The Importance of Email Subject Lines: Opened, Deleted, or Spammed – Lyris
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Opened, Deleted, or Spammed: The Importance of Email
By Lyris Marketing Team
There are three key elements of an email that determines if readers will open it,
delete it, or mark it as spam before they view the full message:
1. Sender line
2. Subject line
In this blog, I am going to focus on subject lines.
First you have to ask yourself why subject lines are so important
in getting your message across. The subject line of an email is
important because this is the rst hint as to what your message is
about; it can also target and spark interest in readers you are trying
to engage with.
Getting the subject line just right can be very challenging as there
are a lot of rules you need to adhere to. Your subject line not only
needs to grab a reader’s attention, but it also needs to follow best
practices. Otherwise, your subject line can lead to your entire email
not getting delivered.
Let’s have a look at common best practices associated with email subject lines:
Your subject line should be no longer than 40 – 50 characters
Shorter subject lines have been proven to have higher open rates than longer ones. Keep in mind that most Internet
Service Providers (ISPs) sometimes shorten the subject line preview, so it is important to ensure you get your
message across e ectively within this limit.
Avoid spam words like free, guarantee, act now…
If used in the past, these words would almost certainly get your email spammed, but now ISPs are relying a lot less
upon certain words and focusing more on the content. However, it’s still recommended that you not use these words
as there is a possibility of your email not getting delivered as a result.
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Avoid using UPPERCASE letters when possible.
Using uppercase letters isn’t the most e ective way for getting a message across or driving urgency; rather, it gives
the reader the impression that you’re shouting. This is counterproductive as most readers will normally delete the
email instantly. In addition, avoid over-punctuating (!!!,???) as it signals anxiousness to your readers.
Avoid excessive use of special characters, e.g. $$, %%.
Using a special character in a subject line can trigger spam lters, so it’s not recommended. Describing the message
with words instead of symbols is an e ective way to avoid the issue.
Avoid misleading or incomplete subject lines.
Make sure your subject line matches your content closely. Further, try not to deceive the reader with false promises.
This is a sure way to get your message spammed by the reader directly. This is also true for incomplete subject lines
as the reader shouldn’t have to guess what you are trying to say.
Now that I have highlighted some best practices, let’s take a look at di erent ways of engaging your audience through
the subject line:
Make it compelling.
Your email subject line is the rst call-to-action (CTA) of your message. Getting your reader to open the message is
the precursor to all other CTAs in your email. To achieve this, it is advisable for you to use words that create a feeling
of excitement or urgency when the subject line is read.
Make it personal.
Personalization – if used correctly – is a great way of engaging directly with readers. It makes them feel special and
unique compared to using one subject line to address an entire audience.
Make it simple and clear.
As the sender of an email message, you are aware of the content and what actions you are trying to get the reader
to take. However, does your subject line re ect this? Many marketers try to say too much in the subject line, which
results in it being too long or too general. Best practice here is to be as clear and honest as possible without losing the
message you are trying to get across.