5 Tips for Writing Winning Subject Lines

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  1. Tell it like it is.
    What's in your email message? That's what your subject lines need to succinctly communicate to recipients. If you're sending an email newsletter, make it clear by including the title and issue. If you have a special promotional offer, highlight that. You may come up with creative, cute, and clever subject lines. But if they don't tell your readers what they need to know, you'll not only have poor conversion rates in that email promotion, but you also may damage your reputation for future promotions.
  2. Keep it short and simple.
    This is always great advice for subject lines. Your subscribers are likely hurried and quickly browsing through their multitude of mailbox messages to determine which emails to open or delete. Plus, keep in mind that the typical email carrier displays on average between only 38 and 47 characters, and where your subject lines are cut off in a recipient's mailbox is out of your control.
  3. "Front-load" the benefits.
    While keeping subject lines short is important, a recent study by the marketing services firm Epsilon shows that focusing only on length won't deliver the best results. In this study, which analyzed 568 million emails, the choice and order of word placement were found to be just as important as subject line length. Specifically, the study found that email marketers should "front-load" the words that will likely have the biggest impact – including the benefits to readers – placing them within the first few words of the subject line. Here are a couple of examples of recent FulcrumTech subject lines that followed this advice and performed well: "Boost ROI tenfold with segmentation" and "10 tips for using Twitter."
  4. Use top brand names and industry buzzwords to improve open rates.
    When appropriate to the content of your email messages, include top brand names in your subject lines. Here's one that we used successfully earlier this year: "5-step strategy to Facebook success." Plus, consider what industry-specific words (relevant to your email message) are bound to pique your subscribers' interest. Since search engine optimization (SEO) is currently a hot topic for email marketing, the following subject line is a good example: "Use SEO to build a great list."
  5. Look beyond the open rates.
    Although the open rate is an important criterion for judging the effectiveness of your subject lines, it shouldn't be the only metric you look at. A subject line may generate a high open rate, for example, but result in below-average click-through and conversion rates. In such a case, your recipients may have determined that a subject line did not relate to your email's content – or even may have been misleading.
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Rob Lee has 1 articles online

FulcrumTech is an online marketing agency focused on email marketing services (e-newsletter services & promotional email campaigns), search engine marketing & website design. Specialties include analytics & conversion optimization to increase engagement & ROI.

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5 Tips for Writing Winning Subject Lines

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This article was published on 2011/01/09