Did you know that you can craft better email subject lines and improve open rates ?

Open rates for any emails you send out are crucial, but especially important when you consider better email subject lines for sales prospecting.

First, let’s think about email subject lines. Ever get one like this?

better email subject lines

A subject line like this fails the primary objective of a good subject line – to take the reader from their inbox to your content. To actually have someone read it. In order to actually make that transition happen, you need to introduce your reader to the email in a catchy, brief, informative way.  The hook. Without the hook, the reader moves on.

Your hook – your “hey you need to read me because it will make a positive difference to you” subject line – grabs their attention.  In a micro-second, your read will stop and process a decision to read it or pass it by. Make it good.

TIP: Make it good, but not complete. It should not tell the whole story.  If the reader gets it all in the subject line, there’s no point to reading the email. It’s like saying “Yo, amazing joke here!” and then throwing in the punch line right there.  Let the email tell the story.

Lead your reader in via a better email subject line. Consider these:

  • Don’t use too many characters
  • Do include impactful words that make your reader open the email and read on
  • Do include the first name of the recipient in your subject line if possible. You will get a better click-through rate than if you don’t do that.
    • Email service providers know that, and include that capability in their products by including a name field in their opt-in forms. If you’re interested in these kind of email service providers, you can check out some popular ones on my Resources page.

What about Emoji 😜 in the Subject Line ??

Do emojis do any good in email subject lines? 😜  Yes and no, so you need to think about it. They draw attention, which is good. One study mentioned by Katey Charles Communication showed it increased open rate by 18% in one case and 37% in another case.

There are some downsides, though. The emoji may cause your email to be seen as spam. The emoji may not display as intended. They may not have the same effect on readers that you hoped for.

If you want to try using them, craft your email subject line and while your cursor is still in the subject box, use the combination of Windows key + period (Windows + .) to bring up the emoji keyboard in Windows 10, then just click the icon you want:

better email subject lines


So, back to the subject line. Try these:

  • Use words that are known to increase open rate – try using power words
  • Avoid words that could decrease open rate
  • Include a number in the subject line
  • (See above) – use emoji in the subject line
  • Keep subject lines short (15-25 characters)
  • No more than ~5 words for the most impact
Your emails may be impactful, but who'll read them if they don’t send the subliminal message “I’m worth it”? Click To Tweet

Today’s learning tip is about crafting the best subject line. It’s the first thing your readers see! Why not make it grab their attention?  

For more detail on the subject line strength bullet points above, here are the expert tips from Nathan Ellering

Also, thanks to Robin Selvy Re (@robinselvy) for some awesomely masterful subject line tips for better open rates, via socialmediatoday.com

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