We all know how frustrating it is when you’re trying to find that email, you know, from so and so. They were asking about how to do that thing? And they needed it done soon? But after searching, scanning and meticulously working through your emails, you can’t find it. There is probably a good reason for this. Of course, having a good system set up on your email account that organises emails into folders helps, but wouldn’t it be oh so helpful if the subject line of the email was really relevant, clear and descriptive in the first place?
A study performed by MailChimp found that the best email subject lines are short, descriptive and provide the reader with a reason to explore your message further. Trying to stand out in the inbox, by using splashy or cheesy phrases, will invariably result in your email being ignored. An analysis of the open rates for over 200 million emails ranged from an amazing 93% to a dismal 0.5% – and there some simple practices setting these emails apart.
Here are a number of tips to ensure your email subject line is descriptive, and gets read;
- Avoid certain words: Avoid the words that will almost certainly guarantee filtering. Words like Free, Buy now, Click here and Discount, tend to trigger spam filters.
- Make it personal: Surprisingly, using a recipients first or last name does not significantly improve open rates. However, providing localisation such as a city name, does help.
- Subject line length: Longer subject lines are less likely to be picked up by spam filters and also have better open rates. As a general rule, keep your subject line to 50 characters or less.
- Ask a question: Asking a question gives the recipient pause for thought, and in turn they are more likely to open the email.
- Say what you need to say!: A subject line that says ‘Help spread the news’ is not informative and is likely to get lost among the recipients emails. Consider what it is you specifically need help with, and ask that briefly in the subject line. Include a date you need response by to create a sense of urgency.