How to Optimize Email Subjects in Your Marketing Campaigns

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Content marketing has been gaining strength over the last few years, and many e-commerce use it as a tool for recruitment, conversion, and loyalty.

And when we talk about content marketing we mean at a general level, it is not necessary to stay in the articles of your blog (which also). Videos, webinars, podcasts, ebooks… And, of course, email marketing to give the greatest diffusion to these contents.

If you are using email marketing as part of a content marketing strategy, you will know that the issue you use can be decisive. If it’s not attractive enough, recipients won’t open your email. And if they don’t open your email, all your work will end up in the trash (or in the spam folder).

In this article, we’re going to give you a few short, practical tips for writing bulletproof email subjects that incite click.

Use numbers

You must have seen it. Numbers are very common in promotional email subject lines.
But there is one thing you may not have thought about: Not all numbers are valid for the subjects of your emails. Or, at least, there are numbers that are going to work better than others.
Why is that?

  • Let’s say you write an article in which you give the reader a few steps to follow in order to do something. That is to say, an article that will require a certain effort on the part of the reader if he wants to put into use what you are teaching him. In that case, a low number will work better, as it will make things easier for you. No one is going to want to read: “How to create a perfect email in 50 steps”.
  • Instead, let’s say you write an article in which you offer value to the reader (like this one you’re reading right now, for example). In this type of content, high numbers will work better, because they let the reader know that you are offering more value. Much better “20 tricks to optimize your email marketing campaigns” than “3 tricks to optimize your email marketing campaigns”.

Beware of the words you use

Copywriting is important. And, although there are no fixed rules, we can tell you that there are words (or practices in general) that can harm your results.
What bad practices do you have to avoid?

  • Use words that imply free: free, 100% free, and so on. We are so overloaded with promotional emails that users no longer trust this type of email.
  • CTAs that force you to take immediate action: buy, call now, contact. Don’t force the user to do things that require too much effort. Invite him to learn more, and he will decide whether he wants to know more about your business or not.
  • Bad customization: Including your username in the subject line is great. Until it fails. If your database is not in good condition, do not send this type of items (or risk a user receiving “Hello, [NAME]. We have a discount for you!”).
  • Misused emojis: You have to be careful with emojis. They’re a lot of fun and can push your CTR, but they can also load your business. Let’s say you say: “Take part in our contest and get two 🍔 for 7€”. In case there is any problem and your emoji is not seen, the matter loses all sense. That’s why it’s always better to “Participate in our raffle and get two burgers for 7€ 🍔”.

The number of characters counts

Remember that the character limit of your subject is quite limited. Desktop computers typically display 60 characters, and mobile devices between 25 and 30.
So where are your subscribers going to see your emails for the first time? Will they be watching their mobile as soon as they wake up? Or will they be on their laptop?
If you don’t know, you’d better optimize your business for both possibilities. Studies show that the ideal subject is between 61 and 70 characters, so it may be a good choice to start there.
But if you’re still in doubt, the next point is going to come in handy:

Do your own A/B tests

In ECN we give you advice applicable to all types of companies, but each sector and each business is a world. Therefore, any self-respecting marketing professional should draw their own conclusions through A/B tests.
Most email marketing tools offer you the possibility to do your own A/B tests. Here at ECN we analyse Benchmark Email, a very good option for your email campaigns. In fact, you can read in his blog an article on how to do A/B tests in your email affairs.


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ECN Team
E-Commerce Nation is The 1st B2B Web Media about E-Commerce in Europe. The team of E-Commerce Explorers help businesses to reach new potential market through delivering useful content. Let us know in comment if you enjoyed this content.