email marketingEveryone deals with inbox clutter, so how do you make your business’s emails stand out from the rest? With so many messages vying for your customers’ attention, and with more and more email hosts filtering promotional content to a less prominent inbox, you’ve got to work even harder to entice your recipients to click on your email and read it. Otherwise, it automatically gets sent to that big digital trash bin in the cloud.

What this all means is that you need a good email subject line. No — you need a great one. It’s got to be clever and catchy, something that will grab readers’ attention and pique their interest. You might have the most interesting email content in the world, but if your customers never open up your email, it’s all for naught. If you think your emails may not be getting read, try these five tips for coming up with a great email subject line.

1. Make it urgent. We all know how tempting it can be to let email newsletters and messages from businesses go unread for a few days. To get your recipients to read your message now, create a sense of urgency to let them know that time is of the essence. You might let them know that they have just 24 hours to act on the information you’re giving them, or that an expiration date looms in the near future, or that there’s an incentive for the first 100 responses. This will help keep your email lingering unopened for an indeterminate amount of time.

2. Keep it brief. Long email subject lines are tiring to read, and they get cut off on most mobile devices. Keep yours to five to eight words, or under 50 characters. Use what you have to hint at what’s in the email, and then meet those expectations you’ve created.

3. Create a question. This is a tried and true way to engage your reader because it gets him or her interested and thinking about an answer. It also creates curiosity as to what you’ll say as a follow-up in the body of your message.

4. Give a call to action. What do you want your reader to do? Whether it’s attend an event, learn more about a specific topic, donate money, or check out your sale merch, write a subject line to reflect that. It’s concise, it’s to the point, it gives specific instructions, and it’s so much better than a blah subject like “Our Latest Newsletter.”

5. Be clever and avoid cliches. Tired, worn-out language will never grab anyone’s attention, especially in an email subject line. Unexpected puns or smart turns of phrase are great, but cliches will earn you little more than a very quick delete.

An Important Detail
It’s completely understandable that you’d put most of your energy and focus into writing great content for your business emails — you want your message to come across well and convert readers into customers. However, in order for that to happen, your recipients first need to open up your email, and to make that happen, you need a subject line that will entice them.

It may seem like a small detail, but it’s a highly important one. A good email subject line can mean the difference between content that is read and content that is deleted immediately. Keep these five tips in mind as you craft a subject line for your next business message — we think they’ll make a difference!