Email subject lines can make or break an email marketing campaign. Read on for our dos and don’ts for creating an effective subject line.

Email marketing is an unquestionably effective content marketing tactic for B2B businesses. But too often, marketers lose out on potential benefits by focusing too much on internal details while overlooking the importance of the subject line.

It may seem silly, but think about it: When you see an email pop up in your inbox, how do you decide whether or not to open it? If you’re like 47% of all email recipients, you decide to open it based on the subject line alone. And furthermore, if you’re like a whopping 69% of email recipients, you report it as spam purely based on the subject line.

47% of all email recipients decide to open email based on the subject line alone. And if you’re like a whopping 69% of email recipients, you report it as spam purely based on the subject line. Click To Tweet

Here are some email subject line dos and don’ts.

7 email subject line dos and don’ts

1. Do: be specific; Don’t: be vague

It’s tempting to think that the mystery of a vague subject line will pique the interest of the recipient. But think again. An overly vague teaser is simply annoying and uninteresting. Make sure that the subject line gives an accurate preview of what recipients will find when they open the email.

2. Don’t: send incessant reminders

While it’s great to stay in the forefront of your prospects’ minds, sending too many reminders about the same subject or offer is just plain annoying. Not only that, if your audience doesn’t mark you as spam, their email system might automatically do so anyway.

3. Do: send regular messages at strategic times

It’s true that constant reminders are not your friend — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be sending out regular messages to the various segments of your email list. Just make sure your subject lines show variation based on the content, or else your recipients will think they’re receiving the same message over and over again.

4. Don’t: Use all capital letters

If you’re sending someone a message in all capitals, it’s the equivalent of yelling at them. Too many marketers think that the caps-lock is a sure way to capture a reader’s attention. In fact, it’s much more likely that they will send you straight to the trash.

5. Do: Personalize

Personalizing marketing emails increases open rates, click-throughs, and revenue. But it’s not as simple as just addressing recipients by name. We’ve written in detail about how to personalize marketing emails, but suffice it to say that personalized subject lines mean that users are 22% more likely to open your emails. The more information you track in your email database, the easier it will be to target your emails to your readers, making them feel that they are being personally addressed.

6. Don’t: Be sloppy

You’d be surprised how often people make these 5 email subject line mistakes. For example, misspellings, poor grammar, and excessive use of punctuation can make your open rates plummet. Check out our list — and don’t fall into the trap!

7. Do: Use Psychology

If you’re not up on the latest internet jargon, we’ve got one for you: FOMO, the “fear of missing out,” can be a powerful motivator of user behavior. While vague subject lines won’t work, using phrases like “last day to enter…” or “don’t miss out…” make your readers more likely to open your emails, simply because of FOMO.

A bad email subject line is a sure way to cripple otherwise well-thought-out email marketing tactics. But a good subject line can boost engagement, increase open and click-through rates, and spell more conversions.

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