You grab a coffee, open your laptop, and are greeted with an inbox crammed full of marketing emails. Do you open each and every one? Probably not. According to Campaign Monitor, the average email open rate is between 20-40%. When your customers open their inbox, will your email make the cut?

At jdp, we approach our email marketing services from the perspective of your customers. Understanding what motivates people to open emails is the most important part of your email marketing strategy. After all, what’s the point in writing a letter if they won’t open the envelope!

So here are some email marketing service tips for creating compelling subject lines.

  1. FOMO + offers
  2. “Hurry, you have XX hours to catch our exclusive deal.” Announcing that your special offer has a time limit piques curiosity. But keep it classy and use this kind of email sparing. You don’t want to be put in the same box as a mattress dealership that announces special deals so frequently it just sounds like white noise.

  3. Appeal to the reader personally
  4. Dear Sir/Madam” is extinct for a reason! Nowadays there’s no excuse not to make the extra effort to name the receiver personally. Email marketing services have evolved. There are many ways to send targeted emails based on people’s likes and dislikes, their location, age, and purchasing habits. Emails with subject lines boost open rates by 50%. Including a first name, or the reader’s location in the subject line immediately implies that the content is useful and relevant to them.

  5. Short ‘n’ sweet
  6. Cut to the chase! 46% of emails are opened on mobile devices, and most mobiles only show 25-30 characters of your subject line. Cut out filler words and place the most important info at the beginning.

  7. Be clear
  8. Explain exactly what is in the email. There’s no use trying to obfuscate or be cryptic. People are usually scanning through their inbox in a rush. Do your readers a favour by keeping it simple and focussed. There is one exception to this, and that’s when you use humour…which brings us neatly onto our next tip.

  9. Crack a joke
  10. If it fits with your brand’s tone of voice, giving people the chuckles is a great way to stand out from the crowd and compel readers to open your email. If you’re great at making up dad puns, try it out on your readers! People love them a lot more than they make out around the dinner table. Here are some fun examples:

    “Witch, please: Shop the Boo-tique” – ModCloth
    “We’re bringing setsy back” – Sephora promoting their make up sets.
    “Licking your phone never tasted so good”: Open Table

Bonus tip: write as a person, not as a brand

So this isn’t strictly about the email subject line, but it’s a factor that affects open rates. Send emails from an individual’s email address. There’s something more authentic and familiar about an email from rather than from a generic address. It sits better within your reader’s inbox and makes the email more personable and conversational. No one likes conversing with a robot (unless it’s C3PO).

So the next time you plan an email marketing campaign we hope you feel inspired to use these tips. We invite you to take a look at your inbox and reflect on which marketing emails you’ve opened recently and why. You can learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t simply by reflecting on your own behaviour.

At jdp, we’re all about strengthening the connection between brands and their customers through great communication. If you want to learn more specifically about email marketing services, check out our blog “How to Create an Email Marketing Strategy in 2020”.