Improve Email Open Rates in 3…2…1

June 2, 2022

Are subscribers swiping away your brand’s emails before even opening them? Any digital strategist will tell you that email marketing is an art form. But before you can curate content that educates, influences, and engages your target audiences, you first need to understand what drives them to click through.

Did you know that subscribers judge an email by its subject line? According to Hubspot, 47% of marketers admit to testing different subject lines to improve click through rates and user engagement.

But you don’t need a statistic to prove this theory. Think about all the brand emails you subscribe to. We’d be willing to guess that if the subject line perks your own interest, you’ll click to learn more vs. delete the correspondence entirely.

In contrast, if the subject line is vague or unrelated to your interests, you’ll probably delete it right away to make room in your inbox for better content, right?

Why Is the Subject Line of a Business Email Important?

Your subject line is one amid hundreds—or even thousands—of other brand emails competing for a user’s attention.

That means even if you pack every email with the best tips, strategies, or promotions that spark users’ interests, the only way they’re going to access that A+ content is if they click through. And if your subject line fades into the background, or gets upstaged by more compelling email campaigns, all that hard work and strategy will be for nothing.

Remember, email marketing is all about connecting with subscribers and keeping your brand top of mind! Therefore, your subject line should be on brand with your industry and relevant to your users.

How to Create More Impact with Emails

In this article, we’ll highlight a few helpful do’s and don’ts for creating compelling email subject lines that improve clicks.

DO Keep It Short

We know. There’s a lot of ground you want to cover, especially if your email is stocked with special promos, new product launches, success stories, etc. But the last thing your subscribers want to read is a subject line that’s over 30 words in length. 

Mailchimp recommends using no more than 9 words (60 characters) for each subject line. Always look for opportunities to cut out the clutter and condense when possible. 

DO Create Excitement

Whether you want to promote a new product or create some urgency around an upcoming sale, try to build some excitement in your email subject line to help trigger an action from your readers. This is your chance to brighten their day with some good news, amid all the mundane emails they might be receiving. 

Just remember to avoid “click bait” subject lines. These are often misleading and sensationalized one-liners that merely exist to get clicks vs. engage. It cheapens your brand message, discredits your image, and may leave a bad taste in your subscribers’ mouths—leading them to unsubscribe altogether.

“Your email subject line is making a promise to your reader about what you will deliver in your message. Make sure that you make good on that commitment — and do not try to get your email opened by making false promises,” (Hubspot).

DO Stay Relevant 

Remember to keep your emails relevant to what’s happening in the real world. This will allow you to stay top of mind, especially if you’re providing a solution and/or ideas for what’s currently ailing your customers, such as finding the perfect Father’s Day gift for dad, or choosing the right moisturizer for combination skin tones. 

Of course, if you’re a roofing company, you don’t want to promote emails about cosmetics. But if you’re headed into Midwest storm season, you might want to provide tips on how to prepare your home for hail and high winds. Always remember to stay on brand—in addition to staying relevant.

To do this successfully, we recommend creating an email marketing content calendar. This will allow you to plan ahead for certain holidays, product launches, or special promos. This can also help you align your other marketing campaigns so they’re always working together towards the same goal(s).

DON’T Forget to Personalize

According to Mailchimp, “Personalization is shown to increase open rates for most users, and may work well when combined with targeted automations such as birthday deals and post-purchase follow-ups.”

DON’T Be Too Salesy

Even if your main objective is to sell products, when you constantly push sales on your subscribers, they will start to think you only want one thing: their money. But you want much more than that. You want their loyalty and their trust. That means your emails should contain relevant news and resources that benefit the subscribers. 

Sure, announcing a new coupon code for free shipping is great, but make sure you’re focusing on other content materials they’ll find interesting and will want to share with others in their networks. 

DON’T Be Afraid To Test

The best thing about digital marketing is that you can do a bit of trial and error with your campaigns, and most people are unaware of it. A/B and Multivariate tests on Mailchimp, for instance, help you understand how small differences in a single email can impact its overall performance, as well as the type of content your users like best. This includes the type of subject line that gets the most clicks.

Maybe you’ll discover that when you include an emoji with a subject line, you get more clicks, or if you lead with a sale, you lose out on subscribers. Don’t be afraid to test, but make sure you’re assessing the data to implement the right changes to improve performance over time.

Improve Your Email Marketing Strategy

Need to strategize your email campaigns for optimal performance? Whether you currently manage your brand’s email marketing, or you’re thinking of starting a company newsletter, our team can help!

To get started and learn more about our capabilities, contact us for a free consultation. 

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