Boost Engagement Through Email Subject Lines

When you’re writing an email to send out to your list, you’re probably focused on the body of the email. After all, that’s where the content and the special offer will go. That’s the most important part, right? Well…maybe not. Some experts suggest the subject line is the most powerful, overlooked component of your email marketing strategy! Here are a few subject lines that will inspire you to step up your email marketing game.

Two Killer Subject Line Strategies

Rent the Runway: “Happy Birthday Lindsay – Surprise Inside!”

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of personalized marketing. It can be incredibly effective — especially in email marketing. According to the 2014 Science of Email Marketing, emails that included the first name of the recipient in their subject line had higher CTRs than emails that did not.

This example shows that stat in action: It’s sent close to the recipient’s (my colleague Lindsay) birthday, and addresses her by her first name.

But that’s not all this subject line does. It also hints at an incentive to open the email: There’s a surprise inside. This subject line does a great job of being clear about what’s in the email without giving away the surprise completely.

Zillow: “What Can You Afford?”

Imagine getting this subject line in your inbox from a website showing apartments for rent. It’s both exciting and encouraging (“Here are a bunch of apartments right in your budget. Yay!”), but also kind of competitive — pitting your cash against what the market offers. Would you click it? I certainly would.

Playing off psychological emotions is key to getting people to open your emails. You don’t have to be a psychologist to know how to take advantage of them, either. Get caught up with this ebook from Unbounce — while it’s all about landing pages, the same principles can apply to email subject lines. Principles like urgency, scarcity, and social proof are all great ways to increase your conversion rates.

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While you may think your number 1 goal is sales, getting engagement from your customers is actually more important – and your subject lines can help you do that! Here’s a look at why that’s true, and a few subject line templates to help you along your way, from an expert on email marketing.

Three Subject Lines That Demand Attention

The fastest way to get started with _______

This one works well because people are all in a hurry. Everyone wants everything now. Our society went from postal mail to faxes to email to text messages in less than 2 generations.

With each advancement in technology our patience has worn thinner and thinner. While you might have expected a response to a fax in a few days you now expect a response to a text in minutes or seconds.

You can benefit from that trend by providing readers with the fastest way possible to get the benefit you offer them. That’s what they want anyway, so why not give it to them?

The top three mistakes to avoid when you want to _______

This appeals not to a promise of gain but more to a fear of loss. All of us fear making mistakes, especially online where even the terminology can be confusing.

When people are not succeeding on the level they want (and most are not) they blame themselves and feel they are making mistakes. Even if they don’t know what the mistakes are, their lack of success must be their fault, right? Or so their thinking goes.

If you can share what not to do you can help readers just as much as telling them what will work for them.

I would not recommend using this one too often, because the promise of gain is a more positive and effective approach overall. But do make sure to have this arrow in your marketing quiver.

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