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Email subject lines

Email subject lines: tips to get people clicking

Email subject lines are like book covers – they either entice people to open an email immediately, ignore it for later or, least favourable of all, delete it without ever opening it. If you’re investing in direct marketing initiatives then you want to make sure your money isn’t going to waste. So how do you get people clicking on your emails?

5 tips to write email subject lines that will get people clicking

1. Make it personal

These days, it’s very easy to pull specific information from your database, and then use that information to send personalised emails. The obvious example is to include a person’s name when sending an email – Frank, don’t you need new shoes? Another example is to send an email targeted at one gender only – A voucher for women celebrating women’s month. Even location can get people clicking on your emails – Johannesburg residents can benefit from this. Sending emails that are personally relevant to the receiver will undoubtedly improve open rates. The only limit to how personal you can get is the information you keep on your databases, so think about this when you are deciding what questions to ask on database collection forms.

2. Make it pressing

Most people are busy, so if they don’t see the need to open your email fairly soon after they have received it, your email may slip further and further down the list. We all have good intentions to go back and read our emails “one day”, but the truth is that many emails are never opened. It’s important to use email subject lines to communicate the need for someone to open your email as soon as possible, for example, 20% discount today only. It doesn’t mean simply adding “urgent” to the beginning of all email subject lines, as people will soon start seeing your desperate pleas as spam. Use this method wisely and sparingly.

3. Make it precise

Nobody likes it when they receive emails from people who write all the content in their email subject lines. Unnecessarily long subjects are just going to turn people off, plus they get cut off anyway. Rather keep your email subject lines precise and to the point. Save the detail for the email body.

4. Make it playful

A little bit of fantastic copy can go a long way. Don’t always opt for predictable and boring, rather make your email subject lines fun and engaging. One Day Only does this so well. They capitalise on the content of each day’s email and make their subjects perfectly punny.

5. Make it promising

Email subject lines are essentially making a promise to readers about what they will find in the body of the email. So make sure you are promising something relevant, timely and wonderful. Most importantly, deliver on that promise. If you send emails that people enjoy receiving and reading then they will more than likely open the next email you send.

If you’re looking for some more advice on how to send marketing emails that work then read this.

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Louise is the write woman to be the Marketing Manager at Flicker Leap.

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