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How to Craft Email Subject Lines That Get Your Emails Opened

By Sep 16, 2016 One Comment

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Do you sign up for a lot of email lists? I follow a lot of blogs, and for me the best way to stay updated with what they’re doing is by subscribing to their email newsletters. The downside of this is my email in-box is a madhouse. I get dozens of emails every day – and I bet you do too. In the end, there’s really just no way to read them all.

So, how do I decide which ones to read? Which ones get opened?

It all comes down to the email subject line.

That’s really important to know when you’re on the other end of that relationship, when you’re the person sending out the emails. It’s vital that you learn to create email subject lines that stand out in a crowded in-box and get the reader to click – because if no one opens your emails, what’s the point in writing them?

When you’re crafting your subject line, it’s important to remember that the only job it has is to get the recipient to open the email. The headline has to make the recipients feel something – some sort of emotion that makes them feel like they must see what’s inside.

Learn how to write email subject lines that will make people pay attention and open your email newsletters.

Here are some of the top emotional triggers for email subject lines..

1. Curiosity

This is one of the best ways to get your email opened – give the reader just enough information in the headline to pique their curiosity, so they feel like they’ve got to know what’s inside!

I used this trigger in a recent email subject line: “I have a question about your blog…” Of course people had to know what the question was! It was also a very personal subject line, so it felt as if I was speaking directly to the recipient.

2. Self Interest

When your subject line promises something that will help the reader or make life easier, they’re more likely to open the email.

A nice thing about a self interest headline – the people who open it are already going to be primed for the information inside. For example, let’s say your email has an offer for a nail-strengthening product, your subject line could be something like “Tired of broken or peeling fingernails?” The people who open are going to be the people who say “YES” to that question – and they’ll be more likely to click through to your product.

3. Tell a Story

Entice your subscribers into your email with a story. This also plays into curiosity – they want to know how the story goes.

A sample of this kind of subject line might be “How I turned overcooked chicken into the best dinner ever!” If your readers are moms, they’ve probably had a few times they’ve overcooked the chicken and are eager to find out what you did to save it.

4. Make an offer they can’t refuse!

I did this recently on my own email list with great results. Let them know right up front what the benefit is to opening your mail. My subject line was “60 email subject line templates (Free Download)” It let people know immediately that there was something for them that they could use right away in the email. The open rate was awesome!

5. Social Proof

Do you ever buy things on Amazon? Do you go through and read the reviews first? I bet you do, because it’s human nature to make decisions based on what other people do or think. We are serious bandwagon jumpers! You can take advantage of that in your email subject lines by mentioning well-known names or how many people are already doing something.

Examples: “1000s of DIYers can’t be wrong!” or “Martha Stewart shares her best cookie recipe”

Other Email Subject Line Tips

  • While most of the time we capitalize the the first letter of each word in a title or headline, you’ll find that emails come across as more personal if you don’t. Write your email subject as if you’re simply writing to a friend.
  • Adding a sense of urgency (when appropriate) can give a big boost to your open rate. Try phrases like “This weekend only!” or “Final Hours!”
  • If you have high name recognition or know that your readers will look for your emails, try adding your blog name in brackets before the rest of the subject line.
  • If you can, use the word “You” in your subject – make readers feel as if your talking directly to them.
  • Keep your email subjects short – around 50 characters in length. Short and snappy gets more attention.

Finally, keep a close eye on your own in-box. Which emails are you most likely to open?

Start a file of the subject lines you find most appealing, and use them for inspiration as your write your own emails.

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About Kelly Cannon

Kelly is a wife, mom of nearly-grown teens, and a full-time blogger. After living in Lima, Peru since 2004, she is uprooting her family to the US and looking forward to starting a whole new adventure. Kelly has been blogging since 2001, and now uses her blog The Take Action WAHM to help other stay at home moms figure out how to create successful, profitable blogs in the middle of their busy mom lives. You can always find Kelly on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

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