Subject lines are a make-it or break-it element of email marketing. The average inbox sees more than 100 emails per day. How do people decide what they’re going to open and what they’re going to immediately delete? A compelling email subject line. Keep reading to learn how to make your best first impression when it comes to email.
1. Keep it short and sweet.
This is long-standing advice that never really changes. Many people open emails on a mobile device that cuts off lengthy subject lines (most mobile views show less than 45 characters of a subject line). A Marketo study found that the highest average click-to-open rate (CTOR) happened with seven-word subject lines.
2. Place the most important words at the beginning.
Since most people read email on their smartphone, it’s important to put the most important information at the beginning. Otherwise, compelling details could get cut off.
3. Eliminate filler words.
With such precious space, don’t waste it with unnecessary words like “hello,” “nice to meet you,” and “thanks,” which can easily be included in the email’s body.
4. Don’t shout at people using subject lines.
Using all caps to grab attention can be annoying and can even get your firm flagged as spam. All caps should never be used, and you should test which case – sentence, title, or lower – resonates best with your readers.
5. Convey a sense of urgency.
If time is a factor, use phrases like the following in your email subject lines: Act Now! Limited Time Offer! Your Last Chance!
6. Pique curiosity.
Asking a question in the subject line is a good way to do this. What’s the first thing to do if you’re in an auto accident? Do you really need uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage?
7. Include numbers.
Experts say that our brains are attracted to numbers because they help us to organize information in a logical way. Research has shown that small, odd-numbered digits are more compelling to us.
8. Stand out in the inbox with emojis.
Over the past decade, there has been conflicting research on using emojis in email subject lines. Some analyses have said they can prompt a higher open rate, but other studies say they can have a negative effect. Before including them, make sure they’re relevant and add to your message rather than a distraction. If you choose to include them, place them at the end or in the preview text. Most importantly, test! You never know if they’ll work for your firm and your particular emails unless you try – but make informed decisions by testing and then optimizing.
9. Use logical keywords for search and filtering.
Most professionals have filters and folders set up to manage their email and probably won’t focus on your message when they first see it. That’s why it’s important to include keywords related to the topic of the email that will make it searchable later.
10. Use preview text in a smart way.
If your email subject line is concise, you can really use the pre-header or preview text to your advantage. For example, your subject line might only have about 25 characters, but the preview text that will display along with it can be just as impactful at 68 characters. It’s important not to just repeat the subject line, though. Add an explanation or highlight details about the email that the subject line didn’t reveal. Grab attention with the subject line and then use the preview text to further convince.
It’s up to you to constantly test and optimize in order to develop your smartest email subject lines. However, keeping these best practices in mind will provide a good head start when creating high-performing subject lines.
If you need assistance with your law firm’s email marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can help you increase the return on investment (ROI) of your email efforts.