Writing effective email subject lines

The two most important parts of your email newsletter? The “from” line and the subject line. If your reader does not know who you are, and is not immediately motivated by your subject line, they will discard your email without reading it.

If you are like me, you can practice and improve your subject lines many times a day — every time you send an email!

Simple steps to better subject lines

  1. Keep it short: 50 characters maximum, or 5 – 10 words
  2. Content: Does the combination of “from” and subject line wording inspire trust? Is your subject relevant for your specific audience?
  3. Clearly state what your reader will get from your email
  4. Test your subject lines: Try dividing your list in half and sending out emails with different subject lines to each segment. See which email has the best open rates. Repeated testing over time will reveal what motivates your audience
  5. Learn from the pros: If you were on Obama’s email list, you witnessed an advanced course in subject line best practices. Look for skilled emailers in your sector
  6. Personalize your “from” line: It should have a real person’s name, not just your organization name. Readers look at the “from” line first, then decide to look at the subject line.
  7. Avoid promotional language: The tone of your email should be cool, not pushy. Spam filters look for certain words, make sure they are not in your email.

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More information

Check out these links for more specifics:
Email Marketing Subject Line Comparison
Best Practices in Writing Email Subject Lines
Email Subject Lines That Work?

Did our subject line work for you? Is our content relevant to you? Please email me and let me know!


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