Almost half of your subscribers decide whether they open up your emails based on the subject line they see. Similar to how article titles either entice us to click or not,subject lines can get people to read your content or hit the “delete” button right away. How do you write a really good subject line? It all depends on the vibe of your brand and the community you’ve built around it.

However, there are best practices to be aware of, not just because they can improve your copy writing, but also your email deliverability. Using an email validation service to keep up with your email hygiene is crucial when it comes to getting your emails in the inbox. But the way you write your subject lines can also determine how many of your subscribers are going to receive your email. More on that later.

Now, let’s dive in! These are some of the best practices to consider when you write your subject line.

Length: make sure it looks well on mobile

According to several studies, the length of most subject lines ranges between 40 and 50 characters. The general consent among marketers is that it’s best to keep your message short, as people often skim through their inbox. However, a study by Return Path showed that 65 characters seems to be just the right length. It allows you to express yourself, but not overwhelm your subscribers with too much information.

Something to keep in mind is that 75% of people read email on their phones, and you don’t want your subject line to be cut short.

Personalization: show them you care

Personalization is a key email marketing tactic that involves more than adding your subscribers’ names in the subject line. But this little detail makes a big difference in your open rates. Think about all the times an email had your name in it – didn’t it get you to click?

One of the biggest email marketing trends, next year, is going to be the focus on creating tailored content for specific groups of people. By adding personalization tokens, you show you care about every person that subscribed to your emails.

Emoticons: only if it fits your brand

Experian found in a study that 56% of senders using emoticons in their subject lines have higher open rates. The little word-replacing symbols have surely become a popular way for brands to sprinkle some fun over their emails and social media posts. Should you use emojis in your email subject line? Only if it fits your brand and if you know your audience well enough to tell whether they’d respond to that.

You can always run a few A/B tests to see how your campaigns perform with and without emoticons in the subject line.

Exaggerated punctuation and spammy words: keep away

“HUGE DISCOUNT!!!”. “MAKE MONEY”. “MEET SINGLES!!!”. “BUYNOW!”. You get it – the typical spam that lands directly in your Spam folder. Youthen move it to the Trash folder where it dies a sad death. There’s a reason why thistype of emails land in the Spam folder: Email Service Providers use sophisticatedmethods of spam detection to block such content.

You don’t want your emails to be confused with spam, so avoid spammy words and too many punctuation marks (especially exclamation points).

Email validation: make sure your list is clean

Another reason for poor email deliverability is emailing a messy list. If your database contains lots of misspelled, fake and invalid email addresses, that affects your sender reputation. Email service providers don’t support senders with bad reputation, so your emails are going to end up in the Spam folder.

The best solution to a poor-quality email list is an email validation service. Email validation systems remove unwanted contacts, thus helping you reestablish your reputation and get more emails in the inbox.

There are two ways in which you can use a list cleaning service:

• you can upload your email list on an email verification platform and have the system prune it

• or install an email validation API on your signup forms to prevent risky contacts to join your list

It’s best to use both email verification methods. One takes care of your existing list, while the other ensures a better email hygiene that starts at the point of registration.

Let’s wrap it up:

• try not to write subject lines that are longer than 65 characters• personalize your subject by adding the recipient’s name

• use one or two emojis if this in line with your brand

• avoid all caps, spammy words and heavy punctuation

• for better deliverability, use an email verification service

Posted by Charles Yarbrough

Charley has been working as a webmaster since 1998. Since then, he has had his hands in thousands of websites and has helped millions get online through a company he partially owns called Web Host Pro.

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