Writing relevant email headlines are crucial for getting people to read what you have to say. Get these wrong and your open rates will be very poor indeed. People need to open your emails to read and gain value from what’s inside. So, here are seven tips to help you to come up with powerful and effective email headlines…

Tip #1: Keep the line length short. I’ve played around with subject line length and have concluded that the longer they are the less effective they become when it comes to email open rates.

Here’s what I’ve found: the ideal subject line length is between two and five words. Five words are at the top end of subject line length. If at all possible, use four words rather than five as that tends to be more effective.

In fact, a subject line length of just two words is often the most effective in boosting email open rates.

Tip #2: Use lowercase instead of capitals. This might seem rather strange, but it seems that when you use Capital Letters in the subject line, a number of readers will simply scan over it.

Online, most people are in a rush and therefore have very short attention spans. But for some reason, subject lines that don’t begin with a capital letter or are completely lowercase, get opened more frequently.

Tip #3: Use EMPHASIS. Use this every so often. CAPITALIZE completely one word in the subject line. This adds stress or emphasis to the message you want to the recipient to read.

An example is: how to SUCCEED with…

This technique works, so use it when the opportunity arises.

Tip #4: Ask a question. Whenever people see a question mark in the email headline in their email application they tend to read the subject line more than once.

We humans take more notice of questions being asked verbally and we will respond. The same occurs with email questions.

An example is: do you want XYZ?

Questions usually require responses.

Tip #5: Use a number whenever possible. The use of numbers in article headlines is a well-known way to increase interest in readers and therefore the read rate. The same applies to email subject lines.

As with articles, use odd numbers rather than even numbers. It’s a psychological thing which has been shown to work for many years by marketers. People reading subject lines giving a number of ideas or tips for solutions to their problems usually open and read those emails.

An example is: 7 ways to…

Tip #6: Use emojis to add personality. The use of friendly emojis often draws attention and consequently get your emails opened.

This new technology can be beneficial, but it can also be harmful if not used properly. Emojis are not suitable for every kind of business but can be useful for B2B communication between you and a client that you know very well.

Pick the right emoji for a particular email. The image must make sense for your business, be placed in the context of the content that is sent and should never exaggerate. Following this path, you will draw a positive image and boost your email open rate.

Tip #7: Use the recipient’s first name in the subject line. This tip is probably the most important. Simply by adding the recipient’s first name in the subject line will skyrocket the open rate.

When people see their first name in an email subject line they will read the headline more than once. Only if they are interested will they will open the email.

If you use an email service provider for your email campaigns you will get to know the shortcode to use for the recipient’s first name. You would have got the recipient’s first name from your ‘sign-up form’ on a squeeze page or elsewhere. That way you can substitute the shortcode for the first name of the recipient in each email you write.

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