Get More Email Opens with Subject Line Personalization

3 minute read

Upland Admin

Could bad subject lines be the reason your email campaign isn’t performing? There’s nothing worse than having great published content and well-designed emails that are being seen by no one.

Think about it like this: if no one opens your email, they still see your subject line! That’s your way in – the opportunity to build trust, gain brand recognition, and even open the door to more subscriptions and sales. Check out these tips for personalizing your subject lines to drive higher open rates and increase engagement.
1. Use urgency and personalization. Your subject lines will always perform better when you create a sense of urgency or include personalization. But you’ll want to avoid subject lines using click-bait; it’s unappealing and will trigger SPAM filters. Instead focus on creating your subject lines based on the data you’ve obtained from your subscribers, AKA personalization.

2. Include the recipient’s name or recent content download. “Welcome Jasmine! Thanks for downloading our new app…” feels more personal than “Welcome!” What would you want your emails to say to you? Remember to keep it short and sweet.

3. Go mobile. The most recent Email Client Market Share report lists Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, and Google Android as three of the top five email clients, even when stacked against webmail and desktop clients. With email users opening 55% of all emails on mobile devices, you had better catch up with the times! Keep in mind that mobile email clients have smaller screens and therefore show less of your email subject line. If you have a significant mobile audience, it may be worth considering subject lines that are fewer than seven words

4. Use images. Don’t be afraid to use special characters and emoji in your emails. Relating imagery to your email marketing messages is a proven technique to making your message memorable. Need help doing this? Think about how your email message will feel, sound, look, taste, or smell if it suddenly became 3D (think Jumanji, but less terrifying).

5. Check out what works for your industry. The 2015 Subject Line Report offers insight into top performing email subject lines and is broken down by industry. For example, media/publishing brands see higher open rates when emails focus on generating subscriptions and page views. The report also notes that digital publishers should refrain from treating subject lines differently when sending editorial content vs. selling subscriptions.

“Often marketers and editors operate in separate ways; however, these statistics indicate that a more joined-up approach between the two departments will result in a better overall email product.”

6. Implement A/B Testing.
Don’t assume you know what works for the goose will work for the gander. Use small segments of your email recipients to test which subject line results in more opens and engagement for your audience. You can then select a winner and include the winning subject line in the final message to your subscribers.

Let’s not forget, more email opens = more revenue! Don’t wait for the perfect moment to begin changing your subject lines. With a bit of practice you’ll figure out what data you can leverage to personalize each email send and boost your engagement rates.


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