How to Write Magnetic Email Subject Lines

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Do you know what makes an email subject line irresistible?  What are the top email subject lines?  And how can you make sure that your emails get opened?

A great subject line is the key to your email campaign’s success. It’s the first thing your readers see. If the subject line is dull (or irrelevant), your message won’t be seen. Think of it like a news headline.  It’s got to grab attention, and grab it quickly.

Surprising top email subject lines

In some cases, the emails that get opened the most will have subject lines that are, well, dull:  “Broadcast Stat Report”, “[Company] Holiday Party, or “Your Order From [Company].”

These messages get high open rates because they’re immediate (where’s the party?), relevant (report on your email broadcast), useful and specific (how many people opened my email and how many clicks did I get?).

What makes a subject line irresistible?

Using the line “Holiday Party” is OK for just sending information. If you want people to take action, you’ll need something more compelling.

The best email subject lines (if you’re marketing something) are those that promise useful, specific, relevant information, without a hard sell or spammy promises of instant internet riches. If you want your emails to get opened, avoid continually offering “sales.”  At first, they may just hit delete.  After a while, it’s straight to the unsubscribe link.

Clean and simple headline

Use a spam checker (this should be included in your email newsletter provider’s software) to look for words that might send your message to the spam folder.

Keep it shorter (longer subject lines tend to get cut off in preview mode).

Offer solutions to immediate problems

One of my best-performing email subject lines was “Five things your website must have.” Another top performer was “How to get the fees you deserve.” Write something that excites curiosity; the only way to find out what those five things were was to open the email.

Focus on your readers

Make the subject about your readers (not you).  If you want opinions, ask “what do you think?, “rather than “help us with this survey.” Ask them to do something (in their interest), such as downloading their copy of a relevant new report.

One thought on “How to Write Magnetic Email Subject Lines

  1. Really useful stuff – I do believe that e-mail is still important, if you know the sender of the e-mail you’re bound to read the content, otherwise the subject line is where we decide “read” or “rather not”.

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