— February 7, 2018
It’s one metric we consistently watch and try to improve: email open rates. There’s a good reason for it, too. If your subscribers aren’t opening your email, then they can’t read about:
- Your newest services and products
- Your latest must-have discovery
- That epic blog post you just wrote
The trouble is, you only have about two seconds to entice a reader to open your email among the crowd in their inbox. Even worse, you have to do it in ten words or less.
Yikes! That’s a pretty tall order, even for seasoned copywriters. But there are some tricks you can use.
If you’ve been on Facebook lately you’ve no doubt seen those “click bait” headlines that say things like,
“She adds this to a box of Wheaties and I’m drooling!”
The reason headlines like that work is because we can’t help but want to know what “this” is that she’s adding to her Wheaties. Is it honey? Granola? Nuts? We imagine the possibilities, but in the end, we have to find out, so we click.
You can employ the same technique in your email subject lines. For example,
She makes one change and dramatically increases her revenue!
This strategy instantly fills your programs!
Your readers will have to click to find out what the secret is.
A word of caution here. You have to deliver on your claim in the headline. Be sure the body of your email actually provides a tip that will increase revenue or fill your reader’s programs. If not, you’re just another spammer and will quickly lose the trust of your subscribers.
Numbers will entice people to open an email because most people like predictability. When you include numbers you provide expectation management and they know exactly what they are getting when they click. And yes, this is just the opposite of the first one!
When you use numbers, keep in mind that
- A larger the number in the subject line will increase open rates.
- Odd numbers perform better than even numbers.
A few examples are
“7 Hidden Benefits of Starting Work at 5 am”
“9 Unlikely Ways to Close the Sale”
“5 Social Media Platforms You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring”
Use Power Words
Are you thinking your High School English teacher failed you because she never mentioned power words? Well, there’s a reason, they aren’t actually a part of speech.
Power words are used by copywriters to trigger a psychological or emotional response. The reason they’re called “power words” is that they are so persuasive that people can’t resist being influenced by them.
Just as with all writing, choosing power words is far more effective than settling for their weaker counterparts. Imagine these two subject lines appear in your inbox. Which are you more likely to open?
“WordPress Makes Better Looking Websites for Non-Designers”
“Create a Gorgeous Website—Even if You’re Not a Designer”
I’m clicking the second one! While both subjects offer the same information, the first is weak, while the second is far more compelling. Wondering exactly what “power words” are? Check out this list on Sumo.com.
Don’t stop there. When it comes to email subjects, there are a few more tips to keep in mind if you want to up your open rates:
- Keep it short – no more than 10 words at the very most, and fewer if you can.
- Test everything. Use your autoresponder’s split-testing functionality to see which subject line styles perform best in your market.
- Use personalization, but sparingly. Occasional use of your reader’s first name can be a powerful technique.
Here’s the bottom line: If your subscribers aren’t opening your email, they’re not buying. Your subject line is the single most important thing in your email marketing campaigns.