Best Marketing Subject Lines: Boost Your Company Email Open Rates

According to a study by Radicati , a leading technology research firm, the number of email accounts in use worldwide is estimated to grow from 4.1 billion in 2014 to an estimated 5.2 billion by the end of 2018. As email remains a relevant means of communication, maximizing the ease and broad reach of this tool is an integral part of business marketing campaigns.

Successful email campaigns get your brand and product in front of new customers and keep old customers coming back for more. According to a prominent digital marketing agency, getting recipients to open the message is the biggest hurdle to an effective email campaign. What you put in the subject line is key: you want the subject to be appealing and eye-catching without being deceptive or misleading. Understanding and catering to your audience’s preferences is key. Here we list some of the popular tactics top marketers use to boost open rates:

  1. The Surprise Subject Line

Using a surprising subject line may cause readers to pause and think before swiping left to delete your email. Whether the surprise is meant to entertain or just catch someone off-guard, it may make readers curious enough to click-through and read the rest of your message. Examples of surprise subject lines include:

  • “What Miley Cyrus can teach you about social media marketing”
  • “Why the chicken crossed the road and other mysteries we’ve solved”
  1. Make it Personal

If you are targeting a smaller audience, take the time to personalize the emails you send to potential clients. Business owners and consumers alike get hundreds of emails blasted through the inbox each week, and adding a touch of personalization may entice them to see what you have to say. Word of warning here though, most readers have gotten pretty adept at discerning mass personalization techniques. For instance, when marketers use my legal name “John” in a subject line, instead of my nickname “Jack”, which even my social acquaintances call me, I almost always immediately delete because I know they don’t know me and just want me to buy something. Successful personalization techniques include:

  • “Your Full Name/Company Name – Introduction”
  • “Recipient’s name – Can we connect?”
  1. Social Proof Subject aka FOMO

Nobody wants to be left behind. If your target feels like he or she is being left out of the loop, they’ll want to find out what they’re missing. There’s a huge temptation to follow the crowd of experts or knowledgeable leaders, or at least know what they know. It should tell them who or what is finding value with the product or service as well as how they can benefit. That value should be in the subject line before the target will even click to open. Examples:

  • “9 things millennials refuse to do”
  • “30 things you should know about finances before your Dirty Thirty”
  1. How-To Subject Line

When you start your subject line with “how to”, you let the audience know your email has valuable contents inside and they know what to expect from reading it. Your subject line is transparent and hopefully appeals to their desire for knowledge gained:

  • “How to Decorate Like a Pro with Shiplap”
  • “8 Ways to Keep the Weight Off Over the Holidays”
  1. References to Pop Culture

When you use recognizable pop culture references in your subject line, the person feels like part of the “in” crowd. A boring topic can get an interesting spin with the use of a pop culture reference.

  • “Do you really want to have hair like Justin Bieber? Don’t forget to schedule your appointment!”
  • “Look Like a Real Housewife Without Eating Like a Bird”
  1. Numbered Subject Line

When it comes to blog posts and email subject lines, everyone loves a list. The Content Marketing Institute suggests using odd numbers for lists because they have a 20 percent higher rate of click-through than even numbers.

  • “7 of Our Cutest Tiny House Designs”
  • “11 Ways You Could Save on Your Energy Bill”

If your message subject doesn’t stand out in an inbox, it’s sure to end up in the trash. With a split second to impress, shock, or delight someone before they delete your email, optimizing your subject line is key. Good luck boosting those click-through rates!

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