Winning subject lines

3rd February 2011 By Louise Stephens in Email design

When I first started sending out email marketing campaigns, I spent hours crafting the body text, choosing funky images and testing my data but didn’t really give a second thought to the subject line. After a few months of relatively low open rates and head scratching, it occurred to me that I needed to give my subject lines some love if I wanted to lure people into reading my emails in the first place.

If you are looking to create powerful and irresistible subject lines (like me), check out our ten top tips to winning subject lines:

  • Avoid words such as ‘free’ and ‘offer’ as these are likely to be picked up as spam
  • Try not to use too many exclamation marks!! It’s really unprofessional and makes you sound extremely over-enthusiastic!! And looks a bit weird!!
  • Keep it short and sweet
  • Keep it simple
  • Try some humour, e.g. ‘Snow’s time to order your Christmas e-card’
  • Use number or statistics to illustrate a point - e.g. ‘six easy tips to sell to CEOs’
  • Lead on the hot topics - for social media it might be ‘trending’ for shipping it might be ‘multimodal logistics’
  • Trial and error - testing out different subject lines is a great way of fine-tuning your strategy
  • Ask questions

If in doubt, remember the good, the bad and the ugly...

The good:   Enjoy spills and thrills with East Coast Trains from £8 (Perfect!)
The bad:   February i.send e-newsletter (A bit plain)
The ugly:   FREE Viagra! Buy online now for our special 241 offer before it’s too late (Avoid at all costs)

Do you agree? How do you make your subject lines engaging?

Louise Stephens
About the Author

Louise Stephens

Louise is an email marketing consultant at little green plane. She advises and builds lasting relationships with our existing clients as well as handling all new business. Louise also conducts full demonstrations of our software and will advise on the right package for your business. Louise is passionate about email marketing and will happily train clients on a number of topics including; best practice, engaging your audience and getting the best return on your investment.