We all get them – even when we don’t want them. Unwanted and ultimately unopened emails are part of everyday life in the digital age. But sending emails that no one opens – that’s another thing entirely. The emails you distribute should inspire people to click, read and take action. And that process starts when people glance at their inboxes. If they see something that engages, they open the email. If they don’t, they simply push the delete button.

Of course, any email campaign should have a well developed strategy and goals that fit in within larger marketing plans. But, by isolating one item – the subject line– you can consider the best way to establish the all-important initial attraction.

Here are a few tips on writing a subject line that will immediately engage the people you want to reach.

  • Short and punchy is usually better. If possible – five words or less than 50 characters is ideal. Your audience is scanning, not reading every word. Remember that exclamation points alert spam filters, so avoid them.
  • Give some idea of what you’re offering or what you want the recipient to do. ‘Take a survey to enter our prize draw’ – is factual and engaging. ‘You could be a winner’, might be misleading since you haven’t completed the questions or survey required.
  • Make it as much of an invitation as you can. Your customers appreciate good manners. Using the recipient’s name can personalise your message provided you have a strong enough relationship.
  • Be honest. If you’re not giving away something, don’t say that you are. Every part of you customer communications count, don’t overstate your case.

Of course the subject box is just the beginning. The success of your campaign will also depend on what you do with the email itself. Not to mention the quality of your list. And, there’s no substitute for knowing your audience. In fact, a good email marketing campaign can go a long way to building the personality of your brand or your wider business.