You may not be able to judge a book by its cover. But if the titles (or in this case, the email subject lines) don’t make people want to open up the book in the first place, you’re not helping yourself out!
Prior to the year of wild iOS changes (hello, 2021, was 2020 not disrupting enough?), we could tout the success of our email open rates. “Thirty percent is a good benchmark,” they said.
And in all honesty, open rates could vary from industry to industry. While 30% might be really good for some, 60% was a standard open rate for some of my clients.
In September 2021, the coveted tech fruit, Apple, is releasing the iOS 15 update. This update will allow users to turn on a feature called the Mail Privacy Protection feature. This feature will provide users a way to not have marketers know when their email has been opened.
What will that do for email open rates? Well, no one is truly sure yet. But what we do know is that we can’t gauge the performance of our emails on open rate percentages.
And to be honest, we should have never been gauging the performance of our emails on open rates anyway. Just because subscribers open the email doesn’t mean that they took action. Opening an email is much different than clicking through, responding, or purchasing if there was a sale to be made in that email.
Going forward, our focus needs to shift to other metrics. Keeping an eye on data like response rates (yes, people actually respond to emails when they are good, or polarizing), click rates, and of course the big kahuna – conversions!
But the truth is that we can’t have success with these metrics if they don’t open the email. The secret to your audience opening an email is in the subject line.
The first rule to remember is to avoid all caps. That will land you in spam faster than you can blink, and then no one will see your email.
All lowercase letters might not feel grammatically correct (and if your target audience is a bunch of English majors, maybe avoid this!). But all lowercase letters feels more like a friend shooting over a quick note. And the marketing team at Kate Spade does it…so if it’s good enough for Kate Spade, it’s good enough for all of us.
We are a nosey society. If you give us a compelling reason to want to know more about that email subject line, we are going to click to open because we truly can’t help it.
Think about your audience and their interests. You can even utilize quotes from popular pop-culture references that will pique their interest as well.
Sometimes, the key is to go back to the basics. Provide a subject line that tells exactly what your audience will learn. Think, “Top 3 Ways to Write an Email that Converts” or “Top 5 Google Analytic Secrets.” Simple, right?!
Each of these tells exactly what they will find when they open the email, and you can avoid having to think too hard about it and keeps the subject line relevant to the content inside the email.
But not false urgency. No one likes that, and frankly, people get quite upset. If your program or deal is truly going away or you actually only have 5 more spots left in your consultation calendar, then fine! Utilize that in your subject lines. Someone who is on the fence can make their decision of whether they want to sign up or not.
We, as consumers, don’t like to feel pushed into something. More relaxed marketing tactics that don’t invoke fear of scarcity are proving to be more and more effective in 2021.
Utilizing any of these tips will have you well on your way to creating a subject line that converts! If you’re still feeling like you need a little help, you can check out my 365 Email Subject Lines here.
Email Subject Lines that Convert