The Perfect Subject Line does not exist

The Perfect Subject Line does not exist.There is no special formatting involved and no magical formula for the most single important line in your entire newsletter. Your newsletter may never be opened and read if the Subject line doesn’t grab the interest of email recipient: even though they subscribe to your newsletter.

How do you write an inviting Subject Line, one where your reader wants to open and read your email every time you send them a message? Some emails “experts” recommend using a personalized Subject Line to grab the reader’s attention.  The other “experts” suggest personalization, such as using your reader’s first name in the Subject line is a Spammer’s tactic.  So who is right and who is wrong?

Unfortunately there are no guarantees your email will be read regardless of which “expert” advice you follow. However you should know most experts do agree there are things to avoid when composing your Subject Line:

1. Do not use a one word Subject Line: Hi! Or Hello Pat”
2. Do not be over wordy: “Open this for the best time in your life totally guaranteed only today.”
3. Do not use a “come on” such as the email you been waiting for
4. Do not be vague or general: The information you requested
5. Do not write your Subject Line like an ad.
6. Do not be misleading.

What you can do is compose your Subject Line with these goals and guidelines.

1. Include the point of your email: Healthy breakfast in 5 minutes
2. Summarize the message – why and what you are writing – instead of describing it.
3. Be specific: Include detail to promptly and clearly identify what you are talking about
4. If the email requires action: Say action is required
5. Leave out redundant words: Be direct and to the point.
6. Manage expectations:  Don’t promise the Moon if you only have a piece of cheese.
7. Manage your Progress: As you send out more newsletters gather information on what campaigns
elicit responses.  Always take note of your campaign success or failure and what the Subject Line read.
8. Content matching: Make sure your newsletter content fits the Subject Line.
9. Avoid Industry Specific words and abbreviations: You may know what an ESP is, doesn’t everyone?
10. Review Subject Lines in your own inbox: What do you consider to be SPAM, why? Run your copy through a SPAM checker or content checker to pinpoint spammy phrases.
11. Test Your Subject Line:  Mail to a small number of recipients, same content different Subject Line.
Who opened it, who didn’t.
12. Put your organization’s name in the Subject Line when possible.
13. Review examples such as Newspaper headlines.
14. Check your spelling.

Remember some of your readers may only have time to read your Subject Line when the receive your newsletter and may set it aside to read later: an explicit Subject Line makes it easy to locate in an in box.