Email subject lines are like Transformers: they’re more than meets the eye. While they may be short, writing effective subject lines can be tricky. If you’re like me, then you get bombarded with emails on a daily basis. So how can your email marketing stand out and cut through the clutter? That’s a great question, and luckily, we have some great answers for you.

1. Keep it short

You’ve probably heard the phrase “short and sweet” before. Well, that’s especially true in this case. Your subject line should be no more than 50 characters long. That includes spaces and punctuation. Delivering a short, direct message will let users know what to expect and allows them to make a quick decision.

Remember, your subject line doesn’t have to say everything the email is about; it just has to get them in the door.

2. Use numbers

The average internet user loves numbers in titles. Why? Because it gives the impression that the message will be short and easy to digest. That’s why you see all of those annoying ads on websites saying things like “5 ways to lose belly fat,” or “See what these 10 child celebrities look like today.” It’s called click bait, and sadly, it totally works …

A perfect example of this is, well, this article. You’re reading it aren’t you? People like numbers in the title, so give the people what they want.

3. Don’t overuse CAPITAL LETTERS

Nothing screams spam like an all-caps subject line. Just open up your spam folder and check out all of the scam artists with poorly written, all-caps subject lines. “NIGERIAN PRINCE NEEDS YOUR HELP.”

Although it can be tempting to try and stand out this way, all it does is scare users and leads to people unsubscribing from your list. When typed, all-caps usually signifies yelling. Would you want to yell at your customers, or talk to them?

DO YOU GET MY POINT?

4. Don’t be too salesy

Want people to ignore your email? Make it an obvious sales pitch. Generally, people aren’t interested in a hard sales pitch. Instead, focus your email messaging, and subsequently, your subject line on something that has value to your user. Provide helpful tips or offer them a discount. Your goal should be to solve your potential customers’ problems.

5. Create urgency and intrigue

Urgency and intrigue are two major factors when it comes to email opens. Give the user a taste, but make them open the email for more. For example, a discount like “20% off all parts, today only” inspires immediate action by your user or else they’ll miss out.

You can also create this type of urgency by asking a question to peak interest. Questions immediately start a dialogue with your audience and help you stand out from the standard, statement-based subject lines. Make sure to keep your target audience in mind and ask relevant questions to them. Some good examples would be something like, “Looking to cut costs?” “Have you saved enough for retirement?” “Going out to dinner tonight?”

Think you're ready to write some killer email subject lines now?

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