5 Guidelines for creating almost perfect email subject lines

Ah subject lines…

Those less than ten-word phrases that can entice your potential reader to actually chose your email out of the long list of email in the inbox.

Ah subject lines… aren’t they a joy to create?

I wish I could tell you that somewhere out there is the perfect subject line, one that could ensure your emails are opened.  However, I can tell you that creating almost perfect subject lines is possible and it starts with understanding certain guidelines about your readers 5 guidelines to be exact.

1. People do NOT like to have their time wasted

I don’t need to tell you how much people value their time. When it comes to your emails, you have at most, only a few minutes to get your message across. When it comes to your subject line, you have only a few seconds to capture their attention. It’s no surprise then that subject lines with less than 50 characters have open rates 12.5% higher than those with 50 or more, and click-through rates are 75% higher.

2. People won’t act unless told to do so

Before sending your email, stop and ask yourself: What action do I want the recipient to take?

Keep in mind your subject line will be the first impression you’re email has on your reader.   Making the subject it your first call-to-action will improve the likelihood of your email being opened and that action being taken.

3. People respond to numbers

Numbers help quantify any message and put the content people are receiving into terms they understand. Whether it’s a percentage (Learn how to grow your Facebook fan base by 400%) or a list (10 steps to getting more friends on Facebook) or a monetary value (How one business made $5,000 from marketing on Facebook)—numbers can take a complex problem like getting better results on Facebook and present it in a way people will respond to.

4. People are more likely to act when they feel a sense of urgency

Please do not take this as a call to add “ACT NOW!” or “LIMITED TIME OFFER!” to every one of your subject lines. But do take it as a call to consider using urgency to invigorate your customer base. This is especially true if you’re running a promotion, having a sale, or trying to drive attendance to an upcoming event. In these situations, the difference between using a subject line like: “Our annual end of summer sale is next week” or “Only 5 days until our end of summer sale begins” can be huge. One tells people you’re having a sale and the other tells people you’re having a sale and they better start getting ready.

5. People care more about the sender than the message

While the content of your email and the design of your subject line are important—nothing is more important than the relationship the recipient has with the sender (that’s you!). According to a recent Constant Contact study, 64% of people open emails because of the organization it is from; compared with 47% of people opening emails because of what is in the subject line.

Want the best results? Tell people who the email is from in the subject line.

Here are three ways to do that using my fictional business, Pinkham’s Pies:

[Pinkham’s Pies] We’re sharing our secret apple pie recipe

A secret pie recipe from Pinkham’s Pies

Pinkham’s Pies News: Our secret apple pie recipe revealed

The Bottom Line

Your e-mail competes with; other personal e-mails, e-mail marketing communications, work e-mail and those always welcomed joke emails!!!   To be heard above the noise your subject line must set you apart but at the same time you have to establish a connection with your readers that will compel them to open your email just because it is from you.  Ah those subject lines!!!!!

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