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Creative Subject Lines From Top Brands

Stellar email subject lines are the key to successful marketing campaigns. Because they determine whether the recipient will consider opening the email, it is necessary to pay attention to some common tricks to attract their attention. Note, however, that click baits don’t equal good subject lines; they are more likely to create the exact opposite effect… for the most part. Email open rates are directly linked to irresistible subject lines. Statistics show that 47 percent of recipients decide whether to open an email solely on the attractiveness of the subject line, whereas 69 percent of recipients report an email as spam based on the same criteria. As holds true for everything else when it comes to attracting attention (in a positive way!), the best email subject lines address people’s curiosity and are witty, but they also appeal to fears, greed and vanity… and some other personality traits, too.

Don’t Miss Out!

The very first and foremost urge to open an email is triggered by a “don’t miss out” subject line. Keywords to additionally boost recipients’ curiosity go along the lines of “limited time offer,” “important,” “breaking” and similar options. Anything from “Tonight only: a denim lover’s dream” (Guess) to “Your 7-figure plan goes bye-bye at midnight…” (Digital Marketer) will do the trick. Discounts and promotions also fall into this category.

Witty Subject Lines

Email subject lines are similar to remarks. If they make recipients entertained, chances are, they will follow through. When a joke is good, everyone wants to hear the end. Emails work in the exact same way. Some of the most successful email marketing campaigns relied on this strategy. From Groupon’s “Deals that make us proud (unlike our nephew Steve)” to Eater Boston’s “Where to drink beer right now” (Sent at 6:45 am on a Wednesday)”, numerous marketers made it big using this simple principle.  

Addressing Urgency

Some situations call for immediate action whether we aye or nay. In actual fact, most effective email marketing campaigns know how to address such issues just in time, as well as how to follow up to keep their customer base continually happy. In short, you should know how to solve customers’ problems, and the best way to do that is to keep researching common scenarios. Some examples include campaigns from the food industry, furniture companies, educators and businesses offering cheap alternatives. I.e., Uber had a cheesy open-ended subject line “Since we can’t all win the lottery…”, while HP advised to “Stop wasting money on ink.” Pizza Hut tried to be both funny and practical with the line “Feed your guests without breaking the bank”.

Getting to the Point

Wittiness and urgency are fine and all, but let’s not forget that not actually giving a glimpse into the contents of the email is likely to get your messages flagged as spam. Even tackling recipients’ curiosity has its limits. You have a great offer and you know it; therefore, there is no reason why the recipient shouldn’t learn it as well, in a straightforward manner, to boot. The most important thing to keep in mind here is to not forget to always deliver on your promise. One mishap and your business will lose recipients’ trust. Not good! Whenever you have something important to say, say it out loud and follow up with more detailed info and a simple way how to get to the actual reward (which usually translates into a call to action and an appropriate link). Some incredible examples show that messages titled “Yes, this is a fundraising email” have open rates between 60 and 87 percent. In addition, emails often wrongly observed as having “boring” opening lines also stand a fair chance to be read through. Some examples include “[Company Name] Sales and Marketing Newsletter” and “Happy Holidays From [Company Name]”.

Everyone Deserves a Second Chance, Including Your Marketing Campaign

If you, perchance, didn’t start off on the right foot, don’t despair. The curious marketing invention called “retargeting” is known to have done marvels in that regard. If the recipient abandoned the cart, simply send them a reminder. In such cases, subject lines should offer a better deal or remind the recipient that a limited time offer won’t be out there forever. Some stellar subject lines of retargeting emails include “Good news: your pin’s price dropped!” (Pinterest), “Hey, forget something? Here’s 20 percent off” (Bonobos) and “Did you miss out on some of these new features?” (Bonobos).

Subject Line Keywords Matter

For once, keywords are meant for actual people, not for Google. The list of keywords in subject lines likely to prompt the recipient to read through is long and insightful. Fortunately, it is also predictable, for the most part. Here’s a glimpse. An analysis undertaken by Alchemy Worx, which took into account some 21bn emails by 2,500 brands, shows that the most efficient keywords are actionable. Thankfully, this also ties into a nice Call to Action at the end of the email!   Guest Post By: Emily Simmons Creative author and long-time digital marketer
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