4 Email Subject Line Best Practices for Technology Marketing in a Digital Age

Heavy workloads and limited time make email one of the easiest ways to communicate, but how do you break through the email clutter?

Email is arguably the most popular way of communication in the workplace today, whether you are at your desk or on your smart phone/tablet. The snag, you and your clients probably get hundreds of emails a day. We have trained ourselves to sift through email to find what is most important, what can be handled at a later date, and what simply is delete-worthy.

I’m not just talking about those beautifully designed eNewsletters you send out. I’m talking about the plain, every day email correspondence you have with your clients and coworkers too. Those emails are just as important as the marketing emails you send to hot leads, and both follow the same best practices when it comes to the subject line.

I have gathered 4 best practices you should try following for your email subject lines to help you get a response based on a study detailed by MarketingProfs and my personal marketing and account experience.

  1. Suggest an Action. Just like in a call-to-action, you want to tell them how you want them to act. It will help direct them in the right direction to responding if they know what you are asking of them. A correspondence example; If you are sending a creative piece by email for approval, tell them “for approval” so they know what they need to so. For marketing emails, words like “Download” and “Subscription” work well – they are very specific. Words like “Get,” “Learn,” and “Register do not pull as successfully.
  2. Reference Timing. What I mean by this is words that indicate a sense of timeframe or urgency. For correspondence emails, letting them know you need a response or review by a certain time is helpful; for example, telling them EOD or a specific due date. Marketing emails that fall under this category are typically consistent eNewsletters you may be sending out. ‘Daily,” “Weekly,” and “Latest” pulled strong results. Stay away from words like “Monthly,” “This Week,” and “Forecast.”
  3. Give Them an Incentive. Who doesn’t love a freebie? Telling them in the subject that they have an opportunity for a bonus or something free is very enticing. And you don’t have to just say “Free.” Free actually pulled poorly in results. Words like “Exclusive,” “Gift,” “Voucher,” “Offer,” “Sale,” and “Free Delivery” worked better.
  4. Use Questions. If you are looking to spark interest or simply need a quick response, asking your recipient/s a question in the subject line will make that easier. Knowing you don’t have to commit a lot of time to read and response to an email will make that more inclined to quickly answer and move on.

These should help you get the answers or response you want, but don’t forget picking up the phone is a nice change of pace that could make an even bigger impact.

MarketingProfs Study

Image: Google Search – “Email Subject Line”

Chris Fuller
About Chris Fuller

For over 20 years, as a partner of thinkdm2, a digital branding and marketing agency, I have helped simplify marketing for many clients. Intelligent Systems can be quite complicated, and marketing them even more so. I enjoy making the complex simple. My blog, Simplexity, is an attempt to put my experience to use for Intelligent Systems Marketers.

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