Cicada | How to Write a Good Email Subject Line
Cicada, a full service writing agency in Minneapolis reminds you how to write powerful, smart email subject lines.
email newsletters, email subject line, subject line help, subject lines
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Email Subject Lines and Making Them Louder

Even after you’ve designed your beautiful email newsletter…all the colors match your logo, the snappy content is proofed and nestled in all the right boxes. You have a call-to-action button, your headlines are smart, everything links to all the right places and no one will see that 404 page unknown dead-end.

It is sure to get lots of traffic, lots of click-thrus, and, really, lots of sales. But before anyone has a chance to see your beautiful layout let alone click on your content and follow your well-meaning trail, they have to open that email.

Oh the open! That open rate is so nefarious. Once you send that newsletter you can only wait and hope that it lands in the right hands. We hopped over to Mail Chimp to learn more about what their customers experience for open rates. Since they literally send billions of email marketing campaigns out every month (yes, that’s B for billions), their benchmarking seems like it would be pretty on par with the entirety of the industry.

 

Turns out the open rate is between 21 and 23%. So that means if you send your email newsletter or marketing campaign to 100 email address…about 22 people will open it. That’s just opening. That says nothing about how they engage with the content or how they will follow through to interact with your brand.

So if you are going to focus on getting them to unlock the door, your subject line is the welcome mat.

6 Tips for How to Write a Subject Line:

  1. Keep it simple: you shouldn’t need a dictionary to read it.
  2. Avoid being spammy: words in all caps, lots of exclamation points, FREE, LIMITED TIME, GREAT DEAL all are spam-worthy kinds of language to avoid.
  3. Be boring: Well, okay, not exactly boring, but you don’t want to be too sales-y in a subject line…that will get your email trashed faster than you want to believe. If you’re sending the autumn 2015 newsletter try this subject line: Autumn 2015 Newsletter. Not too fancy, right? But with email subject line like that you are managing the expectations of your subscribers. Do not use their inbox as advertising, you want them to engage with your expertise, offerings and brilliance.
  4. Test your market: If you have enough subscribers you can parse your campaign into three parts: an A test group, a B test group, the final group. Test two different email subject lines for the same newsletter—one with the A test group, the other with the B test group. Track which one gets more opens then use that email subject line to send to the final group.
  5. Brevity: 30-40 characters is really the best range to stay in. Don’t try to say too much in the subject…your email newsletter content is where you can expand your commentary.
  6. Consider your audience: Know them. Ask them questions in your email that prompt a click.
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