When you write winning email subject lines, you boost your chances of achieving that target sales mark you set at the beginning of the year. An email subject line that people open and click is worth more than an Instagram post that gets lost in people’s feeds.
Yet, entrepreneurs like you and me sometimes struggle to write short catchy subject lines. If you’re like me when I started writing emails, you may find yourself trying to fit in 30 words in a subject line that requires only 60 characters.
I’ve learned how to write catchy subject lines that scream ‘Open me please’ from experts and through experience. Now let me show you the 7-ingredient recipe for writing winning emails.
Why You Should Care about the Email Subject Lines You Send
How many emails did you send in 2021? It must’ve been many. Now imagine everyone in the world with an email like you sent 319.6 billion emails. That’s according to Statista, which also projects that the world will send an estimated 376.4 billion emails in 2025 alone.
The increase in the number of emails we’re sending to and from each other shows that email is very important. With that said, the subject line that goes out with each email you send is even more important.
The subject line determines how many people will open your email. It also determines how many people will click the links you share in the body of the email. If no one opens your email, then you’ll have a zero click-through rate.
Therefore, if you get your subject line right, you will have high open and click-through rates, and that will in turn generate more sales for your business.
To get the winning email subject line for every email you send, let’s find out the seven strategies you should use.
1. Keep Your Subject Lines Short
Winning email subject lines are short. Mailchimp recommends that an email subject line should have up to sixty characters or 9 words.
So, if you’ve been trying to fit thirty words in a subject line like I used to do when I started, now is the time to adopt a winning strategy. Shorten your subject lines until you’re left with a few words that send the message in a short yet precise way.
For example, instead of writing:
Buyers are Looking for Holiday and Fitness Content in Your Blog Articles
Shorten the subject line and make it:
Here’s what Buyers are searching for in YOUR articles
The first subject line has seventy-two characters while the second one has only fifty-three characters. The second subject line also raises curiosity while the first one has already given out the secret sauce.
2. Personalize Your Subject Lines
Hey you, please come here.
Hey Jane, please come here.
If you were Jane, which of the above would you respond to? It’s definitely the second one where I use your name. In the first sentence, ‘you’ could mean anyone, but the second one is specifically calling out Jane.
Adopt the same strategy in your subject lines. Call out your recipients by their names, and they’ll be more than glad to open the email and see what you have for them.
People feel special when called by name. So, why not make your customers feel special? It may be the only reason they buy from you.
3. Create a Sense of Urgency
Scarcity sells. Stephen, Jerry, and Akanbi proved this in their research titled, “Effects of supply and demand on ratings of object value.” The three conducted research using cookies to find out how people would value cookies when they were in plenty compared to when they were scarce.
They put ten cookies in one jar and two cookies in the second jar. As it turned out, people valued the two cookies more than they did the ten.
The principle also applies to email marketing. Use words that make people fear missing out on your offer. Because we humans love to have and own what no one else has.
See these examples:
- 1 day left to enjoy a 50% discount
- 50% discount: offer expires at midnight
- Three hours left to claim your gift
- 3 hours left to buy one and get one free
Your recipients will open these subject lines to see what you’re offering and get it before you change your mind. I like to use this strategy, especially when my clients are running holiday sales or other special offers.
4. Keep Your Message Consistent
Customers stay loyal to brands because they vibe with the business. They know what you stand for and what to expect from you. If there’s a surprise, they expect it to be positive and not negative.
Spindrift does a good job of keeping its messaging consistent. They’re transparent in their communication. Hence, you’ll find subject lines like these in their emails:
- Made by real people
- Real fruit
- The best ingredients
Since you already know what your brand stands for, and the values you observe, keep that messaging consistent. Also, don’t tell customers in your email that you’re offering a 10% discount then tell them it’s a 30% discount on social media.
They’ll not trust you, and, you’ll lose customers who value honesty to your competitors.
5. Make the Subject Line Interesting
Include something interesting if you want to get winning email subject lines, especially for your newsletters. To write something interesting, start by understanding your customers.
- What do they like about your brand?
- What do they expect from brands in your industry?
- How do they behave?
For example, if your customers love reading the news, include a recent story in your industry in the subject line. Then relate this story to the message of your email.
If you’re in fitness, you include a statistic about the number of people who suffered obesity last year. Then use this statistic to show them why it’s important to keep fit and eat healthy in the body of the email. End the email by asking them to join your fitness class where you also share tips to eat healthy food and avoid obesity, diabetes, and other related diseases.
Note: don’t use a statistic in the subject line as clickbait if you’re not going to give more details about it in the body. Also, don’t use it if it’s not related to your industry or offer.
6. Use Action-oriented Words
Action-oriented words tell people what to do. These words excite email recipients, convey a sense of urgency, and encourage them to act instantly.
Here’s an example. Instead of writing a bland subject line like:
Our hottest product for this month
Use action-oriented language to make the subject line:
Get your hands on our hottest product of the month
The words, “get your hands on,” makes a recipient want to get their hands on the product you’re offering.
7. Write a Subject Line You Would Open
You of all people understand your business better than anyone else. You know what you’re offering and what customers want. In addition, you know the subject line you’d click if you were in your customer’s shoes.
So, don’t be afraid to send that subject line if you would click it. Send it and wait for the results. If it doesn’t work, test a new subject line and keep testing until you find winning email subject lines strategies that give you high open and click-through rates.
Start Sending Winning Email Subject Lines Now
Now that you have these strategies at your fingertips, it’s time to go out and practice them. Get out that list you’ve stored on your drive and stand sending emails right away.
If you’re too busy to test these strategies, don’t leave money on the table. Get in touch now and I’ll help you find the winning email subject lines that’ll skyrocket your sales.
See my previous post about how to optimize blog posts for SEO in 7 steps