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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Marketing Email: A Case of the Bad Subject Lines

By Madison Jacobs
Part 2 of the “4 Reasons Why Your Emails Aren’t Opened” series

Welcome to part 2 on a series of posts on the 4 reasons why the marketing email you are sending isn’t getting opened.  In case you missed it, check out part 1 of the series where I talked about how to avoid sending emails that are not relevant to your subscribers, also known as junk mail.

In this post, I’m going to cover the next reason why your emails may not be getting opened – bad subject lines.

A Case of the Bad Subject Lines

Jay Baer, a content strategist and co-author of The NOW Revolution, reported in a post on email marketing that 69 percent of marketing email recipients report email as SPAM, based solely on the subject line. Yikes.

If your subject line isn’t interesting, 69 percent of people won’t be opening your emails. You have to be imaginative and creative when creating subject lines. Your subject lines also need to be relevant to the content within the email too.

Consider using the subscriber’s name or a personal detail, such as their city of residence, in an email subject line to help connect to your reader. This simple technique can increase your open rates because people are always curious about something that involves them specifically.
For example, I am signed up to receive emails from Expedia, a discount travel website, about deals on flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. Expedia’s subject lines always catch my eye because they identify deals that are personally relevant to me. One of their subject lines might say: Madison: Your Deals on Flights Leaving Phoenix. So, first off, they used my name which gets my attention. Secondly, they let me know that they are offering me deals that are relevant to where I live – in Phoenix. And lastly, the subject line is relevant to the content I want to receive from them – deals on flights. And, “your” is a great word to use to make the content more personal as well.

Also, don’t forget to keep subject lines short and to the point. Aim for 50 characters or less.  Remember, more than 50% of your email readers aren’t going to even think about reading your emails if your subject line doesn’t catch their interest.

In part 2 of this series, I will dive into making sure you avoid emailing dead accounts.
What is an example of a subject line you used on an email that got high open rates? Let us know below!

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