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Email Marketing: Get Your Subscribers’ Attention at the Subject Line

Email MarketingSince the competition for your subscribers’ eyeballs often begins in their inbox, if your subject line doesn’t grab them, it doesn’t matter how strong the communication’s content is. While email is a relatively inexpensive and potentially effective marketing channel, it can be discouraging to lose your subscribers before they even open up your message.

If you’re not sure how to go about writing an eye-catching subject line that gets your subscribers to take action, try adopting some tried-and-true practices that have worked for others who’ve already learned from the mistakes you’re potentially about to make. Start with Wendy Roth’s recent article on 7 fixes for terrible subject lines. In it, Roth covers some useful ground, such as:

  • Avoiding the pitfalls of personalization
  • Creating a sense of urgency
  • Including a call to action
  • Using an appropriate length for your subject line
  • Making your subject line unique
  • Refraining from letting punctuation run amok
  • Being clear

And don’t forget to test, test, and test again. Getting no response is still feedback. A well-crafted subject line, coupled with a strong and informative message, is sure to keep subscribers from clicking “unsubscribe.”


    1. And don’t be annoying! I hate signing up to lists and getting the most pathetic attention grabbing titles – it only results in losing subscribers and doesn’t build any credibility over the long term.

      In the ideal world, you could create a regular sender and title (issue #44 – dog walking tips, etc.), where subscribers will actively look out for you. Encouraging those first few email opens is essential, but I guess it’s largely to do with their original motives when subscribing.

      Many parallels with the e-Commerce world.

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