Email Subject Line Hacks that will Help Increase your Open Rate

Email Marketing is still one of the most powerful marketing tools available to businesses to date. Not only can you personalise emails to your email recipients, but such campaigns tend to generate quality leads. This is because you are communicating with people who’ve already shown a vested interest in your company and what it has to offer.

The only tricky part about email marketing though is to get your recipients to open them in the first place. I personally receive on average 5 marketing emails daily and I very rarely open them all. This is true for many, resulting in the 20% industry average open rate of a marketing email and according to Vibrant Media, the average open rate drops by 1.8% year-on-year. 

One way to break through the clutter and grab your audience’s attention is to have a captivating email subject line. I’ve summarised a list of simple hacks to assist you in doing just that:

1. Make your subject line short and sweet.

You have a limited amount of space to say what you need to say, so make it count. Although email marketing platforms usually let you write up to 100, I’d suggest sticking to between 60 and 70 characters with emphasis on the first 3 words. Desktops on average display 60 characters whereas mobile phones only display half of that. 

2. Include numbers in your subject line.

Numbers are your email subject line’s best friend. Campaign Monitor did extensive A/B testing on email subject lines, revealing that those with numbers had a 57% better open rate than those without. If you are listing steps in a process, the lower the number the better. However, if you’re providing a list of benefits, the number can be higher (but obviously not unreasonably high).

3. Use the following high click-through words.

These “power words” have been tested and have proved to entice people to click on an email more than most. Variations of the below can be used throughout your email marketing campaigns in order to increase their open rate. The words are as follows:

1. thanks

2. golden

3. breaking

4. advice

5. course

6. exclusive

7. review

8. top stories

4. Avoid using any of the following words.

In the same study that revealed the “power words” for subject lines, a list of words that produce the lest click-throughs was also created. These are the words you should avoid like the Plague:

1. get rid of

2. secret of

3. shocking

4. what you need to know

5. won’t believe

6. quickest

7. aim

8. call

9. put

10. 2 for 1

5. Create your own A/B test for your email marketing campaigns

What may work for one company does not necessarily mean it works for all, so I suggest you do some of your own research. Bulk emailing platforms such as Mailchimp allow for A/B testing (for example – you send out an email whereby 50% of your subscribers receive the one subject line and the other 50% a completely separate one). The results of such tests will help you narrow down exactly what works for your unique audience and what doesn’t.

If you’d like me to review your email subject line for your business’s marketing campaign once you’ve applied the above suggestions, just pop it in a mail to feedback.