Working with clients over the past 15 years on email projects I have seen some really great emails. Many times I have seen these great emails have really bad subject lines. You may craft the best email ever, but if your subject line is not done correctly, it is like it never existed. The subject line many times is just an afterthought right before you send the emails but it is probably the most important element of an email. When a recipient receives the email, they usually only see two pieces of information that determine whether it is worth opening your email is the From and the Subject.
So spend a good amount of time crafting your subject line. Here are some guidelines to consider:
- The subject does not have to be something "catchy", but needs to appeal to the viewer to open the email to see more, so don't give too much away or they may not even bother.
- Don't use lots of punctuation or capitol letters. This can be sign of a spammer or just trying to get cheap attention. Many spam filters look for this and your email may not make it in the Inbox anyway
- Personalize if you can. Adding some familiarity will help show some thought even if machine generated. Example of this would be a specific product or service that pertains to the specific recipient
- Don't make the subject super long or too short. Try to use about 10 words, it is easier to scan.
- Test subject lines. Use A/B testing where you send out a variation of subject lines to see which ones have the most effective open rate.