If I ask you if you like reading, what will you say? And what about reading the subject lines in your inbox? Do you read them carefully and with the right amount of attention? Probably not. No one does and that’s the reason why subject lines have to be eye-catching. You have only one or two seconds to make your recipients pay attention to your message, so choose your words wisely.
Why all the fuss and buzz about subject lines? Because it’s the main factor that determines the Open Rate of your whole campaign (along with the sender name), the subject line can either be the beginning or the end of your recipient's interest in your message.
The rule of three
Have you ever heard of this rule? It says that things that come in threes are more satisfying, more attractive and more effective than a smaller or larger number of things. Even consuming information is “faster, better & stronger” if written in threes! After all, your subject line is more than just information. The rule of three (or thirds) even works in photography compositions, so why wouldn’t it work in your business? Try to keep the number of words in your next campaign subject lines to three but choose them wisely!
In the process of creating a perfect subject line you should use words such as:
- free delivery
And avoid these:
Turn letters into words!
Words are made up of letters (shocking, right?), so only they have an impact on subject lines. There are a few rules you should follow in order to increase the Open Rate of your campaigns:
1. A subject line with less than 60 characters generates a higher Open Rate
2. There is a “dead zone” of between 20 to 30 characters where the Open Rate is supposed to be the lowest
3. More that 70 characters generates a higher Click to Open Rate. That’s because even if there are fewer opens, those who opened the message are really interested in what’s inside
There are a few exceptions to these rules when it comes to B2B communication. In that case the more characters, the more words (within the limits of reason) the better the overall results are. After 120-130 characters you will notice a drop in the Open Rate but also an increase in the CTR.
Always stick to best practices
In addition to general rules about numbers of words and characters in your subject lines, you can also refer to some standard best practices to follow as well:
- CAPS LOCK WON’T HELP YOU. End of story.
- Know your recipients. Personalize your subject by their names, client status (“You’re our valued customer and we want to reward you!) or even their job name (Engineer, check our tools stock!).
- Call your subscribers to action! Words which elicit a sense of urgency or a need for activity are always a good choice to put into the subject.
- Run A/B tests. Everybody repeats this like a mantra. It’s almost like the e-marketing version of a broken record! But if everybody tells you to do it, there must be some truth to it, right? Well there is! Do them often. And then do them again. Always run A/B tests of your subject line!
- Use numbers in subjects because people are more interested in subjects with numbers. “3 ways to increase your Open Rates” is always better than “Find out three ways to increase your Open Rates” (and remember about the rule of three).
Hopefully after reading this post you’ll be able to create the most eye-catching subject line of your career! Let us know which one of the rules works best for you!