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Simple Secrets to Subject Line Success

How to ensure they open your emails? Effective subject lines. 

Christine Book
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how to write a good email subject line
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Whether you’re in a boutique out East, a coastal showroom, or Midwest lighting gallery, even the most talented lighting and decor professionals struggle to write the right email subject line. Here, then, keys to unlock the mystery, starting with the ABC’s: Appropriateness, Brevity, Clarity.

A: Address your audience appropriately.

Making the subject line more friendly and less sales-like is key. Who goes to their inbox for ads? Take the pressure off, and nurture relationships. Segmenting your email list enables you to send more customized messages to certain groups: customer or prospect, loyal or occasional client, age or gender, i.e. millennial men. Each step toward appropriate customization brings them closer to opening your message.

B: Brevity counts.

Too short, the reader won’t know enough to open it. Too long they’re overwhelmed. Fifty characters, tops. Inc.com shared research from a ShowMeLeads analysis of 260 million emails from 540 campaigns. According to Jessica Stillman, the research revealed that subject lines with six to 10 words generated the strongest open rate.

C: Clarity is clutch.

Your subject line should tell the recipient exactly what’s inside. Make it clear as to the conten. This saves them time, helping them prioritize their inbox. By connecting to them, you avoid getting deleted by them. Imagine you’re writing to each personally, not tossing a generic sales pitch to the masses. Connection counts. If your analytics show low open or high delete rates repeatedly, your subscribers may be suffering digital overload. Don’t inundate the inbox for send’s sake. Like with design, think quality over quantity.

Small business-focused Inc.com provided insight in a recent piece by Marcel Schwantes of Leadership from the Core. The article notes work by HubSpot on subject line strategies. Don’t have too broad of a focus on the subject line, and don’t focus on the wrong goal. Your goal should be getting a response by having it read, not closing a deal. Second, timing. Monday and Tuesday are said to be the worst days, with Saturdays and Sundays best. Testing different days and times can pinpoint what works. Send as a real person, not as a business account or company name. Generic addresses are as poorly received as junk snail mail.

Sumo helps businesses automate website growth. Its free newsletter has reached one million subscribers. Sumo’s Danavir Sarria offers a sample of best lines used: 5 decor trends you must know; Before you ___, read this; It’s time to rethink ____; We’re ___ in __ hours. Other tips: Write the subject line last, make sure it matches the copy. Use numbers when relatable. DON’T OVERUSE CAPITAL LETTERS. Point made.

The lighting and decor industry combines good taste, fashion, style and branding. Let your digital content do the same. A well-written subject line and copy can go a long way in boosting – or if done poorly, sinking – your brand. Invest in digital consultants if/as budget allows, to strategically solidify your business’ identity. Make those ten words matter. Whether with humor (appropriately, occasionally), or a “Hey, (name) you’ll like this couch,” speak on their terms, and spare being doomed by the Delete button. Then watch your analytics, and your sales, soar.

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