The Direct Network


Quick Tips for Writing Catchier Email Subject Lines

Posted by Dean Asher on Jul 27, 2016 8:40:46 AM
Topics: Higher Ed, K-12, Marketing to Students

If you're like almost every other school in the nation, you're writing several emails a week to students and their families. It's quick, easy and direct — but if people aren't reading them, then your emails aren't doing your program any good.

Your subject lines are the first thing people see when they open their inbox, so they can truly make or break your email messaging. So how do you write subjects that are catchy enough to stand out from the hundreds of other emails people receive on a daily basis and encourage your end users to open them and read what they're all about? It can be tricky, but thankfully Hubspot is here to help.

Quick Tips for Writing Catchier Email Subject Lines 

Keep it short and sweet

Email subject lines will get cut off if they’re too long, particularly on mobile devices. And with 40% of emails being opened on mobile first, we recommend using subject lines with fewer than 50 characters to make sure the people scanning your emails read the entire subject line.

If you're struggling to keep your subject lines short, think about which words matter less and where you can remove a frivolous detail. For example, if you’re sending an order confirmation, doesn’t “Your order is being processed” look better than “Order #9435893458358 is being processed"? Same goes with your regular emails: Do you really have to include the word "update" or "newsletter" in there? (Actually, a study from Adestra found that emails including the word "newsletter" in the subject line saw an 18.7% decrease in open rates.)

Do tell them what's inside

Speaking of making promises, if your visitor has downloaded an offer and you’re delivering it via email, it’s a great idea to use a subject line that says something like, “your new ebook inside!” or “your guide awaits!” This works better than a simple “thank you” in the subject line because it makes it clear that something is waiting inside the email.

Start with action-oriented verbs

Subject lines are similar to calls-to-action, in that you want the language to inspire people to click. Subject lines that begin with action verbs tend to be a lot more enticing, and your emails could be drastically more clickable by adding a vibrant verb at the beginning.

Actionable subject lines will inspire people to click on your email by instilling urgency and excitement. For example, in an email inviting people to a hockey legend dinner, the email subject line might read, “Dine with Bruins legend Bobby Orr,” rather than a more generic (and less actionable) “Local Boston Sports Legend Meal." The former email uses “Dine” to help the reader envision themselves at a dinner table.

Olivia Allen, Hubspot
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About Dean Asher

Dean Asher is a former copywriter with MBS. Though he no longer writes for us, he is still proud of having helped this blog continue to evolve as an industry-leading resource of news and original content.

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