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Change Your Email Subject Lines to Increase Open Rates in 4 Steps

Submitted by on September 13, 2014 – 6:07 pm

Change Your Email Subject Lines to Increase Open Rates in 4 Steps


Although email is one of the most handy digital communication tools, many marketers struggle to attain significant conversion rates with it.

email marketingOn any given day, email users are bombarded by tens or hundreds of emails. Needless to say, they have developed keen sensibilities to bin, delete or not open emails they perceive as unimportant.

Here are some interesting numbers: 69% of email recipients only look at the subject line to determine whether an email should be reported as Spam.

At the same time, 35% of email users open emails solely based on the subject line.

Although email content plays a big role in the eventual conversion rate, it’s the subject line that will get recipients to open the emails.

Here are some subject line best practices that will help to boost open rates:


Use customer attributes to connect with recipients

Effective subject lines reflect a thorough understanding of the target audience. Users open emails that are genuinely personalized and show that the sender already understands their needs.

While crafting an email subject line bear in mind not just your recipient’s first and last name. Other elements of personalization include their gender, favorite products, products they have looked at recently, as well as their location.

Including these attributes in the subject is a great way to build trust and rapport and to assure the recipient that what they are about to open is truly relevant to them.

It’s important to understand that personalization should not end with the subject line. The content of the email should also be targeted to the needs of your recipient based on the activities they have previously undertaken.


Consistency will keep you top of mind

Unsurprisingly, marketers who send out emails on a regular basis attract high open and conversion rates.

But, there is a difference between regularly sending emails and conscientiously organizing your emails in a series, so that each email adds and builds into the previous one.

In other words, recipients are likelier to open emails if your subject line reminds them of a great email from you they had read earlier. Breaking down your email content into sequential parts and indicating this in the subject line will generate familiarity and interest from your readers.

Bottom line: Do not send random emails. Automation tools now make it easy to organize and send email campaigns at specific intervals.


Pique readers’ interest, don’t be boring

Boring headlines never get the story read. The idea is true for mainstream media as it is for email.

Asking questions is a simple yet effective way to stir interest and increase the reader’s curiosity. At the same time, make use of clever word combinations, metaphors, slightly off-topic and your own novelty words to get your emails to stand-out in your readers’ inbox.

Words such as ‘free’ ‘sale’ ‘discount’ can be attraction grabbers when used moderately. Use these words strategically and with caution because email recipients can easily report emails with an overuse of these words as Spam. I personally avoid using these words whenever possible, substituting other words or phrases that arrive at the intended point I’m looking to convey.

mobile emailIt goes without saying that specific, to the point subject lines that tell the readers what to expect have higher open rates. Specificity and precision are especially important for Smartphone customers who are receiving your content on a smaller screen.

Rule of thumb: Make it absolutely clear why you are sending the email. Anything less than a specific intention will get your emails trashed.


Optimize your email previews

Both email and desktop email clients now go beyond showing the ‘From’ and email subject line only; most email clients also include a short preview that is indicative of your email content.

Just like a meta description, the email preview is a very short description that can be optimized to increase readers’ interest. This is a backup to your subject line- it nudges recipients to open the email.


Admittedly, when it comes to email marketing, there is no magic formula that applies to all campaigns. It is important to regularly test your subject lines to see what’s working for your customers and what needs to be tweaked to give you the open and conversion rates you are looking for.


 Thank you for reviewing my post, I hope you’ve enjoyed it and find it of value to share with others!

Mike Conkey, Entrepreneur

Mike Conkey

Business Systems Analyst



Internet & Network Marketer

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