Email marketing: Using the subject line to turn subscribers into readers

Subject lines offer you one of the best opportunities to turn subscribers to your marketing list into readers (and from there, into customers). It’s easy to focus on subscriber numbers and building up your list but you should spend just as much time trying to ensure that current subscribers read your emails. Subject lines are your best chance to achieve this.

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Think about all the time that shops spend developing their window displays. Clothes shops, for example, might display the most fashionable of their latest line to catch shoppers eyes and draw them into the store. In email marketing, the subject line is the window display. This is the first thing that subscribers will see when they receive your email and it is based on this that many will make the decision of whether to open it.

This post will discuss how to write subject lines that turn subscribers into readers.

Researching subject lines

The first thing you need to do is a bit of research. When writing subject lines, you will naturally rely on your conception of your product. More importantly, though, you want to know how your customer thinks of your product. What phrases do they search for when they’re looking to buy the product you sell? There are a range of guides (like this one) available, discussing how best to research answers to these questions.

Email Subject Line

Writing subject lines

You’ve discovered how your customer thinks of your product and you’ve now got a series of words or phrases that can be used to construct a subject line. Of course, a subject line needs to do more than just mention these phrases. Some other things to consider when writing your subject line include whether it is clear enough (along with your display name) to make sure the subscriber knows what its about and whether it creates a motive for the subscriber to read the rest of the email.

Using multiple subject lines

If you have a large enough subscriber list, you should develop multiple different subject lines and then use either A/B testing or multivariate testing to determine which of these is the most effective. A range of popular email marketing tools (including, for example, Mail Chimp and WhatCounts offer one or the other of these services).

What tactics do you use in your subject line to turn subscribers into readers?

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