Email marketing: subject line tips to improve conversion


Although there are debates regarding the changing role of the subject line in email marketing, for many people the subject line is still very important in their decision to open your emails. In fact, short and to-the-point subject lines are even important if people not to click on them.

In the multi-channel customer journey, every touch-point has a branding element and so does the subject line (and sender and header etc. of an email). Of course trust, what people see in the preview pane and past experiences regarding the relevance of the interaction and content, play a big role as well. But in a customer-centric and cross-channel marketing optimization approach, every little bit counts. And the subject line does matter from a conversion perspective.

The subject line is an important part of the overall email marketing efficiency and customer experience. Subject lines should be personal (preferably even personalized), engaging and depending on the content, the recipient and his behavior and the promise to be efficient.

Grabbing the attention can be difficult. Without a strong hook to reel in customers and entice them to open an email, an email marketing campaign may be relegated to low response rates and readership. The most effective manner of increasing your email open rate is to use creative and effective subject lines, certainly if your emails campaigns are not enough personalized, segmented, targeted and recipient-triggered yet.

Below you can find some more tips on optimizing your subject lines and thus conversion.

Your subject line needs a message and even a story

Convey your marketing message directly in your subject line. Tell customers about a limited time promotion, hot news item, interesting and share-worthy story, new product or store opening through the subject line. In essence, summarize your marketing message into one short blurb.

Customers will review the subject and your email address and immediately know your offer. This subject line methodology conveys your marketing message, even if the recipient does not open your email.

Spark curiosity and dialogue through your subject line

Most emails get lost in the shuffle because they do not stand out from similar messages. Use your creative talents to craft subject lines that instill a curiosity factor into your mail recipients.

Consider unusual statements, questions or dialogue in your subject lines. Curiosity may kill the cat, but it can get your customers to open their emails.

Personalization matters

Looking at email interactions from the broadcasting perspective is less effective than event-driven and personalized email in function of the customer lifecycle. Even if you cannot personalize as much as you could when changing your email marketing strategy, you can still personalize a bit.

Use a language and tone-of-voice that establishes a connection with your email marketing recipients. The more people feel the message is a direct communication, the more likely they will be to open it. Follow through with the customized tone you set in the subject line throughout your messaging to increase the personalization impact. Customers  want to feel they are important, so play up to their desires to increase your sales.

The first impression a customer has of any email marketing message has a large impact on the effectiveness and final results of the campaign. Unfortunately, you have one line to work your marketing magic- the subject line.

Long subject lines don’t work, so you must be length conscious and crafty in your word selections. Experiment to find the right balance of tone, appeal and relevance that speaks to your customer base and you will have the formula for increased sales and profits.


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