Email Best Practices: The Power of a Great Subject Line

At eRelevance, we send out millions of emails for our customers every month. So, we’ve learned a thing or two about what works.

First, it’s worth mentioning that while we strongly believe the most effective marketing strategy is multi-channel, email marketing simply cannot be ignored as a powerhouse in your overall marketing mix.  Email is an undeniable component for cost-effectively strengthening customer connections  and boosting retention—two essential elements of internal marketing to increase revenue from your existing contacts.

With that kind of horsepower, you want to ensure your emails are getting opened.  Once they hit the right mailbox, the way to make that happen is with a powerful subject line.

Here are three best practices for email subject lines that get attention and opens:

  • Keep them short, no more than 40-50 characters. Studies show longer subject lines get lower open rates.
  • Avoid words that are often caught by spam filters, including: Free, Save, Now, Offer, Buy, Order, and many more.
  • Use different subject lines for each email. Most of the campaigns we create include up to four email cycles, typically once per week. For each of these emails, we recommend changing the subject line so the message remains fresh. When the same subject line is used repeatedly, your contacts are more likely to ignore the email.

At eRelevance we’re digital marketing experts with years of experience testing what works well for our customers.  Trends, consumer habits and technologies change often, so there’s a lot to keep track of and tweak.  If you’re a small- to medium-sized business trying to manage internal marketing on your own, we can help–and at a price that will likely surprise you.