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Dane van Zyl   |   14 Dec 2018   |   Inbound Marketing

Email marketing: 5 tips for writing a killer email subject line

It's already the second week of the new year, and most of us are back to the grind, ready for our marketing strategies to kick into gear for the year ahead. Your marketing strategy should include the perfect mix of content marketing, social media marketing, video marketing and email marketing.

2018 will see some exciting trends in the digital space which will help you grow your digital agency, such as the rise of video marketing.

Did you know that social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined and global consumer internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2019?

Moreover, email marketing churns out a few impressive statistics of its own which business owners and marketers need to be aware of. For example, in 2017, there were 3.7 billion global email users which is expected to grow to 4.1 billion in 2021 (Email Monks) and email marketing has a median ROI of 122% which is over four times higher than other marketing formats. These stats can't be ignored, which is why this blog post explores how to write a killer email subject line.

As a marketer, your email subject line is the first opportunity you get to entice your prospects to click through, before joining the heap of unopened emails in their crowded inbox. Your email needs to be catchy, compelling and less than 50 characters. Click on our quick video below for 5 tips on writing a killer email subject line. Alternatively, just scroll down to read about our 5 tips. 🙂



1. Keep it Short & Sweet

If your email subject line is too long, it will get cut off, specifically on mobile which is where 67% of email opens usually occur. Keeping it short and sweet is really important so that your recipients know what to expect from your email just by reading your subject line.

People are also usually in a hurry meaning that they tend to scan emails quickly, so if they can't understand what your email is about at first glance, they'll probably skip past it. It's best to keep email characters at 50 or less, nothing more.


2. Ask a Question

Asking a question in your email subject line automatically draws your recipient in and has been proven to engage recipients while enticing them to seek the answer to your question.

By asking a question, your reader enters into an instant dialogue with you, making it easier to catch their attention. For example, you could ask; 'Is your email marketing strategy really working?'.


3. Use Numbers

Using numbers and data is a clever email marketing tactic as it automatically catches your recipient's attention and provides a clear view of what he/she can expect to find in your email. Quantifiable information is also straightforward, logical and easy to digest.

For example, numbers can be used in a way to tell your readers how many tips they can expect to find on a specific blog article, or how much money they can save by using a particular service etc.


4. Use Personalisation Tokens

Using a person's name, location, industry or interests to personalise email subject lines creates feelings of rapport while boosting email open rates by 50%. Personalisation tokens add a personal touch to your email by making your readers feel that they are more than just an email address on a list, but that you actually know a little more about them.

It allows you to reach out and establish common ground by making a personal connection with them.


5. Make it Clear Who The Email is From

Would you be more inclined to open an email from someone or a company you know or an unfamiliar sender? Chances are you're probably more willing to open an email from someone you know. In fact, studies show that 47% of readers first look at the sender's name before deciding to open an email.

Therefore, using a familiar sender name such as the name of your business or a person's name whom readers already associate with is a simple tactic to get readers to open your emails. Thanks to the massive amount of spam emails received on the daily, recipients choose to open emails from senders they want to hear from and simply ignore the rest.

How do you plan to improve your email marketing strategy in 2019?

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Dane van Zyl

Mostly I double as Robin when Batman needs me! On the side, the Co-Founder and CEO at Uku Inbound. Inbound marketing enthusiast. HubSpotter. Vegan. Amateur Voice Actor.