10 Tips for Writing Effective Email Subject Lines & Content

30-Second Summary:

  • Email remains a key player in engaging audiences directly in their inboxes, despite the rise and rise of social media.
  • With 64% of recipients basing their decision to open an email on the subject line alone, crafting compelling, concise, and personalised subject lines is crucial for standing out in crowded inboxes and boosting open rates.
  • Beyond the subject line, maintaining reader interest with a strong opening, clear and concise messaging, visually accessible formatting, a clear call-to-action (CTA), and audience segmentation are essential techniques for converting readers into loyal customers.

Despite the reach and popularity of social media, the power of a well-crafted email cannot be underestimated, especially when it comes to engaging people right from their inbox. In fact, with the number of emails being sent and received each day increasing every year, with 361.1 billion expected in 2024, it’s not going to disappear anytime soon.

However, whilst there are many emails sent each day, the key to getting seen and increasing engagement is all about the effective use of email subject lines and the content within – both of which can dramatically influence open rates. So, how can you make the most of your email marketing approach?

Here, we’ve put together some helpful tips for email marketing subject lines and content that can help take an ordinary email and make it something that little bit extra. If you want to get more eyes on your emails rather than them being ignored and drive clicks to your products and services, you’ll want to keep these email marketing content tips close by when crafting your next campaign.Top of Form

Why Are Email Subject Lines So Important?

The influence of an email’s subject line on its open rates is clear to see. As many as 64% of email recipients decide whether to open or delete an email based solely on the subject line, so it’s critical in being the first point of engagement. With the average open rate across industries around 34.20% according to Mailchimp, you can see that many emails get ignored unless there is a good reason to open them.

This small snippet of text is not only a preview of the email’s content but also an initial greeting to the recipient, setting the tone for what happens next. If it isn’t compelling enough, a subject line won’t entice readers with the promise of value inside, meaning it goes unread or worse, straight into the spam folder.

As businesses, we are all vying for attention which can be scarce, so crafting subject lines and content that captures interest and inspires action is essential for cutting through the noise and connecting with your audience.Top of Form

5 Email Marketing Subject Line Tips For An Engaging Opening

Having a compelling email subject line, despite only being a short bit of text, can be surprisingly challenging. You want to be creative but with a strategy in mind. Here are five essential email subject line tips to help you captivate your audience towards opening your messages:

#1 – Keep It Short and Catchy

Subject lines often get cut off, especially for mobile users, when they are lengthy. Even though a longer subject line may help you get your message across much clearer, more often than not, this may not be seen in full until the email is opened. Aim for 6-8 words to ensure your entire message is visible on most screens, making it easier for readers to grasp your email’s value at a glance. Use emojis if you want to help with your messaging, but don’t overuse them.

#2 – Personalise Where Possible

Personalisation can significantly increase your email’s open rates. Adding the recipient’s name or tailoring the subject line based on their interests or past interactions with your website can create a sense of familiarity and relevance, making them more likely to engage. Many businesses take this approach, with 80% personalising emails using profile data and 64% personalising by customer segment such as age.

#3 – Use Urgency To Inspire Action

Things like limited-time offers or urgent updates can prompt immediate action from your subscribers. Phrases such as ‘Last chance!’ or ‘For 24-hours only!’ encourage readers to open your email sooner rather than to put it off and then be forgotten about. However, if using, you’ll want to do so carefully to maintain trust and avoid them becoming ineffective. Too much urgency and it can have the opposite effect of putting people off.

#4 – Questions Can Build Interest

Having questions naturally captures interest and curiosity, so this can make your email stand out in a crowded inbox. A perfectly placed question in your email subject line that resonates with your audience’s interests or challenges can invite them into a conversation, which will increase the chance of them seeking answers inside. Things like ‘Want to save XX on your next order?’ or similar can draw eyes in.

#5 – Avoid Spam Triggers

Certain words and punctuation marks can trigger spam filters, which isn’t what you want. Ideally, stay clear of overly salesy language and excessive use of capital letters and exclamation points. Focus instead on delivering clear, value-driven messages that encourage genuine engagement.

Implementing these tips for writing email subject lines can significantly improve your email marketing performance when done effectively. So, what about the email content once opened?

5 Tips For Email Marketing Content That Engages Readers

Engaging email content is important for converting interested readers into loyal customers. Here are five strategies to ensure your email content resonates and drives action:

#6 – Start with a Strong Opening

The first few sentences of your email set the stage for what’s to come, just like a good landing page on your website. Make them count by directly addressing the reader’s needs, interests, or pain points. A compelling opening will not only grab attention but also encourage them to continue reading the rest of your email. It’s your opportunity to capture the reader’s interest that is sparked by the subject line.

#7 – Keep Your Message Clear and Concise

Your audience’s time is limited, so make your message succinct and to the point. You want to clearly articulate the value proposition early on, ensuring readers understand the benefit of reading the rest of the email. If you can avoid jargon and overly complex sentences, this will ensure your message is clear.

#8 – Use Bullets and Headings for Better UX

Emails that are easy to scan are more pleasing on the eye and much easier to read. Using headings, bullet points, and short paragraphs will break up the text and highlight key information. This not only enhances readability but also allows readers to quickly grasp your message, making them more likely to engage with your CTA (more on this next).

#9 – Always Include a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

A CTA turns reader interest into reader action, whether it’s subscribing to a newsletter or making a purchase, your CTA should be unmistakable and enticing. Use action-oriented language like ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Sign Up Today’, and if possible, make the CTA button or link visually distinct from the rest of the page.

#10 – Segment Your Audience for Relevance

Sending the same message to your entire list can dilute its impact, so you want to avoid doing this. Segment your audience based on demographics, past behaviour, or engagement levels to personalise your content more effectively. Personalised emails connect more deeply with recipients, as they speak directly to their specific interests or needs, thereby increasing the chances of conversion.

With these email content marketing tips, you can create email content that captures attention, maintains engagement, and guides your audience toward meaningful actions that benefit both them and, ultimately, your business.

Start Crafting Better Emails Today

It may seem simple, but getting good at crafting email subject lines and content can take time and will need some A/B testing of different elements to see what works best for your business. Once refined and you get into the swing of your email marketing, you’ll be much better at enhancing open rates and increasing engagement with every campaign.

Experiment with these tips for email subject lines and content to discover what resonates best with your audience, and if you need help, contact our digital marketing agency. We’re always willing to listen to your current challenges and offer tailored solutions.

For more insights like these, please visit our blog, where you can discover how to scale your paid social efforts effectively, and how to allocate spend for maximum impact with PPC.

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