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How to craft the perfect subject line

Guide
by James Holloway Agency Partnership Director

Email remains a hugely popular form of marketing in 2019, so it’s important to take measures in order to stand out in the inbox of your recipients and gain enough interest to be noticed and opened. Get it wrong and your email, along with a potential business relationship, may end up in the trash.

95% of professionals use email, making it an effective channel for B2B marketing in particular.

An email’s subject line can mean the difference between and all-important open and it being disregarded entirely. 47% of people open emails based on the subject line alone, and over two thirds report and email as spam on the same basis. With this in mind, don’t leave it to an afterthought… here’s how to craft the perfect subject line.

Keep it short and sweet

Subject lines should be brief and to-the-point to grab the recipient’s attention immediately. It is likely that they receive at least dozens of emails per day and standing out in a cluttered inbox can be challenging. Emails with subject lines of fewer than 50 characters are estimated to have open rates that are 12% higher than those with longer subject lines. Stay safe and stick to one that is around 6 words.

Garner their interest

While length of subject line makes a clear impact, you need a bit more than that to entice recipients in. For your recipients to actually open your email, you need to use those 50 characters wisely to convince them that it will be worth their time. If you are offering something inside the email that is of value to them, tell them! If you are giving away a free guide or discount code, use a subject line that lets your recipients know this.

Gain their trust

If you write a click-bait subject line and don’t deliver the goods then you will risk losing your recipients’ trust. The content within your email should be consistent with what you are promising in your subject line. In line with this, ensure that your email looks credible by avoiding subject lines that contain spelling or grammatical errors as they can appear spammy and illegitimate.

Consider A/B testing

Most third-party email platforms like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor allow you to A/B test your subject lines which can be ideal if you are stuck between a few. Once you know what tends to work then you will likely become more confident in devising successful subject lines.

Personalise it

Don’t be afraid to get personal. Emails with subject lines that include the recipient’s first name tend to result in a higher open rate than those that do not (18.3% open rate for those that include the name vs. 15.7% for those that do not). Make sure you test that the personalisation works correctly before you launch your campaign – there is not much worse than a failed ‘Hi {First_Name}’ subject line.

Would you open it?

Finally, before settling on a final subject line, put yourself in the recipient’s shoes and consider whether you would open the email if it landed in your inbox.

Gooey are a white-label web and email development agency based in Manchester – check out our services here.