Last week I discussed some of the basics of email marketing: choosing an email marketing service, getting subscribers, and creating HTML emails. Today I’ll wrap it up with tips on subject lines, email content, and scheduling.
The first step in writing a subject line is knowing what not to do. Internet Service Providers and email clients have spam filters that detect certain words, phrases, punctuation, and formatting styles that suggest an email is spam. Using the following tactics won’t automatically land your email in a recipient’s spam folder, but when you’re writing a subject line try to avoid:
- A heavy emphasis on money/price
- ALL CAPS and excessive QUOTATION MARKS!!!!!
- Making the message sound urgent, eg. CLICK NOW! or DON’T MISS OUT!
Beyond those basic rules, the best practices for creating a subject line is to keep it short and simple.
- Short—With more and more people reading email primarily on mobile devices (41 percent and growing!), subject lines need to be extremely concise. For instance, the mail app on an iPhone only displays about 40 characters of a subject line. According to litmus (an email testing service), subject lines with 28-39 characters have the best click rates.
- Simple—It may be tempting to get clever with your subject lines, but resist the urge. You’re emailing subscribers (if you’re playing by the rules), so these are people who’ve either volunteered to receive emails from you or purchased your products/services. Use the subject line to tell them exactly what they’re receiving: a monthly newsletter, a discount, a notification about new content, etc.