11 Tips for Creating Subject Lines That Get Opened
Subject lines may look simple to write, but they're not. Similar to outer envelope teasers, subject lines are gatekeepers that can keep readers out ... or invite them in. So, it's no surprise that there's more to creating successful ones than just stringing together words. Direct response writers know every detail counts.
We use details to snag reader involvement that leads to response. And to do this, we're always looking for new tricks to try. So, yes, we give careful consideration to every little detail including the use of personalization, punctuation, special characters, and even those eye-flow-stopping | vertical | bars | also | called | pipes |.
While YOU need to be aware of how different web browsers display special characters and how spam filters will react to subject line punctuation, testing is the tool that helps you learn what works and what doesn't. That's especially important with email since best practices seem to constantly change.
Here are 10 tips for creating subject lines that get opened. As always, test to see what works best for your audience and offer.
1. Verbs. Start subject lines with active verbs to create momentum. Recent emails delivered to my inbox started with: Join, Indulge, Meet, View, Find and Lose.
2. Questions. Questions can be compelling ... and tricky. The trick is to ask a question that engages rather than loses your reader. "Concerned about your pet's bad breath?" arrived in my inbox (and got opened) because I buy dog and cat products online.
3. Length. On any given day, you'll find a new study and resulting best practices regarding subject line length. I've seen both longer and short subject lines work. The key is to test. When writing longer subject lines, make sure to put a grabber at the beginning because this is what a scanner see first.