Subject line hacks to boost your open rates

Subject line hacks to boost your open rates

The subject line is the first thing the prospects will read about you, your company and your product/service. So it needs to be the best you can to catch the prospect’s attention enough to open your email and read your offer. If you leave them curious enough about your email, they’ll open it. There is no second chance to create a good first impression, so here are some hacks which you can follow when it comes to subject lines:

1: Keep It Simple, Short and Straightforward

According to research, the optimal length of an email subject line is 65 characters. Subject lines that are between 60 to 70 characters long tend to get a higher open rate.

You can use a tool like Zurb Test Subject to see how your subject line will appear on popular mobile devices. And, avoid using spam trigger words in your subject line.

Here are a few examples:

  • Request to connect.
  • Hey!
  • Are you ready?
  • 26 seconds (or less).
  • Just tried calling you.
  • Oh! I forgot to mention.
  • Next Step?
  • Time to Part Ways
  • Moving On.
  • It’s not you, it’s me.
2: Personalize them

Opening with a personal subject line will most likely break the ice between you and your prospect. It’s a powerful technique and arguably the best way to engage your prospect. It’ll also show that this is not just some template being used for other people. But, just including the prospect’s name in the subject line doesn’t make it personal. You could personalize around geography by talking about events, ideas, conferences, etc., that are of the prospect’s interests.

Here are a few examples:

  • [FIRST_NAME], check out these hand-picked looks.
  • [FIRST_NAME] x [Company Name]
  • [FIRST_NAME], [Pain Point]
  • Check it out, [FIRST_NAME]
  • [Prospect’s Name], here is a personal note
  • Looking forward to meeting you at [Conference Name], [FIRST_NAME]
  • Your comment on [post] was insightful
  • Congrats [FIRST_NAME]! Have you thought of [business value]?
  • [Prospect Name], Thanks from [Your Company].
  • [FIRST_NAME], I just missed you!
  • Goodbye, [FIRST_NAME]
3: Create an Urgency or Scarcity

Creating urgency in your subject line will most likely get your prospect to open and maybe even respond fast because people respond better to the threat of losing something than to the promise of gaining something. But, using this technique often is not advisable – remember the Boy Who Cried Wolf – because, it may not after a few times.

Here are a few examples:

  • Only 4 seats left on this flight.
  • Only 3 weeks left to crush this quarter’s targets
  • FINAL HOURS! Up to 40% Off Soaps & Lotions
  • Limited quantity remaining.
4: Using Numbers and Lists

Incorporating numbers into your subject line attracts attention, as our brains are naturally drawn to digits. This is why top 10 lists are so successful – no wonder Buzzfeed has so much traffic – lists are easier for our brains to process and they also create curiosity. This is one of the most used techniques used for subject lines and blog posts.

Here are a few examples:

  • 3 Ways to Improve your Page Loading Speed.
  • 4 Reasons Why You Need to Use a Sales Emailer.
  • 3 Ways We can help you.
5: Use Power Words

Email subject lines that establish the right emotional context get better open rates. Use power words to write a subject line that can orchestrate a certain emotion you want to establish with the prospect – be it building trust or arousing curiosity or making them tingle with fear. By using the right power word, you should be able to toy with your prospects emotion and make them open your little cold email and ignore the other emails in their inbox.

Here are a few examples:

  • undiscovered ways to get more leads
  • Our official email marketing playbook
  • Send cold emails like a boss
6: Ask Questions

Use questions in your subject line based on the pain points, topics, or goals it will increase your open rate by 2x.

Here are a few examples:

  • How are you dealing with [Pain Point]?
  • Thinking about [specific goal]?
  • Are you making these mistakes?
  • Question about [Goal]
  • Where shall we start?
  • Are you ready for?
  • Can you help me out?
  • Want to talk about [Topic]?
  • Can you point me in the right direction?
  • [FIRST_NAME], What went wrong?
7: DON’T USE ALL CAPS or overuse exclamation points!!!

A subject line that says, “OPEN NOW AND RECEIVE A FREE TRIAL” or, “50% off coupon today only!!!!!!!!” isn’t going to get your email opened. In fact, it’ll probably get your email ignored.

As per the study by the Radicati Group, more than 85% of respondents prefer an all-lowercase subject line instead of all in caps.

8: The how-to

The how-to subject line gives insight into the relevant benefit readers will find when they open your email. And as long as your “how-to” is helpful to the readers, open rates can soar.

Here are a few examples:

  • How to grow the email list
  • How to remove stains
  • How to save for retirement
  • How to Write Blog Posts That Sell
  • [READ] How to fill, nurture, and convert leads (for agencies especially!)
  • [READ] How to Create a Video Studio on a Shoestring Budget
To test your subject lines for other issues and get more suggestions like these, try out Subject Line Tester
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