🕒 August 23, 2022       🗩 Cameron Taylor

Developing a well-crafted email is a combination of art and science. You must craft content that is appealing to the customer, while being acceptable for the Email Service Providers (ESPs). The wording must be engaging, but on brand while also being enticing enough to inspire an action.  A couple weeks ago, Strategy9 did an A/B test using our testing feature to see how much a weak subject line would affect our engagement. While we expected the proper subject line (Test B) to outperform the improper one (test A) we were surprised at just how big of an impact it had.

 Here are some of the statistics from the test. Opens were over 50% less in Test A compared to Test B. That’s a big difference considering that the sender and the content were the same. The Test A subject line also affected the ESPs reception to the email as well. Bounces were around 50% in Test A compared to the 6% in Test B displaying the ESPs dislike for the non-specific content. This showed that the ESPs saw the Test A subject line as possible spam and was preventing it from being sent.

Subject lines are your first impression and should be made with consideration to how it will affect your overall campaign. Taking time to craft an engaging subject line should be as important and receive just as much attention as the other areas of your email.

Here are four tips for developing an engaging subject line:

Make it Personalized

Utilizing features like Custom Fields can help personalize the offer to your subscriber. This adds a human touch to your message which is more likely to grab your subscriber’s attention. EmailIQ has custom fields available to tailor your emails.

Keep it Short and to the Point

Over 50% of people check their emails on their mobile devices. Most email clients won’t display more than 43 characters of a subject line in mobile view. Keeping subject lines short will allow your subscribers to view all the information at a glance. Subject lines with seven to nine words receive the highest click to open ratios on average. Make sure you use the available real-estate in the subject line, but keep it succinct.

Utilize Power Words 

Power words are words that tend to trigger an emotional and psychological response in people. Utilizing these words can increase clicks and opens by triggering these emotional responses. They tend to be adjectives that appeal to certain human emotions like curiosity, vanity and loss aversion more commonly known as FOMO. Your industry and what your email is offering will determine what emotional triggers are appropriate for your subject line.

Be Upfront about the Offer

I doubt I have to tell you that making false claims on any part of your email is a big No-No. False claims can tarnish your reputation, lose client trust and possibly get you blocked by ESPs. This sentiment also stands for making vague claims. Let the subscriber know what they are going to get by opening the email from the start. Subject lines like, “Amazing Offer Inside” aren’t as strong as ones like, “Enjoy 20% Off This Labor Day Weekend”. Lead with your value. 

While there are many components to keep in mind while building an email, subject lines are the easiest way to elevate overall reception. It is the first impression that your subscribers have of your brand and it is a factor that ESPs use to determine if you email is quality. While it can seem like a fairly low stakes part of the overall email, subject lines are the first impression that can decide not only if your subscribers engage with your content, but if it gets to them at all.  

tl;dr

Developing a well-crafted email is a combination of art and science. You must craft content that is appealing to the customer, while being acceptable for the Email Service Providers (ESPs). Using A/B testing can help you fine tune your content to meet the needs your customer and the ESPs. When performing the A/B test, bounces were around 50% in Test A compared to the 6% in Test B displaying the ESPs dislike for the non-specific content. Utilizing Power Words and succint offers can greatly improve your subject line. While it can seem like a fairly low stakes part of the overall email, subject lines are the first impression that can decide not only if your subscribers engage with your content, but if it gets to them at all.

Want to know more about EmailIQ or how Strategy9 can revolutionize your marketing?