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How to Make a Great First Impression in Email

11 Jul, 2016 McKell Naegle

There are few things more important in email marketing than subject lines. It is the first thing subscribers see before deciding to open or ignore your email.

Mailchimp, one of our favorite, easy to use ESPs (email service providers), recently shared their tips for writing successful subject lines. Their researchers analyzed all the emails sent through their system to find what practices result in the best open rates. They found that the best email subject lines are short, descriptive and provide the recipient with a reason to open the email. This is easier said than done.

Below are some helpful tips for writing high-performing subject lines.

Personalize your message.

  • Working in the recipient’s name somewhere can improve open rates.
  • If applicable, include localization. MailChimp’s research states that including a city or state in the subject line may improve open rates even more so.

Do not reuse subject lines.

  • Keep your content fresh. Over time, open rates will decrease. Keep your subscribers engaged by bringing in new subject line copy with every touchpoint.

Keep subject lines brief.

  • Subject lines should be 50 characters or less. People quickly glance at subject lines in their inbox to see if the email is worth opening. Do not expect recipients to dig through your subject lines to see if they are interested.

Test, test and test some more.

  • Writing the perfect subject line is not a one-and-done project. They need to be constantly vetted and adapted as your subscriber list grows and matures.
  • Be sure to use an ESP that supports A/B testing for subject lines. This way, you can test and optimize your content on the fly.

These tips are just the beginning to improving your subject lines and open rates. Let us know your own tips in the comments section, below.

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