If mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, then it’s safe to say that subject lines are the powerhouse of the marketing email. Without a good subject line, it might not even matter how impressively designed or immaculately worded your email is. If your reader doesn’t have a reason to open it, then it either goes in the recycling immediately, stays in their inbox for six months until they clean the inbox out, or–worst of all–they report it as spam.

You want your readers to see all the beautiful work you did, right? Of course, you do. Let’s look at a few subject line best practices to make sure your beautiful words and graphics find their way to the eyes of your readers.

Test ‘Em Out

You see us mentioning A/B testing all the time, but it’s important to understand why. If you’re regularly A/B testing your subject lines, then you’re gaining valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t. Without this process, you’re flying blind and hoping for the best, but once you implement it, you’re able to make informed subject line decisions moving forward.

Short and Sweet

When it comes to subject lines, shorter is always going to be better. A huge amount of people use their phones to check their email, which means that if it’s too long, it’s going to be cut off. If that happens, you’re failing to give your reader a reason to open.

Sure, you can make the beginning seem really enticing, but more often than not, the reader will scroll on by. Our recommendation? Keep it around 50-60 characters maximum so your reader sees your whole pitch.

What’s in a Name?

A lot! Familiarity and personalization are key factors in nabbing a reader’s attention. If you already have a prospect’s name, you can use merge tags so that your sends use their name or location! It might not seem like much, but those details stand out and make your messaging seem more pointed and considerate.

Personalization and dynamic content can be used in a variety of ways, and not just in subject lines. Learn more about it here.

Summarize and Explain

We already explained that the subject line needs to be short, but you also need to be effective in that limited space. You can inject a lot of personality into a short space like that, and we’d recommend you try and use emotion and empathy to drive interest. Make them feel like they’re going to miss out. Make them afraid that their competition is gaining an upper hand. Even just letting them know that you’ve been where they are can build trust and rapport.

Barring that, just do your best to convey the value of the message you’re sending. Explain to the reader why they need what’s inside the email. “Money Tips You NEED”, “17 Time-Saving Tips”, and other phrases to that effect are going to draw people in better than vague phrasing about potential deals.

Alright, Calm Down…

Emails are exciting! They’re a chance to grow your customer base–and as a result–your ROI! Thing is, you need to rein that excitement in. That means no all-caps subject lines, no overusing exclamation points, and no overusing emojis.

  • All-caps feel like you’re yelling. Even if it’s to say something good, it reads as WAY too aggressive.

  • Exclamation points are fun, but using a bunch of them in a row feels like you’re trying too hard, and it’ll turn a lot of readers off.

  • Emojis are a great way to liven up a subject line, but not to excess. Honestly, you should probably only use one–two max–and never use them to replace words. If you do, you run the risk of burying your own message.

Having a good subject line is setting yourself up for success. Don’t just wing it and opt for something easy. Take the time and do the work! We’re sure you’ll see returns on our efforts!

If you’re still unsure about what you need to say, don’t worry! That’s why we’re here. We take these tasks, and we handle them with seasoned, expert precision. Reach out for a demo today! Let us show you what your day could look like once you pass these little tasks off to us and take your time back.

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