E-Mail Applied: Change the Subject
Subject lines carry a lot of weight. They drive open rates and results. After e-mail recipients look at your “from” line and recognize your company or service, the next thing they do is look at the subject line to see what might interest them.
Let’s examine some of the latest techniques for getting customers past the e-mail client and into your site.
Free to Use ‘Free’
In the past, marketers were warned not to use the word “free” in a subject line. The concern was that it triggered spam filters and reduced chances of delivery. Since “free” is the most powerful four-letter word in a marketer’s arsenal, however, many have continued to experiment and use it.
Here are two pieces of good news. First, the ISPs aren't putting as much weight behind filtering the word “free.” And second, “free” increases open rates. So if it makes sense for your offer or promotion, try testing “free.”
Many catalogers offer free shipping from time to time. This is a guaranteed winner; highlight it in subject lines.
Short and Direct
Long subject lines can be truncated in some e-mail clients. Keep your subject lines between 45 to 50 characters, including spaces. If you do use a longer subject, put the most important information first.
EmailLabs has an easy-to-use tool on its Web site that allows you to preview how your from and subject lines appear in various e-mail clients. It’s worthwhile to check it out at www.emaillabs.com/tools/from_subject_line_tool_popup.html.
You may want to keep subject lines even shorter. MailerMailer released a study in late 2007 (see chart below) that examined open and clickthrough rates for subject lines less than 35 characters vs. subject lines longer than 35 characters.
Craft Your Subject Lines
Too many companies put all their focus on creating their e-mails, leaving the subject lines as last-minute inclusions to the message.