4 tips to come up with the perfect subject line

Elizabeth Leigh in Email marketing on 22nd of Nov 2018
how to write the perfect subject line

How to write the perfect subject line

The subject line is the most important element in your email marketing strategy. Why? Because it’s the first impression a recipient has of your email — and we all know that first impressions last.

According to an email statistics report by Radicati, the average person receives between 120-130 emails a day. That’s a lot of emails for one person to handle! On the other hand, we also know that people have an attention span of eight seconds.

To capture the fleeting attention span of your email recipient, craft a subject line that not only stands out from the rest but invites them to take action.

Here are four ways to improve your email subject line:

Short and sweet

The average email subject line length has increased from seven words in 2016 to eight words in 2018. For such a short line, every additional word makes a difference. Subject lines with four words have the highest engagement rate, and as these words increase from seven, engagement drops significantly.

Make every word count and if people don’t respond to your first email, don’t give up hope. Send a follow-up email with a new subject line to give your email a second chance.

Create an email journey with Autopilot’s follow-up email template here.

Key resource: SendGrid

Limit your sales spiel

It’s out with the sales jargon and in with personalization. With a wealth of data under our belt, customers expect us to know exactly what they want — and they don't want another hard sell in the email subject line. For years, customers have been blasted with discounts and holiday season promotions. So much so that a sale is now a given, and no longer encourages a recipient to click.

In a recent SendGrid study, email campaigns that made no mention of a percentage-off discount out-performed those that did by six percent. But this doesn’t mean that you should stop offering your customers promotions, it means that you need to be more personal with what you offer.

Personalized emails improve click-through rates by an average of 14 percent and increase conversions by 10 percent. To leverage the power of personalization, segment your audience into different categories and create an email subject line that appeals to their interests. Instead of sending all your customers a mass promotion, tailor the promotion to a specific customer group.

Find out how you can filter your audience and personalize your emails with Autopilot’s Segment integration.

Key resource: Aberdeen Group

Decrease your urgency

It’s all in the phrasing and the timing. With so many emails to read, action or delete, consumers may miss out on timely sales and not bother to click if they think they’ll miss out. Subject lines with the keywords “now” and “today” are starting to underperform. According to SendGrid, subject lines that give recipients time to take advantage of promotions deliver higher engagement rates. Slightly less urgent words like “soon” and “tomorrow” saw a three to four percent increase in open rates than the words “now” and “today.”

To ensure you're sending the right message at the right time, automate your newsletter schedule with Autopilot’s template.

Key resource: SendGrid

A/B test

Stop guessing and instead find out exactly what boosts engagement with your emails by running an AB split test. Use a portion of your primary list to test two different email subject lines. For example, you may want to test the engagement of a discount, so create two subject lines: one with a discount and one without. With an A/B test, you’ll start to understand more about what language to use and what drives higher engagement rates.

To test your subject lines and find what language is working and what’s not, use Autopilot’s A/B Split marketing template.

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