How To Start & Grow Your Business

Don’t get Deleted: Optimize your Subject Lines

Tatiana Ceresa
Jan 8th, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 3 min read
  • Hummy's

    1Good subject lines and preview increase open rates. 2Your name, not your company, is the "sender". 3Play with some subject lines that are a bit naughty.
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Email Marketing

Marketing-Marketing highlighted with pink pen Photo Credit: Odua Images Shutterstock

My typical morning consists of waking up, getting dressed, drinking some coffee, reading The Skimm, and going through my emails. I am rarely stressed before the moment I sign into Gmail. But, when I see a triple digit number and lines of bolded (unread) emails, I shudder. And, what do I do next? I sift through each page, automatically deleting every one that is not from a specific person and does not directly apply to me, my interests, or needs.

We, as business people, do not have time to open, read, and engage with every email in our inbox. It is getting harder and harder to persuade your contacts to read your emails, so something has to change, right? I have a few ways your emails aren’t deleted before they are even opened. Try these tactics in your next email campaign and compare it to the last one. If done correctly, your open rate should sky rocket!

Flow chart.1. Optimize

The following tips are ways to optimize your emails in the inbox. Why is optimization so important? Like anything else, optimization increases the chance that a person will click, read, share, or comment on your email, blog, or any content you produce. However, optimizing your email subject lines and message previews is a make a break for your open rates.

2. Personalize

I think this is the most important part of any email (both the subject and preview, and the actual content within. Personalization is incredibly important in email marketing because email is inherently impersonal. The first step to making creating a personal relationship with a lead or client is to make your brand more personal. A great way to do this is to put your name instead of your company name in the ‘from’ column.

3. Succinct & relevant

Your subject line should have no more than 5-8 words or 40 characters. That is a very short phrase to preview what your email says! So, make that phrase as relevant and concise as possible. First off, avoid using spam trigger words/phrases such as, ‘as seen on,’ ‘make money,’ and ‘clearance.’ These will often hurt your deliverability rates so I advise to stay away.

4. Risks

This is a relatively new one in the book, which many professionals stay away from. With so many emails flooding the inbox, you have to find a way to make yours stand out. How? Take some risks with your subject lines. Experiment with different phrases that have some sort of shock value. One company that does this extremely well is The Skimm. I subscribe to The Skimm and every morning the subject line intrigues me enough to open it. Here are a few examples of The Skimm subject lines:
• I like to move it, move it
• You bad, you bad

5. Benefit Driven

When creating your subject line and message preview, make sure to ask yourself, “why am I opening this email?” Is it because there is a free eBook inside? Or perhaps, it contains helpful information about a service. In every case, your email should provide some benefit to the receiver—so tell them what it is so they’ll want to open!

Change up your email subjects, personalize them, and make them relevant. I can assure you that your open rate will increase using these tactics. Take it slow, experiment with different email campaigns, and see which has the best overall effect. Happy emailing!

This article was written by Tatiana Ceresa and published on CustomerThink.

Tatiana Ceresa is the marketing coordinator at GreenRope, a leading CRM and marketing automation company based in San Diego, California. 

CustomerThink is a global online community of business leaders striving to create profitable customer-centric enterprises. The site serves 80,000+ visitors per month from 200 countries.