4 Quick Tips for Better Email Subject Lines

12.04.2014By

Like you, your supporters receive tons of e-mails every day. And like you, they’re very good at filtering out messages.

One of the best ways to grab the attention of your supporters is write subject lines that beg to be clicked.

Here are four ways to create subject lines that stand out in noisy inboxes:

1. Keep it short

Short and sweet is the way to go with your subject line. Subject lines that are less than 50 characters get opened more than longer subject lines, according to a MailChimp study of 200 million emails.

When writing your subject line, remove any words that aren’t relevant or essential. For example, “Register for next Tuesday night’s annual gala at Legal Seafoods” can be written as “Tickets for Tuesday’s Legal gala”.

2. Make a promise

Your subject line is a promise of what’s inside your email.

For example, Momsrising sent me an email about Congress suing to make a change that they themselves lobbied for in the first place. Their subject line (below) says “This made my brain explode.”

moms rising

My brain didn’t literally explode, but I did feel slightly outraged. So in my book, they kept their promise, which is important.

3. Be careful of filter triggers

Email filters have been set up to flag spam if they have certain words the subject line (free, for example).

Try to avoid words like “Help” and “Reminder” when crafting your subject line.

4. Talk about their neighborhood

People like to do things and/or support local initiatives that are in their hometown or within a short drive.

The next time you have an event in a particular city, talk about that place—the cities, streets, and neighborhoods—and appeal to their hometown pride.

Mentioning your subscriber’s town in your subject line [as a merge field] will help your email stand apart from competing emails.