Outbound Marketing | Sales Engine International

Outbound Marketing: Email Subject Lines

Tell It, Don’t Sell It ... Plus Three Other Tips for Creating Subject Lines that Improve Your Outbound Marketing Performance

On average, 8 out of 10 people will read your email subject line and send-from address, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of the content. An effective subject line can increase those odds and improve the success of your outbound integrated marketing efforts.

Four Tips for Creating Subject Lines that Increase Open Rates:

1. Tell It, Don’t Sell It

Every subject line should clearly state what your reader can expect from your email message. The subject line is a promise that you are obligated to deliver on with the content of the message.

Don’t overhype and come across as a hard-core salesperson. The best subject lines tell what’s inside, the worst sell what’s inside. Write yours to read like the headlines in your local newspaper, highlighting the most important facts in a few words. The purpose of outbound marketing is to develop relationships and build trust with prospects over time so that eventually they will open every email you send, regardless of the subject line.

2. Limit Yourself

The general rule of thumb in outbound marketing is to limit your subject line to 50 characters or less. The reason for this is that the majority of mobile email devices allow for 50 characters including spaces before the text is truncated. Some newer mobile phone models, including the iPhone and E series Nokia, further limit subject lines to just 32 characters in length before they are cut off.

How should you approach drafting a subject line? Put the most important words at the beginning and keep it short and to the point.

3. What’s in a Name?

Recent research shows readers often look at the "from" line first when deciding whether to open an email. Before even reading an email’s subject line, recipients scan through their list of senders, so be sure yours includes your company name. As much as possible, this should not change from campaign to campaign and should concisely convey who you are.

Because these two elements, subject line and from line, always appear alongside one another, it’s important that they work together and don’t repeat unnecessary information. You don’t have to include your company’s name in the subject line, wasting valuable space, if it already appears as the sender.

4.  Everyone likes a good deal - but spam filters

The general consensus is not to use the word “free” in subject lines as it will trip spam filters. But if you can’t resist, don’t make it the first word. Other hallmarks of spammers to avoid include: ALL CAPS, spe©ial symbols, and exclamation points!!!!!!

Run your email through a spam checker to identify any words, phrases or construction that may get you filtered. At Sales Engine International, we use Litmus which tests all our outbound marketing through various spam traps and filters providing either a pass or a fail for each one.

Subject line writing is both an art and science. By following these tips, you can increase your email open rates and overall outbound integrated marketing success. [printprofilepic] Raquel Horton