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How to Get Higher Email Opens By Split Testing Subject Lines

Posted by Katie Pilot on 06/05/2014

Are your email open rates struggling? You might be making mistakes you don’t even know you’re making. You can find out with a split test. Last week, we explained the power of a good split test and showed how it can be done with sign up forms and lightboxes. But split tests don’t end once […]


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Split Testing Tips For Small Businesses

Posted by Josh Krafchin on 06/17/2013

This post was written by Josh Krafchin of CleverZebo. It ain’t easy being a growing business who wants to split (A/B) test. It’s so important to do – it’s how you find out what offers and approaches your audience responds to. But there’s so little time to learn how. So we tried to answer all […]


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Irritating Marketing Trends – Do They Actually Work?

Posted by Rebekah Henson on 05/29/2013

What’s the most irritating marketing trend you know? I noticed a growing trend of businesses using Unicode characters in subject lines – snowmen at Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day, suns for summer sales. And to me? It looks like something my 13-year-old cousin would post on Facebook. But trusted retailers must be seeing success with […]


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How To Meet Your 2013 Marketing Resolutions: Part 3

Posted by Crystal Gouldey on 01/17/2013

Perhaps you’re good with at managing your time and getting emails out to subscribers. Maybe you’re even happy with the number of new subscribers coming in. If that’s true, your 2013 email marketing goals might focus more on making your emails more effective. (If that’s not true, learn how to manage your time and emails […]


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The Subject Line Strategy That Gets 541% More Response

Posted by Amanda Gagnon on 06/20/2012

The original title of this post was going to be Turns Out This Particular Post Title Sucks. Turns out, that particular post title would have sucked. See, as good marketers do, we recently sat down to analyze how well our approach has been doing – meaning, how well you guys like our posts. The first […]


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Yes, You Can Put “Free” In Your Subject Line

Posted by Amanda Gagnon on 10/17/2011

Thursday, Yahoo! released an email visualization tool. Updated every second, it shows the volume of email being delivered through Yahoo! users across the globe. Click on the map, and it’ll zoom in to a breakdown of emails in that area (with all emails anonymized). Keep clicking, and it’ll display fascinating facts about Yahoo!’s user base. […]


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Can “Bad News” Lift Response Rates?

Posted by Justin Premick on 08/30/2011

This is a guest post from Danny Iny. Danny is an author, strategist, serial entrepreneur, and proud co-founder of Firepole Marketing. “Bad news” – have you ever received an email with that subject line? It has been used by a number of internet marketers to increase response rates, notably during product launches, often achieving particularly […]


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Why Should You Split Test Email Subject Lines?

Posted by Crystal Gouldey on 08/19/2011

Did you know split testing is actually part of everyday life? It can happen when you try on different outfits. Or if you try a different ingredient in your recipe. Or maybe you’re comparing ways to tell people you want to take one of those vacations to the moon so you know how you should […]


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Have You Optimized Your Messages for More Opens?

Posted by Crystal Gouldey on 07/15/2011

While working with customers to optimize their email campaigns, I reviewed A LOT of messages. As I was going through all them, I took notes on which ones performed well and I was able to identify some common threads. Just like I was able to share strategies to get more subscribers and keep those subscribers […]


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Learn How These 3 Businesses Get Their Emails Read

Learn How These 3 Businesses Get Their Emails Read

Posted by Crystal Gouldey on 05/16/2011

>If you aren’t asking the question “How can I get more people to read my messages?” about your email marketing campaign, it’s time to start thinking about it! Even if you’re happy with your response rates, there is always room for improvement.

First off, it’s important to think about what influences a subscriber’s decision to read your message or not. Whether your end goal is a click or a sell, the subscriber won’t be taking any action until they actually open your email.

We’ll be looking at three different email newsletters that did a good job getting people to read the message, bringing in a unique open rate of over 50%, and then you can apply their strategies to your messages.

How the Messages Appear in an Inbox

These are what our examples look like in a GMail inbox:

These three businesses have some different and some similar methods for getting subscribers to read their messages. We’re going to take a look at how they approach the subject line and how they make the from line something the subscriber will recognize:

  • Lawrence Chan’s Tofurious mentions a new product that the subscriber gets for opening the message.
  • This type of approach is great if you have a free report to share, a sample page from a new report or ebook, if you have a coupons, or if you are promoting a new product.
  • Lawrence takes a personal approach on his site by signing his blogs and including detailed personal information. People like to hear from people, and signing his emails with his name will carry over that personal touch.

  • Gary Rosenzweig’s Macmost has a different approach for their subject, and it’s very straight-forward: it’s the new MacMost newsletter and it even gives the issue number.
  • This is good for businesses that send out newsletters that are meant to be more informative than promotional.
  • Gary from MacMost doesn’t have his name come up a lot on his site, so if he used his name in the from line then subscribers may not recognize who it’s from. This is why it’s good he used his company name.

  • Frederick van Johnson’s This Week in Photo uses the subject to pose a question. This can make the subscriber interested in knowing what the answer will be. Is it the end of medium format cameras? If so, why? They’ll have to open the message to find out!
  • Asking a question will make your subscriber curious, so try and find what question your message answers.
  • Frederick has others contributing material on his site, so his name is not the only name there. Recognizing he name would depend on what pages the subscriber has seen on the site. His from line should be his company name since it’s on all pages.

Branding In the Subject Line

You want to use your brand as much as possible so that when a subscriber looks at your message in their inbox they immediately know who you are and what to expect from you. All three businesses included their company name in the subject line. Might seem redundant, but it’s working!

Other Tests for Increasing Opens

The best thing you can do is split test your broadcasts to find out what gets the best results. Besides what we talked about here, you many also want to consider:

  • Time and day the message is being sent: There is no universally agreed upon day or time to send your message, so your best bet is test. For a look at your own stats, you can go to the Reports page and look at the “Opens over time” graphs.
  • Snippets: certain email clients show a snippet of text from the beginning of your newsletter. You can use this to your advantage by putting catchy text at the top so they’ll open it or mark it to read later.
  • Preview panes: certain email clients will also show preview panes that displays part of the entire message. You can test this out by putting catchy text in the upper part of your email, or moving images around if it was initially top heavy with images, and see if this changes your open rates.

How Do You Get Subscribers to Read Your Messages?

Of course there are still even more factors that will determine whether or not your message gets reads. For example, setting expectations plays a big part in your ongoing subscriber response right.

So what do you do to ensure your subscribers keep coming back for more? Share your thoughts!

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