Engaged audience

Email marketing: 5 types of subject lines to engage your audience

Let’s start with why it is important to have a good subject line. With all the competition of other emails sent to your readers, it is important to keep your subscribers hooked. Having less than five seconds to convince a reader to open your email instead of deleting it, you need to make your email’s subject line STAND OUT.

1. Humour

Writing something cheeky can make you sound more human and less robotic. It will stand out among the dull emails surrounding it, and can result in you earning big reputation points with people on your wavelength. One example is “Customer Surveys: Baby Got (Feed)back” – a fun play on words.

2. Personalisation

Using a reader’s name in the subject line can either appeal to them or get you an instant click to the trash bin, depending on how you use it. It is better to tread lightly, for example a beauty company could say “Rough day, Susan?” and go on to provide luxury, pampering treatments. Asking your readers a question immediately engages them.

3. Promotions/exclusivity

Try different subject lines which state a percentage or money off of your product or service, or free shipping. Offering a product or service exclusive to people subscribed to your emails is something that can also interest readers. If an offer has a limited time left this adds an extra bit of urgency. For example, “John Lewis’ half price sale – 6 days left!”

4. How-to

Providing useful and helpful content to your readers can give them a great service and benefit. For example, a marketing company could have “3 ways to be more productive today” as a subject title. Incorporating numbers into your subject title attracts attention, as we are naturally drawn to digits.

5. ControversyShocked at computer

Controversy often sells, and certainly grabs attention, but using shock, controversy or insult in your subject lines does require you to tread very carefully. You must be confident in your understanding of your readers’ tastes and perceptions when using this strategy. It is a bit of a gamble, but it can be worth it if you do it the right way. Here’s an example: “Your marketing sucks – why you need to think local”. It’s not just a blatant insult; the second part of the subject line shows that you are giving your subscribers handy advice.

Generally, one of the best rules to go by when sending emails is to put yourself in the shoes of your readers. Think about what subject lines would turn you away and what would engage you to read on.

(MORE: Grow your mailing list and increase click-throughs)

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