Subject lines

Everything You Need to Know About Subject Lines

Kristin LaBatt Blog, Content and Creative

Alternatively titled: Why Long, Boring, Uninteresting and Overly Complicated Subject Lines Without Any Real Point Go Completely Unread.

But then that just proves our point. 

Not all emails are read. (Duh.) No one has time for low-quality email marketing when your first impression is often your last.  So, it’s in your best interest to use your email subject line to stand out and earn more reader clicks. We have a few suggestions for how your subject line can help to make that happen:

Keep It Plain and Simple

Clarity comes first. Keep your message accurate and purposeful: we’ve delivered your order.

Give exactly what you promised when they chose to hit ‘subscribe.’ Readers want a subject line that tells them what’s inside and why they should click.

Be Authentic

Your emails should come consistently from someone real; make it clear you know the relationship (and the value) goes both ways. Show them who this person is are by putting them in the “from” field, exactly as they are listed on LinkedIn. Improve the subscriber experience by enabling communication with your email’s sender. Your audience should be able to reply to and get a response from this actual person.

Visual and Short

A one-word subject line is an easy way to be a visual standout in an inbox filled with messaging. This leverages the difference in your brand’s short, specific message versus a noisy clatter of sentence-long desperation. Numbers are another way to attract the human eye and even give the subscriber a read-time estimate.

Keep subject lines to 50 characters or less unless email is highly targeted.

REALLY Know Your Audience (and Don’t Use Caps)

It’s easy to skip over emails “personalized” only by merging readers’ names into the subject line. The treatment no longer makes you stand out; it makes you blend in.

Understand your audience and use that knowledge to inform the content of your email marketing offers and make your subject lines pop. What are they comfortable with? How can you confuse and intrigue them with an entertaining subject line?

Match your audience’s interests with location-specific language for better open rates.

In Conclusion

Use casual, visual and personally conversational words to build your subject lines in ways that harness readers’ self-interest. Make sure no part of the email preview makes it look like a mass mail or blatant advertising.

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About the Author
Kristin LaBatt

Kristin LaBatt

Kristin is the Director of Account Management for the publisher team at AdStation. She brings to the table more than 15 years of experience in account management and media operations on both the advertiser and agency sides of the business.