Did you know that each day, 144.8 billion emails are sent? In fact, the time it takes to read a 20-word sentence, 20 million emails are sent. With figures like that, it’s more important than ever to ensure your email stands out from the rest. Plus, when you consider that almost two-thirds of all emails sent are spam, there’s little margin for error when it comes to making your message look as genuine as possible. Really, there’s only one way to make sure your emails are actually opened, not just relegated to the junk folder – creating a cracking subject line. “How-to: Creating engaging subject lines within your email marketing”

Sure, over time your brand will become a recognised provider of useful content, thereby decreasing the risk of your messages being labelled as junk. It takes time to establish that authority though, so start with a focus on writing engaging subject lines. After all, doing so could help you grow your open and click-through rates, not to mention your engagement levels. It could help even protect and enhance your brand’s reputation.

With that in mind, here are our top tips for creating engaging, efficient email subject lines…

Use non-sequiturs

To catch the attention of your recipients straight off the bat, use non-sequiturs within your subject lines. These are phrases that use words which wouldn’t usually fit together or antonyms (words that are the opposite of each other). This can simultaneously confuse and intrigue the human brain; a combination that could well lead to greater open-rates on your emails. For example, compare these two subject lines: ‘Top tips on catching your company’s low-hanging fruit’ and ‘Don’t let your brand’s bananas go uncaptured’. Which sounds more interesting? The latter is more colourful and doesn’t give too much away, ultimately making it more enticing.

Give a little away, but not too much

That leads us into the next tip – remain mysterious. Giving too much away negates the point of opening the email at all, but giving too little away doesn’t make the action worthwhile to the recipient. Provide a little indication of what the email is about, but write the subject line in such a way that recipients will ultimately have to open the email to take advantage of the true value.

Don’t be afraid of provoking emotion

Don’t be scared of taking a few risks with your subject lines. If they don’t provoke some kind of emotion, the likelihood of them being opened and engaged with could drop. The risk factor here is whether to incite a positive or negative emotion. Often, the latter can prove more powerful when it comes to engagement and as scary as it might sound to do, it’s simply a case of knowing your audience. Over time, a/b testing should you help you decipher which parts of your audience/demographic you can take chances with and which you can’t.

Keep it personal

Yes, it’s advice that is rolled out time and time again, but that’s because it remains relevant no matter how the email marketing landscape changes. Your marketing emails must be personalised; the subject line is no different. A subject line that reads: ‘Loyal customer, how about 50% off your next purchase?’ won’t be as engaging as: ‘Jane – have 50% off your next shoe purchase’. Think about it – you’ve recognised Jane as an individual, both by her name and her buying habits (hint: she likes shoes!). Sending her a bespoke subject line and offer (rather than a mass discount) makes her much more likely to open the email, click through to the website and convert. Which company wouldn’t want that?!