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How to write better subject lines for your email newsletters

Email subject lines can be the deciding factor as to whether someone opens your email or not. The right email subject line can mean someone opens your email (and possibly buys from you) – so it’s pretty important. Here is how you can write better email subject lines.

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How can I write better email newsletter subject lines?

If there’s one thing that can make or break your email open rate, it’s your email subject line. Most business owners will throw together a quick email subject line as an afterthought once they’ve finished writing an email newsletter – but, a poor email subject line could mean people don’t even open your email to read it.

So, here are some of my top tips for writing email subject lines.

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Email newsletter subject line tip #1: Keep it short and snappy

Think about how cluttered our inboxes are these days. It’s essential that your subject line stands out through the clutter. 

Your subject line will also cut off once it hits a certain length, so you want to make sure that the most important bit is at the front. The exact number of characters depends on the email inbox, but as a general rule of thumb, if you can say it in fewer words, then do. Some of my best-performing subject lines have been three words! 

If your subject line is a little bit longer, try to shuffle the sentence around so that the most important words are at the front – that way, if the end gets cut off, it’s not so bad.

Email newsletter subject line tip #2: Create intrigue  

Don’t use the subject line to tell them exactly what’s going to be in the email.  Instead, use it to create intrigue and make the reader curious.  Make them want to find out more by opening and reading the email.  That said, don’t make your subject line completely irrelevant just for the sake of creating intrigue, but remember, you don’t have to spell it out in black and white, either.  

Email newsletter subject line tip #3: Add urgency  

Not all of your emails will be urgent, but for those that are, make sure to include something that adds urgency at the start of your subject line.  For example, you might add something like “(24 hours only)” or “(Time-sensitive)” or “(Urgent)”  People hate the idea of missing out, so they’re more likely to click through now, rather than saving it to read later.  

Don’t overuse this tactic though, as your subscribers will start to become desensitised to it.

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Email newsletter subject line tip #4: Personalise your email newsletter subject lines  

If you collect subscribers’ names when they opt-in to your list, you can add their first names to your subject line.  Most email marketing tools will allow you to add personalistion fields to your subject line.  They’ll be called something like “personalisation fields” or “merge fields” inside your email marketing tool, depending on which tool you use.  Including your subscriber’s first name in the subject line has been shown to increase open rates, so it’s a nifty little tactic.  I often use this in conjunction with a question, so I’ll ask them a question and then put their name at the end or at the start.  So, for example, “Hey, Steph, are you growing your email list?”  

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How to write email newsletter subject lines

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February 22, 2019

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