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The 10 best subject line hacks: How to get your emails noticed
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The 10 best subject line hacks: How to get your emails noticed

Did you know that the average open rate for marketing emails is 18%? Did you also know that the average click-through rate is 2.6%? Those two facts are true and gleaned from analyzing 100 billion marketing emails sent analyzing 100 billion marketing emails sent by CM Group customers. Supporting this data is a separate study by MailChimp. The email marketing platform found that the average open rate among its users is 22.7% and the average click rate is 2.91%. Basically, it’s not easy to get people to open your marketing emails.

Image: Pixabay


However, the good news is that, when people do read what you’ve sent, they tend to act on it. Circling back to the CM Group study, the click-to-open rate (i.e. how often people click links when they opened an email) was 14.1%. Therefore, if you can get people to open an email, you stand a good chance of generating some trade. With this in mind, here are 10 subject line hacks that could help you achieve an email open rate of more than 25%!

1. Localize Your Subjects

Most emails you’ll send to American consumers will be in English. However, it pays to be multilingual. Indeed, the US is a multicultural society and, as such, you should localize your content. The second most spoken language in the US is Spanish. You can learn how to speak Spanish online through Preply one-on-one sessions, online lessons, and grammar guides. Speaking to people in their language gives you a better shot at getting their attention. Therefore, picking up some basic Spanish could really help your business.

Image: Preply

2. Get to the Point

A study by MailChimp found that brevity is best. Reviewing a selection of subject lines, the title “January Flash Sale” got a 72.7% open rate compared to a 65% open rate for “Big Deals on big ferns: Up to 40% off.” Say what you need to say in the fewest words possible. Always use a subject line tester to increase more email open rates.

3. Be Informative

Keeping your subject lines tight is great, but you also need to include some enticing information. Going back to the “January Flash Sale” example, it gets to the point and tells the recipient what to expect. In comparison, the subject lines “Great News” and “This Week’s Deals” had lower open rates of 18.2% and 52.7%, respectively. Why? Because they don’t provide enough information.

4. Cut Out Punctuation

You don’t need a lot of punctuation if you’re sticking to the principles of brevity and only including vital information. However, if you do need to use some, limit yourself to no more than three punctuation marks, otherwise, things start to look messy.

5. Catchy Not Cheesy

Don’t try and be too clever or overly sycophantic. Don’t patronize the recipient or make them roll their eyes with cliched puns. Use a light, friendly tone but don’t go so far that you sound desperate or unprofessional.

6. Facts and Figures Work

Numbers or interesting facts are intriguing. For example, the subject line “$5,751 worth of savings inside” is more eye-catching than “great savings inside.” Numbers, particularly cash amounts, always stand out in a sentence. The same goes for facts. “These five things helped Elon Musk get rich” or “Scientists prove flying does this.” Both of those subject lines tease a fact but don’t give everything away. Therefore, the recipient is encouraged to open the email.

7. Get Personal

If you can address the recipient by name, it always helps. If formality is required, use their last name and title. If you can afford to be informal, use their first name. Products such as Moonsend can help you do this.

8. Honesty Can be the Best Policy

There’s nothing wrong with being upfront about the content of your email. In fact, it can be quite refreshing. Instead of pretending you’re not trying to sell something, be straight with the recipient. Comedian Al Franken did this when he was raising money for charity. His subject line was both witty and honest: “Yes, this is a fundraising email.” That subject line is different, transparent, and raises a wry smile. Going against the grain and being honest can work.

9. Create a Dialogue

A campaign by PPC Product achieved an open rate of 63% with the subject line “We need to Talk…” This not only creates a sense of intrigue (i.e. talk about what?) but addresses the reader on a personal level and starts a dialogue.

10. Make it Mobile

Google data shows that 70% of people read emails using a mobile app. That means you need to keep your subject lines pithy and short enough to be read on a smartphone. Don’t make your text too complex. People are reading emails on the go and want a quick hit.

Think About Your Content

Getting people to open emails isn’t easy. However, the hacks we’ve listed could help you beat the average open rate and, in turn, generate more clicks for your business. Basically, a little bit of thought can go a long way, so don’t spend time crafting a great email only to ruin it with a throwaway subject line.

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