Using Email Subject Lines to Increase Open Rates

You spend hours carefully curating the perfect email to send to your customers, and it fails! You’ve sent it to your entire email marketing list, but hardly anyone is opening it. Your email is perfect, and it offers some great discounts, but it isn’t reaching your customer. What’s wrong with it? Maybe nothing. You may need to change your email subject lines to increase open rates. 

How Email Subject Lines Affect the Consumer

The subject lines you send to customers via email are your first points of contact for that marketing campaign. It is the front page of your advertisement. It must be appealing, but like any other advertisement, it must not seem pushy. Additionally, it has to stand out. Email users are used to having their inboxes swamped by marketing emails. Their default position is set to delete, and your email subject lines have to prevent that action. 

How to Increase Open Rates with Email Subject Lines

The psychology of the consumer is something that has been researched, but it is complex. There are no perfect answers for how to craft an effective email subject line. This research has been able to deliver some helpful hints as to what will increase open rates. 

  • Minimize: The best email subject lines studied only consist of three to six words. This means that every word counts, and each word must be essential to your cause. It makes sense, especially when you consider how many words can be viewed on one mobile device screen. 
  • Discounts: Most studies show that advertisement-like wording decreased open rates, but offering discounts increased rates. Interestingly, loss-framed messages like “don’t miss out” or “last chance” worked better than gain-framed messages like “best sale ever” or “this is your opportunity.” This idea reveals how technical creating a subject line can be. 
  • No Questions: Consumers tend to open plain statement subject lines over question marked ones. This is because they seem more genuine and informative rather than sales pitchy. 
  • Brand: Lastly, open rates increased among consumers where brand recognition was a big draw and included in the subject line. This was industry- and business-specific. 

Email Subject Lines are Anything but Simple

There are many theories about what makes the best subject line, and you may have to try a few to get it right. Some say that funny or controversial subject lines increase clicks. Others recommend numbered lists or free offers. That simple subject line is anything but simple. It is crucial to your email marketing success. GMS has over 20 years experience developing strategies to determine subject lines that really work. Ask us how!