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Archive for May 29th, 2010

10 Easy Email Subject Line Tips – Part 1

Tip #1: Learn from newspaper headlines.

Great email subject lines can easily be found just by reading your local newspaper.  In a limited amount of space a headline will place the spotlight on a story’s most important fact.  Therefore a good subject line should tell the reader what they can expect from the email.  It should tell them what is in it for them or an action that you want them to take.

Tip #2: There is no absolute method.

Sometimes one email campaign will kill and then tank the next time.  Up-sell offers shouldn’t be worded the same as a discount offer, and then a breaking-news announcement is even different still.

Your campaigns should stand out each time while still maintaining familiarity to the reader.  Don’t recycle email subject lines from an old campaign.  What works best?  I’ll cover that in the next tip.

Tip #3: Test, test and then test some more!

Keep testing all of the time to find out what styles and trends work well.  Try out different email subject lines.  Maybe give yourself an entire campaign-creation day to get the ideas flowing.

Tip #4: Subject line success is not always measured by a good open rate.

Another way to judge a successful subject line is by its conversions, that could mean clicks, opt-ins, downloads or sales.  If you look closely you might find that a particular email has a relatively low open rate but an unusually high sales-per-order rate.  That might possibly point to something in the subject line that had a strong appeal to a small segment of your email list.  If that happens, it would be worth taking a look at list segmentation so that you can cater to a more lucrative section of your prospects.

Tip #5: Action is driven by a sense of urgency.

Always set deadlines: “Your order must be in by midnight tonight;” “Final day to arrive by Christmas.”  When using urgency, make it a part of a planned email series.  For example on a Monday include: “Only 5 Days Left…” and then on that Thursday follow it up with: “Only 24 Hours…”.


I hope that you enjoyed the first part of my two part series on 10 easy email subject line tips.  Come back tomorrow for tips 6 through 10.

In the comments section let me know what you think about email subject lines.  I am always interested in what my readers have to say.

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