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Tips for Writing Effective Email Subject Lines for Your Small Business

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A successful email starts with a subject line that grabs the attention of your reader. Without a captivating subject line, your audience has no reason to open the email and engage with the rest of your content. In this post, you'll find tips for writing compelling subject lines to boost your small business marketing. 

Keep it short

Your audience likely receives countless emails every day. Your subject line should be short so the reader can quickly grasp the key message without losing focus or moving on to the next email. Fifty characters or less is a good rule of thumb -- longer subject lines often translate to low open rates. Your goal should be to use as few characters as possible to make your point and provide your readers with an idea of what to expect when they open the email.

Be specific

Your subject line should include specific keywords that very clearly tell your recipients what the email is about. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) give away the entire story in the subject line, but it should provide enough information so the audience knows what they will get out of reading your email and why it’s important to them -- whether it’s a discount code, exclusive content, or a new product announcement. 

The more specific you are, the more likely you are to get your content in front of the right audience. For example, readers will be much more compelled to open an email with the subject line “Double your sales in 2022” than the subject line “Improve your business this year.” 

Catch their eye

You can also make your email subject lines stand out visually using emojis and other symbols. Studies have shown that color can have a large impact on how users view emails and the feelings they get from reading them. Since a subject line doesn’t offer many options for visual customization, something as simple as an emoji can make a big difference and help your email stand out from the crowd.

Ask a question

Asking a question is a tactic you can use to capture the readers’ interest so they are compelled to open the email to discover the answer. The right question can connect you to your audience by honing in on a specific pain point or sparking their curiosity.

Make it urgent

Adding a specific timeframe in your subject lines can also improve your open rates. Consider adding phrases like “24 hours only” or “limited time offer” to make sure readers know to open your email now rather than later. Don’t overuse this strategy, but if something is truly time-sensitive, make sure to tell your recipients in the subject line. 

Include a call to action

Think about what action you want your audience to take after reading your email – do you want them to make a purchase, read a blog post or refer a friend? Once you’ve identified this goal, make sure to include it in the subject line. If you want them to open your email to purchase a discounted product, you could say something like, “Order now to save 50% on x product.” Subject lines like these quickly define the purpose of your email. 

By following these tips, you can start crafting effective email subject lines that improve your open rates. Be sure to monitor your email metrics to discover what works best to engage your audience, build brand loyalty, and ultimately boost your business. 


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