Many SMEs who set up a promotional email will put in the hard yards, carefully honing the main content, and forget one of the most important aspects of the campaign: the subject heading. This is the one line content that appears on your screen when an email first downloads onto your browser or mail client and you ignore it at your peril. We have worked hard composing a great email right? Then give your piece of email marketing the best chance of a great open rate – after all having people open your email is the idea – isn’t it?
The email subject area is the single most important factor that decides if the person who receives your mail is going to open it. What’s more, if recipients have their spam filters set then your hard work and endeavour with the main content may well come to nothing if your message is sent direct to the Junk Mail folder. All because you have chosen the wrong subject title or omitted to set one.
If you want to increase the chances of your marketing email being opened and read, then follow these tips for a spam free subject area:
Make Your Email Subject Area Count – Keep it short
Long headlines tend to get short shrift in the email world – they often look like spam and fail to engage the reader even if they don’t end up in the junk pile. According to Mail Chimp, you should keep your subject line down to under 50 characters. The only time this rule doesn’t apply is when the email is highly targeted and specific.
Make Your Email Subject Area Count – Keep it catchy
You want a headline that will prompt the recipient to open it and read on, so take the time to think of something that raises excitement, piques interest or just plain demands to be opened. The headline also needs to relate to the content that you are providing – if it doesn’t, subsequent messages will be ignored because your potential customer won’t trust what you say.
The power of your subject line is, of course, going to depend on the potency of your content. Timely and useful information is more likely to be opened. For example, if you are a travel agent and you are providing an update for clients who are about to go on holiday, then you should expect a high opening rate. Promotional emails tend to have much lower opening rates because the content depends on whether your recipient is looking for that particular product at that particular time.
Make Your Email Subject Area Count – Avoid Certain Words
According to Mail Chimp’s recent research, there are four words that can reduce the chance of your email from being opened.
- FREE! with or without the exclamation mark, is sure to trigger any spam filters that are in place.
- ‘Help’ often makes people think twice about opening a mail.
- ‘Percent off’ also cuts your chances of being read.
- And ‘reminder’ may well make people think of that recent bill they haven’t paid.
Before you think that’s easy, E-consultancy has a list of 45 words that you may want to exclude from the subject line of your next email campaign.
Make Your Email Subject Area Count – Keep it Local
Mail Chimp found that including the recipients first or last name in the subject line didn’t make much of a difference in opening rates but that including their location did.
Make Your Email Subject Area Count – Be Clear Who the Email is From
And finally, though not the subject line, you should also pay attention to who the email is from. This should be kept the same for all your marketing campaigns and needs to make it clear the message is from a respected source, otherwise you may well end up in the junk file or the recipient will be too wary to click on open.
It pays to take spend some time on your opening line when you are composing your next email campaign. A few tweaks here and there can greatly improve your opening rates and ensure that your message reaches more people than ever before. You can find out about great subject lines and composing the perfect marketing email on Mail Chimp’s website.