Importance of the Subject line

By OctaneGo, May 11, 2011 | Tips & Resources

The 50-character subject line is King. The subject line can literally make or break your success. It will either entice your audience or push them away. It’s like a miniature sales letter that’s pre-selling the contents of your mail. To stand out in a crowded inbox, you need to put your best line forward. Hence, treat the subject line like a precious piece of real estate – make maximum use of this space.

What to Put in the Subject Line?
While framing the subject line a common question asked is: should you include your brand/business name? Well, if the main aim is to ensure your email is recognized, putting some recognizable name in there makes intuitive sense. It might be your brand, the newsletter name, your business name…whatever is likely to trigger that recognition most easily.
However, branded subject lines make the most sense where recognition is itself the prime driver of interest and action. So you don’t need to write a flowery copy in the subject line. You just need to get people to see that it’s a transactional message from you. For example:

“Norton Subscription Renewal Confirmation”

Moreover, if you have a reputation for always delivering useful, valuable content, then your main priority may also be to ensure people recognize your emails. Top newsletter publishers, for example, sometimes report that subject line changes make little difference to open rates.

Top 5 tips to keep in mind while writing a great subject line:

1. The line should have a must-read reason to it. Try and put as much important and relevant information into your subject lines as possible. For example, if you’re sending out an email about a special offer, make sure the product name and offer details appear in the subject line in a clear and concise format. For example, “20% off on IPOD – Today Only”. Also avoid abbreviations and spelling mistakes.

2. Avoid spam keywords in subject line. Most email servers automatically filter out any emails that contain spam keywords in their subject line. If your subject line reads like something a spammer might write, then rewrite it.

3. It’s 100% important to make sure that the subject line accurately reflects the message contents. The interest you generate must be rewarded by the actual content of the email. You want to raise expectations that you can meet (or exceed). You don’t want to raise expectations and then disappoint. Avoid ambiguous statements.

4. Personalize the subject line – If you have details about your subscribers, then use them in your subject line to get their attention. A subject line containing the subscriber’s first name ALWAYS outshines the one that doesn’t. With Octane’s easy to use personalization tag you can even personalize the subject line.

5. Easy identification – Make sure your subscribers know the email is coming from you. Deceptive subject lines can confuse people- so always try and including your company name in the subject line.

Finally our advise for creating the best possible subject line is to keep it simple : your subject line should tell what’s inside.

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