My morning routine used to consist of waking up and turning off my alarm in one swift motion. For the next fifteen minutes, I could close my eyes and bask in the splendor of my mid-grade IKEA bed. After wasting 15 minutes I would peruse my morning emails. Most were marketing newsletters, Google alerts and the occasional person trying to sell me something. I'm an avid email deleter, especially if the subject line isn't particularly interesting.

On the other side of the coin, marketing specialists slave away to write the most concise, creative, engaging email subject line just so some lazy millennial can scoff at it and delete it. So how do you increase your appeal through one sentence? What is the key to increase your open rates?

This blog post is part of "Your Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing" blog series.




Just like your life, subject lines can't go on forever. Eventually, they get cut off if they're too long, even more so on mobile devices. But everything I included in the subject line is important, you say? Although it might be short, the recommended character limit is 65 characters. So with such limited real estate, you've got to make every word count. If your subject line goes on for too long, the dreaded ellipses will drastically cut down your open rate. Instead, opt for short, concise sentences.




Let's say you're trying to promote a 20 percent off deal for all products on your website. Your offers ends in a couple of days so you want the most amount of people to not miss out. Make sure to include that in your subject line. Create some urgency by inserting the phrase "Offer ends Saturday" or something similar. Once a reader knows that the email is time sensitive, they will be more likely to take some action. 


Need help creating buyer personas for your business? Use this free Buyer Persona Workbook.



By all means, avoid using click-bait-esque subject lines as a marketing campaign strategy. For example, if you say, "You've won the free trip to Cancun" in your subject line and then the reader opens the email to read " what you would be reading if you filled out this survey" then your readers are not going to trust you, ever. Make good on your subject line promise.



Word Choice

Email providers have gotten savvy with the jargon used by spammers. Spam trigger words like "Save," "Buy," "Earn," and more are filtered to go straight into the spam folder so don't even try these marketing campaign strategies.



Define Personas

Without carefully crafted buyer personas, your marketing campaign strategy won't be as optimized and refined as it should. When trying to talk about your product or service, make sure you're using the same language as your target audience. While you may speak a certain way, your audience might not.

Need help creating buyer personas for your business? Use this free Buyer Persona Workbook.

Get Persona Workbook

Do you have any other email subject line strategies? Let us know in the comments below.

Originally published October 5, 2016, updated March 23, 2018
Tags: Email Marketing