The art of the subject line

As an email marketer you spend a lot of time thinking about subject lines. You can read endless blogs with suggestions that range from super click-baity “You’ll never guess what’s inside” to mundane suggestions “Quick question”. Each site claiming which subject lines receive the best open rates. I guess that’s cool. Especially if you’re measured by open rates as a metric. But, who actually is? Surely it’s just one indicator to how much ££ might drop out the other side?

So… what’s the goal of your email?

It sounds like a weird place to start, but really if you want someone to do a particular thing, then surely that’s a huge part of what your subject line should be? I’ve been testing it for a while now, and the emails that generate the most revenue are the ones where the subject line directly links to the CTA in the email.

Now… how can you summarize that so it fits on a small phone screen?

This is where the wordsmith in you can come out, how can you succinctly summarize the CTA of your email? If your subject line gets cut off then bin it. Start again, make it short. Really.

Then… is it people proof?

Send emails to your phone, your friends, your colleagues and maybe even your boss. What are their thoughts? Would they open it? Do they have any interesting feedback?

Checklist:

Does your subject line:

  • Work on mobile
  • Convey the call to action
  • Encourage colleagues to open?

Hey, looks like you’re good to go.

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