Email Marketing – It is not what you say, it is the way that you say it…

The first task of this morning for me is to check hotmail. Twelve new emails, half of which are from people trying to sell me things. There’s 75% off here, free delivery there, SUMMER SALE STARTS NOW, major markdowns, sweet summer deals, etc, etc, etc. Instantly I find myself pouring through pages of emails, looking to buy shoes I don’t need, clothes I already have and handbags I can’t afford. Every day I have another three emails from different companies, each boasting a different deal or offer everyday specifically chosen and worded to grab the customers attention and make them open and click through rather than delete. And this begs the question, how important is the subject line of an email?

It was only after I began researching the importance of a subject line that I realised just how much more there was to it. The internet is full of articles, blogs and reports all surrounding the idea of subject lines and the correct words to use. Adestra, an email marketing company, have done a report looking in to just which words have the most impact. During difficult financial times money is tight, so it’s to be expected that the taglines bringing in the most opens and click throughs are those offering some sort of offer or money off. After all, who can resist a good bargain. But what if you haven’t got any sort of deal to offer? How can you keep the consumer interested? Further research shows that words like news and alert are more likely to attract opens where as urgent, anything to do with learning, report or the overuse of exclamation marks are instant turn offs. You’re trying to attract the customer, not frighten them off!

It’s also important that the subject line of the email is actually relevant. You’ve only got a few seconds to grab their attention so sure, offering great deals and free delivery might make people open the email but if there’s nothing further about these offers within the body of the email itself then the customer will lose faith. Better off sticking with something more relevant but not as exciting as 99% off, rather than harming your companies credibility. After all if an email is from a company the customer knows and trusts then they’ll be more likely to open it in the first instance.

Of course, another important factor behind whether the customer will open your email, is making sure it doesn’t get lost in cyberspace and makes its way to their junk folder. Spam filters are more powerful than ever these days and it’s easy for innocent marketing emails to get lost along the way. To avoid this you should avoid the phrases and tell tale signs of spam that these filters are looking for. Again the overuse of exclamation marks is a big no no. Using all capital letters and sloppy HTML is another way to ensure your email goes straight to the junk box. Look at the emails you’ve received, in your inbox and junk mail. What made you open the ones you did? What about the ones you didn’t open?

Just because something works one week, it doesn’t mean it’ll work the next. The trick is to test, test and test again. Experiment with different lengths of subject line, capitalisation, different wording and humour.

For more information on how to title your emails, please click the link below.

Adestra Subject Line Analysis Report 2013