time is always a valuable resource.
Email marketing company MailChimp experimented to see how effective email subject lines are and discovered that short, descriptive subject lines outperformed cheesy lures. Even though many marketing experts disagree, some people may take offense to the suggestion that comedy and originality should be relegated to the background when developing appropriate subject lines for emails. It’s worth mentioning that this brief technique works best with notification emails because the consumer already has a relationship with the content you’re giving.
In most cases, the updates or notifications are related to a user’s social media activity, order status, or other relevant information. Because these emails have a defined function, their subject lines should be similarly focused.
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2. Email Subject Lines with a Sense of Humor
Even among a sea of dry, uninteresting emails, an amusing subject line can make an impression. Humor, on the other hand, is a delicate subject — it thrives on exclusivity, which isn’t always ideal when trying to appeal to a broad audience. For those that know their audience and send targeted emails, a well-placed joke can increase the likelihood of your email being opened as well as your reputation among those who are on the same page as you and your company.
Here are a few examples of amusing email subject lines:
Please, Please, Please Touch Me. Multitouch Provides Customer Delight
Electronic System for Anti-Phantom Invasion (ESAPI).
HTML5 Sheep – Is it a Dream for Gamers?
Learn how to put the Lean in Learn with this LEAN STARTUP: Baby Got (Feed)Back video.
The “touch me” phrase is a chuckle that will be understood by the majority of readers, but the wit of the other hilarious email subject lines may be lost on certain users who did not attend Hogwarts or did not take the Voight-Kampff empathy test, among other reasons. The subject line “Lean Startup” will appeal to you if, as some of us, you can remember the entire song “Sir Mix A Lot’s Baby Got Back” from memory.
Please keep in mind that the fantastic email subject lines above, as well as several text subject lines below, were all taken from this ClickZ article, which contains many excellent examples of subject lines.
3. Email Subject Lines That Are Controversial/Shocking
In certain cases, controversy is profitable, and it certainly attracts attention. It is imperative that you exercise extreme caution when including shock, controversy, or insult in your subject lines. Customers will suffer as a result of your efforts. Confidence in your understanding of your audience’s preferences and perceptions is essential for this method. It’s a bit of a risk, but the rewards can be quite rewarding — would you simply ignore the topic lines that follow? That’s not going to happen, I promise you.
Everyone Is Gay: Using Social Media as a Tool for Social Change.
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subject lines with a single word
To create effective email subject line strategies, one option is to use one-word subject lines that are ultra-minimalistic. Take a look at the promotions tab of my Gmail account. There are plans for a substantial redesign of the promotion tab — Google will begin to display promotional emails in an image-oriented design that is influenced by Pinterest shortly. Images may eventually supplant subject lines as the most important email element if this new configuration remains in use.
e-mail subject line examples
Meanwhile, we’ll have to be concerned about what’s happening with the promotions tab right now. A tangled web of unopened emails lies in wait for me in this tangled web. Which one of these stands out the most to you and why? Amazon Local’s M3 topic line is the one that stands out to me the most!
email subject lines that are successful
It is easy to understand why the Amazon Local subject line attracts attention from a design standpoint — its length and form distinguish it from the other generally similar-looking structures in the email subject line field.
One more excellent email subject line example comes from Mequoda, who uses the straightforward subject line of:
Although it is only one word, it has a significant emotional impact. So, what exactly is the cause of my concern? Is it possible that I’m in trouble? Was there a miscommunication here? Does it seem like I’m going through some sort of existential crisis? A powerful impact can be made with words that are emotionally charged.
An email subject line has many of the same elements that make up a strong blog post title. We are naturally drawn to numbers, so including them in your subject line will help you catch the reader’s eye. This is one of the reasons why top 10 lists are so popular — lists are easier for our brains to absorb and they arouse curiosity, in addition to delivering the promise of a quick and simple read.
advice on how to phrase your subject line
topic lines for email marketing
subject lines for emails that are very effective
Numbers and list email subject lines stand out for the same reason that one-word subject lines or strange punctuation do — they are visually disruptive and so stick out. According to an article in The New Yorker, we are obsessed with lists:
The items that don’t fit interrupt our scanning of the environment when we’re looking for nothing in particular. These are aspects that change abruptly or stick out from the background, and our visual system is stopped. The likelihood of a title that is graphically striking in some way is higher, and in an environment where hundreds of headlines and stories compete for our attention, numerals help to break up the visual field.”
Essentially, the ultimate goal is to have your email subject line visually stand out from the rest of the email. It is entirely up to you how you accomplish this!
subject lines for emails that are read are
“Headlines” is a comic by XKCD.
Topic lines that are unique to you
Another strategy to enhance open rates is to incorporate customization techniques into email subject lines. It is not the case that customization means adding the recipient’s name into the subject line; this has become such a widespread practice that many recipients disregard it as spam. Instead, consider offering deals and phrases that are specific to a certain place of interest. These are old hats for LivingSocial and Groupon, who send emails with subject lines touting specials in your location.
e-mail subject lines that work best
Through the use of the highly effective but occasionally creepy remarketing method, LivingSocial also sends me emails promoting discounts that I looked at but didn’t buy. I often receive new LivingSocial deals based on my previous purchases, which I find to be quite convenient. After purchasing a few Paint Nite and pottery bargains in the past, I’ve noticed that art-related offers are the ones that appear the most frequently on my email. It appears that they have my ticket in hand.
Best practices for email subject lines
Personalization (as provided by remarketing) and scarcity are used in the subject line above to provide an effective email subject line. Brava!
The ability to comprehend your target well enough to determine what language, style, and offerings will be appealing to them is good practice in a larger sense.