4 Steps to Powerful Subject Lines That Get Results

Your subject line can make or break your email marketing efforts.

With the right subject line, you’ll make an impact with your list members and encourage them to open your email and take a look inside. Also, you can increase your sales, deepen your connection and be more valuable to the recipients of your messages.

There are four simple steps to creating more profitable subject lines:     

 1.       Get to the Point

You should always aim at getting to the point with your subject lines. Don’t try to be funny. Being clear and direct is more important than being clever. When people scan through their inboxes, they are making split section decisions about whether or not to open your email. Being clear and relevant will help them understand what your message is about. Stay true to the theme of the message so they won’t be surprised when they open your message.

2.       Brainstorm a Few Options.

 Don’t let your subject line be an afterthought. Give it just as much attention as the body of your message.

 It helps to come up with several different options for your email marketing subject lines. Don’t censor yourself and use common formulas to come up with different options. Here are some ideas to play with:

  • Just say what it is. (i.e. “Your order is on the way!” “Here are your webinar details”)
  • Ask a question
  • Focus on a particular number of steps to getting a desired result. 3, 5 and 7 work really well.
  • Show the reader “How To”. Include words like “simple” and “easy”.
  • Personalize to the reader’s needs.
  • Highlight exclusivity. Use words such as “brand new” “just released” “only” “first” “best”
  • Create a sense of urgency. Set a timeline. Use words such as “deadline” “hurry” “today only” “now.”
  • Give social proof. Share a statistic, include a brand name, a celebrity’s name, a testimonial or point to a survey result.

 As you’re brainstorming, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use the subject line space to tell your story.
  2. Many email clients cut the subject line at 55 characters, so focus on the first 30 characters the most.
  3. Don’t waste your space with excessive punctuation. Save your characters for actual words.
  4. Watch out for buzz words like “FREE” too often. This can set off spam filters.
  5. Remember the relationship that you’ve developed with your audience. Don’t be too formal or too casual. Stick with your tone of your brand.

 3.     Match Your Call to Action

The call to action of your subject line is the real point of your message. Your subject line needs to match what you want the reader to do. You’re sending the message because you want people to take a specific action – so hint at this with your subject line.

 4.     Test Your Subject Lines

Once you’ve starting applying these principles to your subject lines, you need to do some real world testing to find out what works best for your audience. Use an email service provider that offers split testing. This way you can send out the same message with different subject lines and you’ll learn which formulas get the best results.

Pay attention to the differences in your testing. Even if it’s a 1 or 2 percentage point difference, that can mean a lot more leads or revenue for you. Review your stats every three months to see which subject lines did best, how long they were and what formats out-performed others. Use what you learn through these stats to make improvements going forward.

By implementing these simple guidelines, you can turn your subject lines into interesting and clickable statements that will improve your marketing results and create more profits in your business.