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Writing Better Subject Lines

It’s the most important sentence of your entire email campaign, and yet too many otherwise creative people are content with the most quotidian of subject lines, like “February Newsletter.” February may indeed be an exciting month for your organization, but busy readers with mere seconds to decide whether to stop and open your email need a little more enticement.

But you knew that, didn’t you?

Just think to yourself, what would appeal to me? Keep your monthly label, but add some color, like “Initech’s February Newsletter: How Good is Your HR team? Take Our Quiz and Find Out…” Now, we’re intrigued. Nice work, Initech (don’t forget the flair).

So, avoid the generic subject lines. Be sure to include a reference to your company/cause/group. This personalizes the message. And try your best to tell your audience what the message is all about … tell them just enough to get them interested in learning more.

Something else to avoid… spam filters.

Your subject line is part of the campaign and part of what spam filters will review in deciding whether to route your email to the inbox or the junk folder. Don’t do all caps. Don’t do exclamation points. Don’t say “free” or “act now” or “viagra.” You get the idea.

Of course, practice makes perfect. It’s always a good idea to review your campaigns after a couple of months to see which ones were opened more often than others. Keep an eye on the subject and think precisely.

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