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6 Types of Email Subject Lines to Try

Email subject lines can be tricky. To be effective, they should be brief – 50 characters or less is ideal – but they also must be compelling. It’s also a great idea to switch up the types of subject lines that you use in your campaigns so your leads and contacts stay engaged, thus increasing your open rates. If you’re looking to experiment a little with your email marketing, this list of six types of email subject lines to try is a great place to start.

  1. Scarcity. FOMO (fear of missing out) is very much alive and well today. Use FOMO to your advantage in your email marketing campaigns by indicating scarcity. Phrases like “Limited time,” “Don’t miss out” or “Hurry! Ends soon!” are all effective ways to communicate to recipients that they need to open your email and take action now. Just be careful not to create a false sense of scarcity. If an offer isn’t actually available only for a limited time, it’s best to opt for a different type of subject line to avoid losing your audience’s trust.
  2. Numbered list. While they are more common in blog posts like this one, numbered lists can also be very effective in email subject lines. Numbers let us know what we’re in for and how much time we can expect to invest, which can help drive your open rates. Examples of numbered list email subject lines include “3 things marketers must try in 2018” or “5 of the hottest new Atlanta restaurants.” In most cases, it’s wise to stay away from lengthy lists; they can discourage opens by implying that it will take a long time to read.
  3. Curiosity. “This one miracle food can help you shed pounds – you won’t believe it!” Clickbait headlines like that one work for a reason. People are naturally curious, so they just can’t resist clicking on the link to find out about that miraculous weight loss food. While you will want to avoid the sensationalism of clickbait, aim to bring a sense of curiosity to your email subject lines. Questions are great for generating curiosity, as are statements that compel people with vagueness like, “The one thing marketers should do every day.”
  4. Personalized. Dynamic content in a subject line can work wonders for your email open rates. In fact, research from Experian reveals that emails with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened. Personalization helps show your recipients that you know who they are rather than just treating them like another lead or contact. Subject lines can be personalized with names, locations, important dates or any other data you have available in CRM, which gives you a variety of opportunities to be both personal and creative.
  5. Credibility. Credibility subject lines come in two different forms. The first is more of a case study style along the lines of, “See how Acme Corp. generated 10 times more leads.” The second type relies more on authority with subject lines like, “Dynamics 365 experts agree.” While they differ slightly in their approach, both rely on building credibility and providing proof of a product or service’s effectiveness to encourage opens and conversions. You can also try using your own organization as the case study or the authority, depending on the campaign and audience.
  6. How to. Subject lines that start with “How to” might seem boring or predictable, but they are enduring for a reason – they work. Those two little words let recipients know from the get-go that the email they are about to read is going to teach them something. Everyone likes learning new things that are related to their interests, so while they may seem a little dull, subject lines like “How to crush your sales goals this quarter” or “How to be a more patient parent” are straightforward, effective and cut through the inbox clutter.

Happy Marketing!


2020-06-04T06:53:04+00:00 By |Email Marketing|0 Comments

About the Author:

Liz McBrayer is ClickDimensions' Senior Manager of Marketing Content.

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