Many thanks to those who attended last week's standing-room-only "Writing Effective Email Subject Lines" Brunch & Learn webinar. Based on participation, it's a very hot topic. And for good reason, because subject line optimization is one of the fastest, most-cost-effective strategies for increasing reader engagement and visits to your website.
If you couldn't attend, here are 19 tips to help improve your email subject line writing, as well as an invitation to visit the Direct Marketing IQ webinar archives, where you can watch this Brunch & Learn session (the webinar will be available on-demand for the next 90 days):
1. Test for the best. This is the No. 1 rule in subject line optimization (and all of direct marketing). The second rule is to share your test results with your writer. Please.
2. A subject line needs to make an instant connection with your readers. Rarely is anyone eager to open your email. More likely, recipients are annoyed by the stack of subject lines in their inboxes. The objective is to DELETE, not open.
3. Subject lines are first cousins with direct mail outer envelope teasers. However, subject lines have an even tougher job than teasers because it's easier to delete an email than to throw away a 3-dimensional mail piece.
4. Subject lines need to work extra hard in multiple environments. Currently, more than half the emails that are opened are read on a mobile device, not a tablet, desktop or laptop computer. This means you need to pay special attention to those first 25 characters because that's all that show up on most mobile screens.
5. Understand your audience. Is your reader is a subscriber, customer, member or visitor who already has a relationship with you ... or a prospect who doesn't know you? Whichever the case, you need to maximize the synergy between your from and subject lines.
Related story: 14 Ways to Motivate Your Prospect