Pitchrate | 7 Subject Line Tricks to Get Your Emails Opened

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Sydni Craig-Hart

SYDNI CRAIG-HART, expert marketing coach and consultant, supports service professionals in creating success – in both their businesses and their lives. Known as "The Smart Simple Marketing Coach," Sydni uses a results-focused, “how to” approach in implementing simple and customized strategies ...

Category of Expertise:

Business & Finance


Smart Simple Marketing

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05/31/2014 02:58am
7 Subject Line Tricks to Get Your Emails Opened

You get it. You need to be sending a regular email newsletter to stay in touch with prospects, create sales opportunities and increase engagement with your audience.

What happens as soon as you hit send? You start looking at your reports to see who and how many people are opening your message!

Have you struggled with your email marketing because sometimes your emails get high open rates, while other times no one on your list can be bothered to open them?

It could be a problem with your subject lines.

The subject line is one of the most - if not the most - important elements of your email marketing.

Why? Because without a great subject line, your prospect may be quick to ignore your message, or worse yet, to send your email straight to their trash folder, completely missing out on the great content and opportunities you were hoping to share.

Here are our top 7 tricks for crafting stellar subject lines that will get those emails opened every time.

1. Create curiosity. Don't give away the farm in your subject lines by stating exactly what is inside the email. Which seems more interesting to you?

"This is the #1 tool for increasing Facebook likes"


"Use Facebook ads to increase Facebook likes"

The first subject line leaves an unanswered question by using the word "this."

The second subject line stands on its own, leaving no reason to open the email.

2. Ask a question. Questions automatically engage the reader. When asked a question, we can't help but answer it in our minds. "Are you using the #1 trick of online marketers?"

I don't know, am I? I had better open the email to find out!

3. Use odd numbers. Study after study shows that odd numbers and random, highly specific numbers get higher open rates: "37.69% increase in revenue with this easy trick"

4. Keep it short and sweet. There are exceptions to every rule, but in general keep your subject lines as short as possible. Remember that a lot of people are checking email on their smartphones, and long subject lines will be cut off.

5. Use re: and fwd: Use re: or fwd: at the beginning of your subject line and watch your open rates skyrocket. Be particularly carefully when using re:, however - it should be used in a way that references the topic of the email, as opposed to implying the email is part of an ongoing conversation.

The latter might make your prospect feel tricked into opening.

6. Make a mistake on purpose. Only do this once in a blue moon! If a link was broken or some other technical mistake occurred in the email, it's a great opportunity to hit your list again with a subject line like: "Eek! Technical difficulties!"

Again, don't make a habit of this, but when you do have a mistake to correct, it's a great way to increase open rates.

7. Make them say "Huh?" Bizarre subject lines get high open rates, but they must be relevant to the content.

"Why I Love Miami in August"


"Beyoncé retires?"

Keep in mind that all of these tricks will only work if the content of the email actually relates to the subject line.

If your subject line reads "Killer monkey escapes zoo in your neighborhood!" it might get opened, but if there's nothing about a monkey in the email, your prospect will feel tricked (and your links won't get clicked!)

Always deliver on your promises, but craft your subject lines in a way that creates curiosity, breeds familiarity, and most importantly, gets your prospect in the habit of opening your emails each and every time.


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