3 Guidelines for Mobile Subject Lines
The world of email marketing is like a jungle — the quick survive and being short can be an advantage.
If recent statistics are anything to go by, smartphones are quickly becoming the stars of email marketing, with 47 percent of emails being opened on mobile devices.
Two of the most popular email clients, Gmail and Yahoo, have a 68 percent open rate on smartphones and tablets. Facts like these can't be ignored. If you aren't optimizing your email marketing campaigns for mobile devices, you're missing out on business.
Subject lines are the first line of offense when trying to attract customers. It's the first thing a prospect notices when they open their inbox. Therefore, it's critical that your subject line make a good first impression. In essence, your subject line is your first and best attempt at grabbing a reader's attention away from cat videos.
There are plenty of articles on subject lines and how to get the most out of them, but what about on mobile phones? The mobile subject line has very limited space to perform its job; it's kind of like forcing a tiger to fight in a birdcage. The following simple guidelines will equip you with the tools you need to survive the mobile jungle:
1. Keep it brief (the 2-2-2 principle). This principle would be on the first page of a Mobile Email for Beginners guide. The first two stands for the two seconds of attention you get from a prospective reader, the second two represents the first two words of your subject line that grab the reader's attention, and the final two stands for the "to" in "today," as in the relevance the subject line has to the reader today. Catchy, isn't it?
2. In a land of ambiguity, relevancy is king. A study by email marketing firm Alchemy Worx found that while longer, ambiguous subject lines do have higher open rates (especially on desktop), they don't have a higher "click-to-buy rate." In fact, they most likely have a higher "annoyed consumer rate."
It's not all bad news, however. The study also revealed that shorter, more concise subject lines that are transparent about the contents of the email (such as "50% off Nike sneakers") perform better, with 60 percent of opens turning into click-to-buys. This information is perfect for the mobile marketer, as longer subject lines simply don't translate well on smaller screens. Keep it real, relevant and short.
3. Curiosity creates clicks. Know your objective. Unless you're sending out chain letters, your emails have a point. In addition, no one is going to open your email if no one cares about your objective. How do you get people to care, you ask? You create curiosity.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but that was only because the owner was too busy buying stuff online. The perfect kind of curiosity is the type that isn't ambiguous, yet still requires the reader to act. A great way to do this is to use provocative adjectives about a topic in the email itself. For example, if you want to sell cat toys, a good subject line would be "Unique Toy for Whiskers." The adjective in the subject line begs the reader to inquire about what's so unique about the toy for their cat.
Long Live the King
Now that you have these guidelines, there's nothing stopping you from becoming the king of the mobile jungle! I'd love to hear what you have to say about mobile marketing, so leave a comment below. Speak your mind, let the world know and … don't forget to feed your cat.