Be Direct With Your Subject Lines
When dealing with email marketing, one of the most important factors is the subject line. After you have a clean, up-to-date email list where all users have opted-in to receive your emails, you need to get them to actually open those emails. Referencing this chart from Mailchimp and our own reporting information, we’ve noticed it is much better to be direct than to get “fancy.”
For example, “This Summer’s Arm Candy” may sound better from a creative standpoint, but we live in a fast-food society where people want to know why they should open that email. They’re only going to open if they think it is something that will interest them. That being said, “Summer Bracelets are Here!” would be more likely to get higher open rates. Questions perform very well so if you could, you may even want to go with “Need a New Summer Bracelet?”
Another thing to remember is to keep your subject lines short. Most people will scan their inbox quickly, and often times long subject lines will be cut off. Try to stick to 50 characters or less. Stay away from things like all capital letters and multiple exclamation points. Offering discounts and promotions are very direct and should increase open rates, as long as the content backs up the sale/discount when opened. (You don’t want to trick people by offering something that isn’t there.)
In the long run, subject lines are the first impression of your email, but remember that many factors can affect open and click rates. The health of your list is the most important – if you’re sending to people that didn’t sign up to receive your messages they are unlikely to view your content. Also time of day, day of the week, and send frequency are important things to consider. There is no magic formula, just pay attention to your list and see what works and what doesn’t for your readers.