May 10, 2012
choosing the perfect subject line

The subject line of an email can make the difference between a reader opening your email or deleting it. Good subject lines include details about what’s inside and emphasizes the benefit of the recipient opening your email.
It is important to have a subject line that is not only effective so readers open your email, but also one that does run the risk of getting filtered into a spam folder. Surprisingly a lot of terms that you might expect to find in a subject line can get your email filtered to a spam folder or negatively affect your open rates due to the impression the reader received. Words like free, Help, Percent off, and Reminder have been known cause spam filter problems and can cause users to delete the email because spammers tend to use these words.
Below is a list of tips for a successful subject line for your email marketing campaign:

  • – Keep your subject lines under 35 characters. Open rates tend to drop from 24% – 17% on average when the subject line goes over 35 characters.
  • – If your email is a periodical for example a newsletter include the name of the newsletter and date/issue number in the subject line.
  • – Give the reader an idea of what to expect inside the email. Keep it straightforward, don’t try to be overly creative!
  • – For most emails avoid telling people what to do. Telling your reader what to do can hurt your open rates, because the reader decides before reading your message and seeing the imagery, “No, I don’t want to do that right now. Delete.” Keep in mind, however, although it can hurt open rates,  “telling people what to do” has been shown in research to improve the actual response from your email. So, using direct words can be beneficial in certain circumstances.
  • – Pose your subject line as a question. These subject lines tend to perform better because they will entice the reader to open the email to view the message.
  • – Avoid promotional or sales oriented phrases. Your subject line should not be written like an advertisement.
  • – Avoid words like “free,”” help,” and “reminder,” as they tend to trigger spam filters and can cause a negative open rate.