Email subject lines are one of the most important things to master because they directly affect your open rate. And more opens means more possible action. They can’t do what you’re asking if they don’t open your email.
The average open rate for emails is between 15-25%. If you're above 25% you have a great open rate. But let's assume you wanted to get even better.
This article contains simple email subject line ideas that work. But before we get into those examples, let’s talk about something else you should be doing….
There are two main components people assess before opening an email: the subject line and who the email is coming from. If people know you, or they recognized the name, they are more likely to open it.
Whenever possible use a name as the sender, not noreply@yourcompany. Using a sender's name, even if it diverts to a mailbox on your end that multiple people can access, goes a long way in building a relationship. Some companies use the president's name, while others use a customer support name that's easy to remember. The emails I received from Trello, for instance, were always sent from Taco@Trello. Is he a real person? It doesn’t matter. It’s very easy to remember.
Again, don't feel like you have to pick someone on your business roster to field all those replies. Work with your IT department to create a group inbox that multiple people can access.
4 Practical Email Ideas that Drive Clicks
The following ideas have been taken from real, successful emails. In order to make them more universally applicable, I replaced the product or service in < > so that you could see an example and how you might tailor the details to your own needs. In most cases, you can add products or services from your business or other concepts that your audience will find value in.
# <items or services> we’re obsessed with
Why it works:
this stirs a natural curiosity. Being obsessed with something is a very strong endorsement. People will want to click through to see what you're obsessed with. Not only should you tell them but remember to tell them why as well.
It’s not too late! <insert action verb> now for the…
Often people put things like registering or RSVPing off. It’s not until they're cleaning out their inbox or it crosses their mind that they panic. Then they tell themselves it's too late to do anything about it.
Why it works:
An email like this reminds people they still have time to act. it's the ideal subject line for a warm lead.
Try Our 30-day <Product or Service> Challenge for <Insert Result>
These days it seems like there's a challenge for everything. The reason why marketers use these challenges is that they are highly effective in getting attention and collecting potential data.
Why it works:
If you have a product or service that you can arrange a challenge around now is a great time to do it. You don't have to stick with a 30-day challenge either. You can do something as small as a 3- or 7-day challenge. Get people to sign up for it by giving their email, then send them a new component of the challenge every day, and invite them to a community on Facebook where you discuss their participation and results.
Hey <Insert First Name>, Are You Still Awake?
This email was sent to me by Kim Garst, a marketing expert for small businesses. She sent at 11 p.m. While some people may not appreciate an email at that hour, Kim works with a lot of small business owners and solopreneurs and let's face it, we don't sleep much. As a matter of fact, she was right on. I was awake and I was working.
Why it works:
This email didn't have to compete for my attention because there aren't a whole lot of people sending me emails at 11 p.m.
50% Off 🍕 Means More Time Out of the Kitchen
Okay, so this subject line is designed for restaurants and food places but iit can be quickly tailored to other industries. It’s just a simple equation of “we’ll give you X = a benefit beyond savings for you.”
No one can argue getting takeout isn’t quicker than cooking. However, it's not in everyone's budget to do so. So while it's very efficient, some people don’t get takeout due to budget constraints. This subject line gets right to their concerns about money and tells the recipient that there's a discount so money is less of a concern...and there’s something else. You get your time back.
Why it works:
Who isn’t interested in saving time if you can do it cheaply?
Another thing they use in this subject line was a pizza emoji. The 🍕 allows the audience to very clearly see that the 50% off reflects the price of pizza without the marketer using 4 additional characters (to spell out the word) in the subject line. The number of characters you use is very important as most phones truncate messages in order to fit on the screen. Using an emoji is a way to say more in less space.
No matter what approach you take in drafting a subject line, the one thing to remember is what your audience values. View the subject line as bait or a teaser. It's important people know what they're getting (if they open the email) without actually getting everything they need by reading the subject line. After all, you want to drive interest and compel them to click.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses and chambers of commerce how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com.
Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to eradicate boring copy and bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.