Writing Effective Email Subject Lines

February 13, 2014

When sending email communications to customers and potential customers, the biggest challenge is getting them to actually open up your message. Everyone is so inundated with irrelevance in their inboxes that we’ve become increasingly conditioned to ignore or delete emails that come from an unrecognizable source or seem spammy in any way.

If you want to encourage your customers to return to those abandoned carts, first you need to reach them. And that means including verbiage in the subject line that actually entices them to click and read your message.

Here are some tips for best practices when it comes to crafting subject lines:

* Be descriptive and accurate. Don’t use tricks or deception to try and get people to open your email. Reflect what they’ll actually find when they click in.

* Include your brand name. If a shopper abandoned a cart on your website, it means they’re familiar with your brand and they’ve actively engaged with you before. They will recognize you, and recognition is big.

* Keep it compact. People have short attention spans. It is important to be concise within the body of your message as well as in the subject line. We recommend staying under 50 characters, or even under 30 if possible.

* Test out different variations. We offer A/B testing functionality, which enables you to try differing combinations and configurations to see which yield the best results. You don’t have to blindly guess at what will work when you have a tool like this at your disposal.

* Utilize localization. If the majority of your recipients reside within a certain region, mention it in your subject. This will help them recognize the content as relevant.

* Ask a question. If it’s interesting enough, folks may be more inclined to click and learn more.

* Avoid overly promotional language. You may assume words like free, discount and special would be a draw, but people have come to associate them with undesirable promotional messaging.

* Don’t get too crazy with caps and punctuation. Contrary to common belief, using exclamation points or capitalizing all the letters of a word will not automatically set off a spam filter and bury your message. That can happen if you overdo it though. These strategies can add personality and help capture attention but it’s important to find a balance.

Do you have any strategies that work for you? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.