September 28, 2021

Smashing The Inbox: 5 Email Subject Line Secrets You Must Know

Written by
Nandhini TS

Have you ever wondered what makes gifts so exciting?

It’s not what’s on the inside – of course, we get no visibility into that until we open it.

It’s the wrapping.

Source: Giphy

The festive wrappers with fun prints on them, the cute little bow made with a satin ribbon, and the quirky card stuck on the neatly packed present.

It’s all of these elements that make presents so exciting that it gives the recipient a sparkle in their eyes.

Why do we make efforts to wrap the gift?

  • To get the recipient excited
  • To make the recipient feel valued
  • To represent the worth of the gift
  • To create an urge to open it

These are the reasons why the subject lines of your emails must also be given the time and attention that it deserves!

Think about it.

A drab and fuzzy subject line would fail to get the attention of your recipients or get them excited.

So, that’s why I have 5 email subject line secrets to smash your inbox!

Let’s begin.

5 Email Subject Line Secrets You Must Know 😻

Secret #1 Cut through the inbox clutter with storytelling

Anyone can write bland statements.

A statement that gets the point across and clearly communicates the essence – but fails to pack a punch.

For instance, let’s say you’re promoting your recent blog post on “5 SEO tips to rank better” through email marketing and come up with this subject line:

“Rank better with these 5 SEO tips”

Is this clickable?

Is this irresistible to open and get the insights immediately?

Hell, NO!

So, what’s missing in this subject line?

An appealing story that can arouse the recipient and make them want to read.

“Climb the SERP ladder: 5 tailor-made tips for <website domain>

What does storytelling in the subject line mean?

Tell real stories and don’t dilute them with too much marketing. Have action sequences, hilarious examples, appeal to emotions, and don’t force your marketing in it. (See example from Marketoonist below)

  • Narrate a relatable scenario
  • Keep thing simple
  • Try analogies
  • Use interesting metaphors and alliteration
  • Infuse a famous personality
  • Make it sound like it’s for an individual

Secret #2 Make your subject lines sway and sizzle with emojis

Emojis have the power of instantly giving the recipients the context of your email without having to read the text.

In the bloated inbox of the recipient, subject lines with emojis have the power to stand out and get clicked if it is exciting enough!

According to Experian, 56% of brands using emojis in their subject lines had higher open rates.

Here are a few examples of emojis in subject lines:

🔮 A Magical Formula For Doubling Your IG Followers

Got 30 minutes to a presentation? ⏰ Pick and edit a template now

Breaking out severely? Introducing acne clear to treat your skin! 😻

Make $$$ While You ZZZ – A Crash Course For Freelancers 💰

🎅🎄Holiday Collection Has Arrived! It’s snowing discounts! 

These do make us want to click, doesn’t it?

But, you have to follow a few best practices while using emojis in your subject lines:

  • Make it relevant to your emails
  • Don’t add emojis for the sake of it
  • Don’t overdo it and stuff your subject lines with too many emojis
  • A/B test your subject lines and understand which variant gets better traction. If using emojis do not favor you, then you may want to ignore them
  • Be sensitive to the industry you operate in
  • Be sensitive to the message you communicate

Secret #3 Don’t be lousy with personalization: Go the extra mile

Subject line personalization does not only mean personalizing with the name of the recipient, geography, or the company name.

This is of course still good, but what makes you stand out and gets your target to open you email is making the subject personalized based on understanding the customer.

This could mean monitoring their behavior or understanding their purchase history, or even digging deep into customer demographics.

You can personalize your subject lines based on:

  • Demographic data
  • Transactional data
  • Behavioral data
  • Past purchases
  • Browsing history
  • Recent purchases

Here’s an example from one of my favorite (Lessonly). I have been browsing through their website for a while now but took no action.

They have an impressive drip email campaign which is also personalized and segmented based on user behavior.

Since I took no action, I got an email regarding extending some help:

But! Remember to keep these in mind while personalizing your subject lines:

  • Don’t be creepy and don’t overdo it
  • Make sure that you have the recipient’s consent to use their data
  • Don’t make the subject line bland with the facts [Remember storytelling?]

You may want to choose the right email marketing tool that helps you experiment with your subject lines in such depth. There are tools like BayEngage, Mailchimp, Hubspot, and more – you can also explore good alternatives.

Secret #4 Tap into emotional triggers

Emotions are a powerful way to appeal to your audiences.

Consider using power words for your subject lines depending on the campaign that you have planned.

Be it celebrating a milestone, or warning about the stocks running out, or inducing action, power words are a great way to get your audience’s attention.

Look at the following examples:

Hurry! Stocks are running out (creates urgency)

Bravo! You’ve completed the marketing course. Let’s pop the champagne 🍻 (appreciation)

❓❔ Did you know about the gradient magic button? ( triggers curiosity)

Download your copy of “Martha’s deceiving potion” (instills action)

Secret #5 The PDA Formula: It’s not what you think!

The winning formula for a good subject line is communicating the purpose, creating a drive, and enabling action.

When a subject line passes this test, it’d definitely smash the inbox.

Now, these three elements can include anything we just discussed – emojis, power words, personalization, or storytelling.

Let’s understand this with the help of an example:

Purpose + Drive + Action = Subject Line That Smashes The Inbox

  • Try to communicate why your recipient is receiving the email
  • Give them a drive and urge as to why they need to open it
  • Make the action you want them to take very clear

Wrapping Up

The cat is out of the bag!

Those were the top 5 secrets that I wanted to share with you to help you carve and craft a subject line that can never fail you!

Subject lines are the first things that your recipients see and they determine the key metric – open rates.

Subject lines have a ripple effect on your overall campaign performance. So, make sure that you don’t rush through them after writing your copies and before scheduling your campaigns.

Take time to come up with your subject lines, test them, spend a lot of time perfecting them.

In fact, begin your email campaigns by working on the subject line first.

Having said that, I hope these secrets come in handy and if you want to spill your subject line secrets drop them in the comments and I’d be happy to chat!

Also, these secrets are open to all now, so don’t psst… about it – share them with your friends 😀

 

Nandhini TS is a Product Marketer at TargetBay – An all in one eCommerce marketing cloud used by thousands of online businesses across the globe. She loves to talk about the power of emails in marketing and when not doing that, she’s busy using her bulky planners and sticky notes or binging TV shows!