With the closing of another year upon us, now is a great time to evaluate what worked in your email marketing campaigns in 2011 and where there may be an opportunity to make changes. Not seeing the results you were looking for? That’s okay – there’s always room for improvement and optimization. Let’s start by focusing on the most important and effective (hopefully) part of your email – the subject line. Here are three tips for writing effective subject lines:
1. Do I have your attention?
With the wealth of information delivered to our inboxes every day, it’s critical that your message is both relevant and valued by your subscribers. Since you’ve only got seconds to grab their attention, make it count! Put the most important information in the front of your subject line. Take advantage of this valuable real estate. And keep it under 50 characters – the subject line only needs to tease the benefit of opening your email. No need to cram all of your content into this limited space. You want the recipient to actually open the email, right?
2. Well that didn’t work as I planned!
Although we’d like to believe our email campaigns are as effective as possible, chances are there’s room for improvement. Test your content frequently and use the results to optimize your emails. Use a small segment of your overall list to test the value of your subject lines. You’ll want to roll out to the larger group with the most effective message as possible. Look at this exercise as an opportunity to discover key findings about the segments in your list, as different subscribers will take different actions. For instance, a low open rate but high conversion rate could mean something in the subject line appealed to a segment of higher quality leads.
3. Conversations before sales.
You should treat the subject line in your emails as a chance to have a conversation with your potential customers. Subscribers should recognize the benefit of opening your message almost immediately, but don’t try and hard-sell them. Be brief. Be straightforward. Be trustworthy. Offer the value of your message in a leading, never misleading, manner. Chances are that those customers who open your email once and actually find the information you promised in your subject line will continue to look for your content in their inbox in the future. Don’t scare them away with an overly “salesy” message.
Stay tuned for more Email Best Practices from Nowspeed and visit our Email Marketing Services page for an overview how we could help you with your email results.