Getting the subject line spot on: 5 basic guidelines to follow

“… And what shall I put in the subject line?”

A question that everybody asks: from adolescents writing to their yet undeclared love, to Marketing Managers launching a DEM to three hundred thousand odd contacts.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s sales or sentiments a good subject line remains a crucial element. This is the starting point of your credibility, and how you present yourself when appearing in recipients’ inboxes. A badly phrased subject line can ruin even the best of newsletters.

For this best practice there is no one universal ready-made solution that is suitable for everyone.But there are some basic guidelines to follow:

  1. Synthesis.

It may seem trivial, but after receiving far too many emails whose subject lines exceeded the providers’ limits – annoyingly going head all the same – it’s necessary to point out the importance of utilizing an appropriate subject line length.

Clearly setting a maximum size that is suitable for every situation is unrealistic. Let’s say any subject line wanting to have a successful impact should be between twenty-five and fifty characters. And of course, any email whose subject line is left blank is bound to be a wasted one.

  1. Clarity and precision.

A subject line should be concise but informative. The real skill lies in being able to capture the essence of the relevant information that is expressed in the email, within a very short space. In fact, in many ways the art of good subject line writing is very similar to creating an eye catching headline: you will need to bring out the copywriter in you.

Here are some practical tips:

  • Try using pipes(|) to separate the information: it is a clear way to punctuate info and isn’t very invasive. It doesn’t add any real advantage, but in some cases is quite useful, such as with promotions. For example: “Free Shipping until Tuesday | -20% on jazz records.”
  • Don’t aim to describe the content, but rather evoke the concept. Think about the keywords you used in the text or offer, and build up mini-phrases around them, without getting caught up in overly complex structures. A subject line has to entice users to open your mail, not to substitute it.
  • Avoid unnecessary details, such as “Weekly Newsletter”, “We offer…” or “We have a collection of articles…” Get straight to the point and always keep in mind the limited amount of space.
  • Avoid using any caps, as it tends to give a poor impression and the desire to “standout” in an overly vulgar way. The same thing applies to question marks and exclamation points.
  • Make sure the email content is always consistent. If it’s a regularly sent newsletter, without any specific sales objectives, don’t use aggressive terms. If on the other hand you’re offering a unique opportunity for a limited time, the tone can be a little more daring.f. Pay special attention to words that run the risk of being considered spam, like “free” or “reminder”.
  1. Standout.

 Your message should be immediately recognizable in the midst of the dozens and dozens of emails. This means that the subject line must enable the corporate brand and the message you want to get across to be clearly visible and standout.

A good practical tip when trying to come up with the right subject line is to think in terms of the email address you plan on sending the email from. A line very convincing in itself may have exactly the opposite effect when combined with a sender who’s got a particular name. So send yourselves a test newsletter to assess its impact. Better still try sending it when your mailboxes are clogged up!

  1. Test.

It is pretty difficult to think up the perfect subject line on the first try. So the best thing to do is a bit of experimenting, firstly on your team, and then start testing the effectiveness of the chosen subject line and tweak it according to the results.

Undoubtedly the open rate is the value worth taking particular note of: it is generally assumed that a message is opened if its subject appears interesting. True enough, but it’s worth taking this data with a pinch of salt. The fact that emails are almost entirely traceable doesn’t automatically make all the information that we receive interpretable and transparent…

  1. Creativity.

Don’t repeat the same subject line over and over, or constantly use the same keywords, like “offer”, “launch”, “promotion”, “novelty” etc. Even in the case of regularly sent newsletters, especially if addressing a new audience, there’s nothing more trivial and boring than a subject line such as “Newsletter 4”. It doesn’t matter in the slightest what number you reach the end user couldn’t care less.

And finally, even though these are hot tips and well-recognized best practices there is nothing to stop you from being more creative and daring. When it comes to the Web, creativity really pays-off, provided that it’s something truly inspiring. A subject line can even be mysterious and intriguing, or even unsettling – it’s up to you to entice your readers. So if you want to try something different, check out our advanced article.

            6.  Lanuguage

Any Product can reach to sudden stardom not only because of its performance or the usage, always a simple language understandable by any lay man is the first step for success. Even if the product be cumbersome but managing to understand the difficulties can be made easy by the product description and its explanation. Only if the person has a sound knowledge of the subject only then can he write in an easy way. See it here for more information.

And finally, even though these are hot tips and well-recognized best practices there is nothing to stop you from being more creative and daring. When it comes to the Web, creativity really pays-off, provided that it’s something truly inspiring. A subject line can even be mysterious and intriguing, or even unsettling – it’s up to you to entice your readers. So if you want to try something different, check out our advanced article.

 

 

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