Email marketing is a tricky balance of entertaining, but also teaching your reader. You have a great list of addresses that have shaped your audience to a crowd of tuned in, like minded individuals. Now how do you keep them opening each eblast from here on out? Well, it certainly matters what content you include in your email, but one aspect that many marketers tend to overlook is something far more simple – the subject line.

Many think that this limited character space has little impact on the health of their campaign. This way of thinking though may be the difference between a higher open rate. The subject line is the first thing receivers see, and here is what you can do to improve it, and in turn, your overall open rate.

1. Less is more – 8 words or less if possible.
Not only does this address the main message upfront, it tremendously helps mobile users. Close to half of emails are opened from a mobile phone, which has limited space for characters. It’s better to get to the point and not make it too wordy.

2. People like emojis.
They’re fun and whimsical, and statistically shown to provide higher open rates! 🙌

3. Make sure the subject line and preview text coincide with each other.
This one should be a no-brainer. The purpose of the subject line is to introduce the opener to the category or main premise of the content they are receiving, while the preview allures them to open and read more!

4. Casing – conversational, not title.
Title Casing Can Come Across As Spammy. What encourages people to open is conversational, or sentence casing.

5. Hone in on words/phrases statistically proven to increase open rates.
“How to, Suddenly, Now, Announcing, Introducing, It’s here, Just arrived, Important development, Improvement, Amazing, Sensational, Remarkable, Revolutionary, Startling, Miracle, Magic, Offer, Quick, Easy, Wanted, Challenge, Advice to, The truth about, Compare, Bargain, Hurry, Last chance”

Just a few examples of what has been proven to encourage receivers!

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6. Include strong verbs and keywords to send a powerful message.
Think about what verbs would help the reader visualize themselves taking action with your service or product. Passive language will not give the reader a sense of what your offering can allow them to do.

7. Split test.
Whether a list with a certain type of subscriber or a variation of how you word the subject line itself, testing two or more iterations can give you an idea of what gets you closer to the most engagement, and what doesn’t.

8. Convey a sense of urgency or action.
Act now!  The tone of your messaging should convey a feeling that the reader will miss out on a time sensitive opportunity if they don’t move forward. A call to action needs to emphasize that there is crucial information that they don’t want to miss out on.

9. Use announcements and invitations.
Using phrases that contain “new” will make the reader feel as though they are about to hear something important they may not know yet. “You’re invited,” can also draw interest as they will feel compelled to see what it is their presence is being requested for.

10. Leverage the pain point.

An example:

Benefit: “4 ways to make fonts more pleasing to the eye”
Pain: “4 font mistakes to avoid (and how they hurt your branding)”

Being to identify their need from the get-go can be a great way to influence them to find out what solution you have to offer.

11. Answer or ask a provoking question.
This allows the chance for curiosity to arise, and make the reader wonder if this applies to their own personal or work life. Begging the deeper thought and later discussion with an engaging subject line like this makes it sound personal.

An example:

“These are the keys to driving traffic to your website”
“Have you implemented these key components to your traffic campaigns?”

There you have it. 11 tidbits of useful information that can be turned into a greater strategy behind your next campaign! All it takes is a little creativity, wittiness, and the ability to think like your customer, and what you think will keep them interested.

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