Email Marketing

Importance of Subject Line in Email Marketing

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Tereza Zemanova  |   September 14th, 2023

12 Min.  read

How vital are email subject lines for your company’s online promotional strategies? Email marketing reportedly dates back to 1978 when a marketer at Digital Equipment Corporation sent the world’s first email blast.

A fascinating subject line may impact SEO in email marketing and clickthrough rates (CTR) in effective initial and follow-up digital communication.

Improving your company’s or organization’s email subject lines is part of the process of learning how marketing works in the digital age.

Let’s look at why subject lines are critical in email marketing and how you can make them more impactful. 

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What Makes Email Subject Lines So Crucial?

McKinsey, a management consulting company, reported that the average professional spends 28% of their workday reading and answering emails. The statistic highlights the importance of creating eye-catching subject lines.  

Here’s why it matters. Due to factors such as the massive volume of digital mail people often receive, the effectiveness of email subject lines may affect whether someone decides to open their email.    

Email marketing may potentially affect your businesses’ search engine optimization. For example, you can utilize emails to promote SEO content

This action may drive web traffic to your website by increasing engagement with your target market. 

Another significant matter to consider is that email marketing can produce a high average return on investment (ROI), according to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA). This feature may benefit small businesses in particular. 

However, the high ROI is partially dependent on whether someone reads an email. Your potential customers can’t buy offerings they don’t know about, right? 

Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing’s Subject Lines 

Your company can follow several general guidelines to highlight the importance of making the best email subject lines. Remember the big picture. This approach may also enhance the effectiveness of your business’s overall marketing strategies.  

Here are some tactics that may help make your email subject lines more effective:

Build Trust 

The Pew Research Center revealed that over half of internet users believe that spam is a major issue. So, your business must establish trust through email subject lines. 

Here’s an example. Ensure that the email body is aligned with the subject line. Otherwise, the reader may become disappointed that you didn’t deliver what the subject line promised.

In addition, you can also build trust by making sure the subject line is also free of spelling and grammatical errors. 

Why is this critical? If the subject line is riddled with such errors, the reader may become skeptical about the credibility of the rest of the email. 

Many of today’s email platforms contain built-in spelling and grammar checkers. So, it’s worth taking the time to turn on spell check and grammar check.

Stir the Reader’s Interest 

Your marketing emails must contain intriguing and unique subject lines. For example, try to avoid overused words and phrases, such as clichés. 

Use methods such as building curiosity or showing urgency. For example, how will the reader benefit from opening the email? Why should they have a sense of urgency and open the email now instead of next week?

Another method is to include a “hook” that captures the reader’s attention. This step can help pique their interest. Then they’ll be motivated to open the email and learn more. Here are some options:

  • Ask a question 

  • Add appropriate humor

  • Use personalization (location- or interest-specific) 

  • Try scarcity tactics (for example: “You’re missing out”) 

  • Include mysterious information 

Use Name Recognition 

This tactic can trigger a reader’s interest by dropping names of famous people they know and admire. 

There’s a caveat. When mentioning famous people, ensure that it’s aligned with your brand, products, or services. Aerospace engineers may be uninterested in celebrity news about Justin Bieber, for instance.

This approach will make name-dropping more relevant to your customer profile. 

Highlight Timeliness and Relevance

People often subscribe to an email list because they want to learn about a particular topic. 

You can include elements such as timely headlines or trending topics in the subject lines. They can help establish your company as an industry authority and encourage people to click and read. 

Allude to an Interesting Story  

It’s admittedly tough to tell the whole story in one line. You can still stimulate interest by using the subject line to refer to a great story. Point out that the reader must open and read the email to learn more. 

In addition, make sure the story is aligned with your brand.  

Use Personalization  

Keep in mind that no two email subscribers in the world are the same. So, make sure the emails they receive aren’t either. This process doesn’t mean simply including the recipient’s name like spam mails notoriously do.  

Here’s how to get personal. Today, marketers have a wide array of marketing tools to learn about their target market. Such information includes their locations, jobs, and preferences or dislikes. 

So, when sending an email, ensure that it’s catered towards your target audience. This tactic may help increase engagement. The approach speaks directly to people most likely to buy your company’s products or services.  

Use Brief Subject Lines

There’s no correlation between the subject line’s length and effectiveness. Focus on using the marketing email to grab the reader’s attention quickly. 

As a general rule, you should consider limiting your subject lines to 50 characters. An extreme example is impactful one-word subject lines, such as “Hey.”  

Reading shorter email subjects is less tedious, like reading shorter emails. This method may thus help increase email open rates and CTRs.   

Wrapping Up

An email’s subject line is the first part a person will read. Email recipients are more likely to read ones that are short, interesting, and unique. 

Ultimately, a great subject line may also benefit your company regarding engagement, web traffic, and leads. Make this one-liner extraordinary!   

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