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Email Marketing: Subject Line Tips for Boosting Open and Click-Through Rates

Email marketing is a critical component of your company’s digital marketing strategy. But how can you make sure that your emails get opened and read? More importantly, how can you increase the likelihood that recipients will click on the link in your message, rather than hit “delete” or worse, send it to spam? 

Unsurprisingly, there are no magic tricks or insider secrets to ensure success. However, there are best practices you can follow to up your game and keep things effective and impactful. 

One of the most important aspects of an email marketing strategy is the subject line. It’s also one of the most overlooked aspects. The tips in this article will help you optimize your subject lines, so they have a positive impact on your open rates and click-throughs.

Why email marketing matters

Email is still one of the most effective digital marketing channels available today. With 4 billion email users daily, it allows businesses the chance to reach out to an impressive amount of audience and with revenue pegged at 17.9 billion by 2027, you’re missing out on a lot if you aren’t paying enough attention to your email marketing efforts. 

Despite its effectiveness, many marketers find it challenging to get subscribers to open and respond to their emails. Even when a subscriber has signed up to receive emails, it is not enough assurance that they will open the email, check out its contents, and buy or sign-up for whatever you are offering. As a result, the open rate for most marketing emails hovers around 18% (and often less). 

To increase your email open rates and click-through rates, certain strategies need to be put in place. Understanding these strategies and picking out the ones that will work best for the type of business you run or the brand you are growing will play a pivotal role in improving your metrics. 

Make it personal

Personalizing the subject line of marketing emails is a simple technique that can increase open rates by up to 50%. Adding a personal touch to your subject line can be as simple as using the recipient’s first name to grab their attention and allow your message to stand out in their inbox

However, there is a right and wrong way of doing it. While personalizing the subject line may seem like an easy way to reach more people, it can also be an ineffective strategy if you aren’t sending personalized emails to the right people, so identifying your target audience is critical.

Personalization is especially important for B2C marketers who are sending email newsletters or promotional campaigns. Personalization helps them connect with their customers on an emotional level, which increases their chance of being opened and read.

Create a sense of urgency

One way to increase the chance that recipients will open your emails is by creating a sense of urgency and making them feel like they are missing out on something if they are not going to open your message. You can also use the subject line to tease them about limited offers on products and services to pique their interest. 

The most successful digital marketers out there are those who can effectively incite a feeling of fear that they are missing out on something among their customers. This creates a sense of urgency which is one way of getting buyers to take action as soon as possible or it may be too late if they wait too long. 

Use questions to invoke curiosity

Email marketing subject lines are an opportunity to include a question to draw attention and spark curiosity. Using questions in the subject line is one of the most effective ways to attract attention, and they play a particularly important role in increasing email open rates.  

But keep in mind that questions can be polarizing, especially if they’re used without context. If you choose to use a question in your subject line, consider it carefully. For example, you may want to introduce the question at the start of the email or include it as part of a call-to-action.

In addition, select a question that is relevant to your email recipient so that they are more likely to open and read the message. This might mean including the person’s name in the subject line or using a question that relates to their interests or current situation, so it sparks an interest in them.

Use words that tease the content

The best email subject lines can be thought of as mini-headers that provide a brief overview of the message and any additional context that might help prospects understand what they’re about to receive. This helps improve the likelihood that recipients will open your email, which is crucial for encouraging high engagement rates. 

People who see a subject line that stands out from the usual array of email subject lines they may be getting in their inboxes every day may be very curious about what the email is about and will be more likely to open it. Try to create a subject line that hints at what’s inside of your marketing email by using words like “Get started,” “Join today,” or “Save time” to get people interested in opening your email right away. 

Another way to ensure that your subject lines are effective is to include a short and precise description of what the email is about in the first few lines of the actual message. This way, potential recipients know exactly what they are getting into. Once you have grabbed their attention, it is now time for you to showcase your content writing skills and urge them to take action!

Capitalization matters too!

While it may seem like a small detail, your subject line’s capitalization matters. Many email marketing platforms that use automation come with a default setting where the texts in the subject line are all in lowercase. This means you could be accidentally sending a subject line that is all lowercase. 

By capitalizing your subject line, you are telling the customer that the email is about a specific thing and you’re helping them know what to expect from the email, which can increase your open rates. Another advantage of capitalizing is that it’s easier for customers to understand the subject line in real-time and it is effective if you want to emphasize a particular part of the message to egg them to read on and take action.

Hit your email marketing goals with effective subject lines

A good subject line is essential for a marketing email to be effective and there are many ways to make your subject line more engaging and effective. Taking the time to find the perfect formula that will work best for your brand and the kind of audience you are targeting is the key to getting your subject lines down pat. Bear in mind, however, that a catchy subject line is only as good as the content behind it. Make sure your subject line is enticing but so should be the rest of your message.