Someone asked us recently, “are email campaign subject lines important?” The answer, most definitely, is yes.
As a small business owner, platforms like Constant Contact and MailChimp are probably an essential part of your marketing plan. These types of tools are often cost effective and very user friendly. However, the biggest obstacle in launching a successful email campaign is getting your clients to open the email.
First Impressions Are Everything
Effective email campaigns really start with the subject line. There is no definitive strategy of what makes someone open an email, but there are recommended best practices to follow that can help increase your open rates, starting first with the subject line – a.k.a. the first impression a potential customer will see.
Testing is Key
In order to communicate with your customer, you have to understand howto talk to them. The more you test different subject lines, the more you will identify what their preferences are. You provide value to them, but how do you communicate that in a subject line? A great way to test is to do A/B testing when you have more than one subject line idea. For example, take two subject groups and send subject line “A” to one group and subject line “B” to the other group. Which had more open rates? What about the click-through rates?
The Touchstone Tool
In 2015, Alchemy Worx, a global marketing email company that has international clients like Cadbury and Dyson, created an industry-leading subject line tool called Touchstone. By usingthe Touchstone tool, the Alchemy Worx was able to study more than 21 billion emails sent by 2,000-plus brands to find the highest performing keywords in email subject lines. They found that the top five performing keywords in a subject line were the following: “upgrade,” “just,” “content,” “go”and “wonderful.” With these five words in mind, why not use try an A/B campaign using some of these words?
Subject Line Researcher
If you’re operating on a smaller budget, MailChimp also has a program like Touchstone called Subject Line Researcher. By using all subject lines ever sent through MailChimp, Subject Line Researcher can compare a word or phrase you may want to use and show you all related phrases and rate it on a five-star rating system so you can see how comparable subject lines performed.
Can Mobile Make a Difference?
It is also important to take into account that many emails are opened on mobile devices – so again, testing is key! Take into consideration character count: shorter may be the way to go.
Make it Personal
Adding a touch of personalization is shown to increase open rates, especially if you use the customer’s first and last name. Another good practice to follow is to be direct and to the point. Instead of offering “Spring Savings,” directly convey the value of the deal you are offering.
“Re:” The Key To Email Subject Line Success
Lastly, one trick of the trade that can sometimes work is to start the subject line with “Re:” because it looks as though you are replying directly to that person.
entrepreneur.com April 21, 2015
mailchimp.com June 20, 2018