How to Increase Your Email Open Rate with Effective Subject Lines

By James Tredwell on November 28, 2019

Doesn’t it feel horrible to put hours of hard work into creating impactful emails as part of your email marketing strategy only to witness incredibly poor open rates? If even your best emails are going unnoticed, your email marketing strategy is definitely lacking something and you better fix it!

Low email open rates could be due to various factors and companies must implement effective email audit policies in place for keeping close tabs on the progress of their email marketing strategy.

One huge factor that determines your open rate is your subject line. You have to grab your readers’ attention and make a proposition they just can’t ignore. A catchy subject line will force them to click on that email for sure. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this finding.

One study concludes that 69% of email recipients mark emails as spam because of their subject lines alone while 47% open their emails based again on the subject lines. Therefore, there’s no denying that subject lines and open rates go hand in hand. Now, before we further explore how these two are related, let’s first get an understanding of open rates and how they work.

Email Open Rate

The open rate for emails is simply the percentage of recipients who opened your email that went into their inboxes. It’s one of the most important performance metrics for your email marketing campaign. Without a decent open rate, even a stellar campaign can be a non-starter. A healthy email open rate falls within the 20-40% range.

Why Subject Lines Are Important for Your Open Rate

Email overload is a reality in the world today. From business owners to media contact, there’s almost no one whose email inbox isn’t bombarded with a sea of emails. And they’re all competing for the recipient’s time and attention.

Therefore, people just spend a fraction of second evaluating their emails and filtering out irrelevant and unnecessary messages. Moreover, with advanced features like Gmail’s spam filter, your emails might be marked as spam and never even reach the recipient’s inbox in the first place.

All of this explains why your subject lines could potentially be more important than the body of the email. The subject line is the first thing that gets your reader’s attention. That one line description may be your first and only chance to connect with your prospective customers. They will not waste another second on your email if the subject line isn’t striking enough.

There are various tactics to improve your subject lines that can dramatically improve your email marketing efforts.

Effective Ways to Improve Your Email Subject Lines

1. Keep Them Short

Subject lines need to quickly get the attention of your audience. So, the longer they are, the higher the probability that they will go unnoticed. Moreover, lengthy subject lines would mean that a lot of the text would be hidden and the reader might not even be able to see the interesting part. This is especially important now as most readers check their emails on their smart phones and that further limits the display space. Therefore, you should aim for nothing longer than 40-50 characters.

2. Keep an Element of Curiosity

Human beings have a natural need for closure. Nobody appreciates gaps in their knowledge. You can make use of this human desire by creating cliffhanger subject lines that are left open-ended. Readers should feel the urge to open the email to find out something that they’ve been missing out on.

Present your readers with a powerful hook that captures and then incentivizes them to find out more by opening the email.

3. Make Them Personal

You can no longer work with generic templates or words that fail to establish a deeper connection with your reader. Personalized subject lines are the right way to win your prospective customers. Some of the information you can use to personalize subject lines includes your readers’ names, current locations, social media accounts, browsing history, birthdays, etc.

4. Create a Sense of Urgency

‘FOMO’ or the Fear of Missing Out is very much real! You can create subject lines that stimulate this powerful psychological phenomenon with phrases like, “50% sale ends tonight”, “You’re missing out on points”, “The offer is valid for first 100 customers”, etc.

Give people a strong reason to take quick action. You may also indicate the limited quantity of some of your high selling product.

5. Don’t Be Spammy

Today’s readers are smart and they are always surrounded by people trying to sell one thing or the other to them. Therefore, subject lines that are purely about sales are most often going to end up in the spam folder. Overly promotional language with multiple exclamation marks, capital or bolded letters and words like “buy now” is a sure-shot way to plummet your email open rates. Instead, you should focus more on sharing useful information and provide value-added benefits to your readers.

Final Word

Although a subject line may just be a small element of your entire email marketing strategy, it’s a game-changer for your email-driven sales. So, follow these tips and advice to create enticing subject lines for your emails.

If you’re looking for professionals that can help you devise high impact email campaigns, connect with a full-service email marketing agency like Inbox Group. Inbox Group are the experts of fueling your email conversions and increasing your business growth through the power of email.

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