Email subject lines that’ll increase your open rates

Email subject lines that’ll increase your open rates
25th July 2018

A subject line can be the make or break of a customer relationship. Here’s some tips on how to get it right

66% of marketers rated email as an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ channel for return of investment according to a recent Econsultancy census. Marketers that realise the value of email marketing will therefore understand that getting their subject line right needs to be a priority.

Nearly half of email recipients make the quick decision whether to open a message or not, based on email subject lines alone. A further 26% will open an email based on the offer that the subject line promotes.

Writing email subject lines that entice your audience enough to increase your open rate can seem like a holy grail for many businesses. But if you follow these guidelines, you’ll be on track to improve your success rate.

Say it quickly

Keeping your email subject lines snappy and to the point is only going to impact your engagement positively. It’s important to keep in mind that your audience is likely to receive high volumes of unwanted emails, so yours needs to cut through that noise. When writing your subject line, try and put a cap on the word count and ask yourself which words are necessary.

Up to 77% of emails are opened on mobile devices, which could mean your email has other distractions to contend with and a smaller screen to show your entire message in the subject line. So, keep it concise.

Spike curiosity not click-bait

Whether it’s an email or post on social media, we’ve all been caught out before with a subject line that draws us in. Only to realise immediately that the content doesn’t quite deliver on the promise that the link led us to believe. Now, whilst ‘click-bait’ serves the purpose of click through volumes, it can do more damage than good to customer relationships. Customers are very quick to realise that those senders or publishers aren’t a trusted source and won’t bother engaging in the future.

Creating curiosity with your email subject lines isn’t a bad thing, so long as they’re not making promises about the content that isn’t going to be delivered on. For instance, using ‘Your free ticket to movie launch’ as a line that is about a paid subscription for videos from the 1980s isn’t doing quite what the subject suggests.

Using deals or promotions is a good way to drive open rates (as long as they’re true) as customers are likely to see the benefit of engaging a brand in the long term. These deals could also be dependent on the lifecycle of your customers. You might want to run a campaign for instance for new subscribers to encourage them to continue with your brand. But a different offer for customers that haven’t engaged for a set period to bring them back into your sales and marketing funnel.

Personalise, segment and automate

This means more than including the recipient’s first name (although that’s a good start). As Sitecore Platinum Partners, we’re particularly enthusiastic about utilising customers’ data to improve their user journeys on the websites that we build. We see how using personalisation to create a dynamic and tailored customer experience drives engagement which translates into revenue. It’s the same concept for email marketing.

Businesses that tailor their email content to their customers’ data will generally see an increase in engagement. Creating a personalised email subject line that is relevant to that individual helps to boost open rates by 50%, but can also increase the likelihood of further engagement with the brand. When research has shown how much of an impact personalisation has on email open rate it should be a no-brainer for marketers to apply this technique.

Segmentation plays an important role in personalisation. By segmenting customers into different lists, marketers can set up various trigger campaigns that generate emails with relevant content and subject lines. This tactic also means that the email is time sensitive. For example, a trigger for an automated email could be set up for existing customers that recently downloaded an event brochure alongside one for new visitors completing the same task. The email subject lines are then tailored specifically to those two groups.

How your email platform can help you

There are so many email platforms to choose from. Whilst software like MailChimp or GetResponse can be suitable for many organisations, integrating everything into one system it’s going to make life a lot easier.

If you’re a marketer already running a Sitecore website but using a separate platform for email marketing, here’s some great news. You can save on time and money by using Sitecore’s email feature. A feature that is already included with your existing Sitecore license.

Once you’ve tailored some irresistible email subject lines for your campaigns (using the tips above) you then need to look to a platform that can deliver, measure a report effectively. Hello Sitecore Email Experience Manager (EXM). This feature offers marketers everything from automation, personalisation and even language variants.

Key things to remember

Successful email subject lines should:

  • Be concise
  • Spike curiosity
  • Be personalised
  • Be relevant
  • Be timely

Get in touch to talk to one of our Sitecore specialists about how to get the most out of Sitecore email marketing.