First Impressions Count – How to Create the Perfect Subject Line

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First impressions count. How many times have you heard this expression?

But it is true! Everyone makes split second decisions and judgements about things; a new house, a new acquaintance, a film and even brands that we don’t like but don’t know why. The same can be said for my inbox. I have so many emails coming through each day that I tend to browse by nothing more than subject lines. Like when choosing a book, I will have favourite authors or senders, so I look through these first. But if the subject line isn’t inviting enough I will move on without a second glance. 33% of email recipients open emails based only on the subject line, so what is behind the perfect subject line?

Email Subject Line

It’s a simple formula. If your subscriber isn’t interested in your email subject line then the likelihood is that your email will remain unopened or discarded from the recipients inbox instantly. A subject line should engage the reader and reflect the most important part of the message contained in the email. But how can you ensure that your subject lines are appealing enough to your recipients? And what are the essential factors you need to consider when writing your subject lines? Well here are few pointers from us to help you on your way:

Subject Line Length doesn’t matter:

Subject line length doesn’t necessarily matter anymore providing you keep it as short and concise as it can be and avoid any unnecessary words. We recently released a whitepaper – ‘The Journey of Email marketing’, which analyses our data over the past 4 years including the length of subject lines and how they have performed. Our data highlighted a rise in open rates across the board apart from subject lines containing just one word. Our data also highlighted that subject length isn’t necessarily the key factor to consider anymore, but more so ensuring that your subject line is clear and concise, highlighting exactly what the email content is about.

Valuable insight:

Nobody is going to open an email if they don’t see any potential value within the content. Without being too generic or over the top, make sure you tell the recipient what they will get out of the email within the subject line.

A/B and MVT tests:

Don’t forget to take full advantage of the functionality available to you. Testing your subject lines is crucial, use A/B split tests or an MVT test to see which subject line performs best.

Always double check:

Sometimes the most basic checks are the most important. Always reread your subject line to make sure it reads how you want and that there are no haunting typos or spelling mistakes!

Consider your audience and the nature of your email:

Consideration towards your audience and the industry is essential, as well as the content you are sending. Analysis of your own data is the best way to determine what is and what isn’t working for you and your audience.

So there you have it, a few tips on writing a high performing subject line. To find out how Emailcenter can help you pick more powerful subject lines, talk to us today on 01327 811884 or take a look at our latest whitepaper.

About James Lucas

Former Senior Marketing Executive at Emailcenter UK Ltd, a leading provider of email marketing software and solutions.