Email campaigns can be incredibly powerful marketing tools, but they are only effective if people open them. Therefore, the importance of a strong email subject line can’t be understated. A good subject line will entice your audience to open your email and read what you have to say. A poorly written headline can get your email sent straight to the trash. Thankfully, learning to write subject lines that increase open rates and click-through rates is fairly easy once you understand the strategies involved with each type of email.
How to write sales email headlines
The whole point of a sales email is to build a connection with your current or potential customers. Therefore, you need to write subject lines that sound friendly and engaging – like something an actual human would say.
To do so, ensure that these subject lines are sentenced cased and have proper grammar. After all, using all caps or embedding marketing buzzwords comes off as not only spammy and unprofessional but also condescending.
If you really want to grab your audience's attention though, you'll want to go a step further and include a name. Names grab people’s attention instantly, giving your email a higher sense of importance (which leads to higher open rates). A referral’s name can be just as good for the same reasoning.
Examples of sales email subject lines
- I have a question about [specific goal]
- If you need help with [problem], I can help
- Hey [name]! [Referral] told me about [company problem]
- [Referral] said we should talk sometime about [company name]
- Do you have time to chat at [time]?
How to write promotional email subject lines
Presenting the right deal in front of the right customer at the right time is often the best way to guarantee a sale. While it’s tempting to simply copy and paste the offer into the subject line, you must slow down and think it through first.
Promotional emails run the greatest risk of being ignored or ending up in the spam folder since poorly worded promotions can sound like just another bad sales pitch.
The key to crafting a good promotional email subject line is therefore to make it sound authentic and human while also being enticing for your specific target audience. To do so, promotional emails should be value and benefit-focused. Adding a sense of urgency, like an end date, is also a great way to persuade people to check out what you’re offering the moment they see it in their inbox.
Examples of promotion email subject lines
- I have a special deal for you
- I can help you reduce your heating bill by 35%
- Today’s the last day for [product/service deal]!
- Wanted to let you know, [offer] ends tomorrow!
How to write newsletter subject lines
Newsletters are often the best way to keep customers and prospects in the loop about your business or industry. As such, the point of a subject line here is to get them hooked on your material and convince them to keep reading by opening the email.
Therefore, a good tactic is to focus your subject line on the most interesting or important piece of information contained in the newsletter. If you have interesting facts or figures, this is the place to display them.
You can also approach these subject lines like you would for the title of a content piece. Use strong language, play with word choice, make it timely, ask an industry-pointed question that your newsletter answers, or emphasize a company's stance.
Also, try to avoid the word “newsletter” in your subject line at all costs. It’s tiresome and greatly overdone.
A quick note about company announcements
Company announcements are actually remarkably similar to newsletters (sometimes they can even be used interchangeably) and should follow the same basic guidelines as newsletters when crafting subject lines.
The difference is that serious announcements or bad news should be tackled directly and with a formal tone. For these cases, you want to tell people exactly what the announcement is about -- don't beat around the bush.
Examples of newsletter/company announcement subject lines
- What if we could change how people think about _______?
- 10 tips to make the most out of _________
- We have an important update about [product/service]
- We’ve experienced a cyber-attack – here’s what you need to know
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