How to get your customers to open email from you


Photo Credit & designer: Luke6040 Robin Lumley

The way you get your customers to open your email is with the SUBJECT LINE. The secret to a great subject line? There are 7 elements in the best subject lines. When you combine them, you can often get even better results.

1) Self-Interest
Self-interest headlines speak directly to some need or desire of your customer—what they will get if they open the email. Of all 7 elements, this is the GO-TO approach. Use it most frequently because it gives best results most consistently. You are in effect pre-qualifying the people who should open the email. Deliver on the promise you make in the headline.

Example: “The easy way to add 17% to your bottom line”

2) Curiosity
This headline type succeeds not by promising a direct benefit, but by piquing curiosity. The problem is, what you think will arouse curiosity can easily cause confusion or boredom. Use this sparingly.

Example: “Weird traffic test”

3) Offer
Like free stuff?  Like buying things? So does your email list. When you are giving something away or selling something your subscribers would be interested in, state it directly in your subject line.

Example: “A free gift for you…”

4) Urgency/Scarcity
This is the most powerful type of subject line you have at your disposal. People hate missing out. Subject lines that communicate urgency and scarcity tell readers they must act now. Too many of these can lead to list exhaustion so use sparingly and, of course, only when there is truly a deadline, limited quantity or limited availability.

Example: “Doors close Friday at midnight!”

5) News
Keeping your audience informed about new developments in your field builds authority and keeps your open rates high. These subject lines often work well when combined with a curiosity element.

Example: “New Google update HELPS you, if…”

6) Social Proof
A fundamental characteristic of humans is that we look to the behavior of others when making decisions. You can leverage this in your email subject lines by mentioning individual’s success stories, familiar names, or highlighting how many people are already using a product or service.

Example: “How this twitter guru got 22,316 followers—in a week”

7) Human Story 
Beginning a story, thanking and appreciating people or telling the story of how something exciting happened makes the reader want to find out what happened at the end. It’s an ancient human impulse.

Example: “How Karen, 7, saved a life…”

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