Email Marketing Best Practices: Subject Lines

When it comes to email marketing, it’s definitely a matter of quality over quantity. Luckily, many of the features offered by marketing automation systems – CRM integration, behavior-based triggers, etc. – have allowed businesses to send high-quality emails that are more relevant and timely to their targeted audience than ever before. But whether said audience ever receives this valuable information all comes down to one thing – your subject line. So stop and think before you write this little line of text, and consider these three pointers on subject lines.

Consider the stage of your lead.
Have a goal in mind when you reach out to leads in each stage of the lead nurturing process and make sure that you are being conscious of their particular situation at that stage. For instance, you may want to avoid including keywords or branding in subject lines for first-stage leads. Remember that these leads have yet to realize that they have a problem for which your product would be the perfect solution, so if you send them an email titled, “You need [product they’ve never heard of] to fix [problem they don’t know they have]”…well, your email is in the trash before they can finish the subject line. Instead, stick to common language and generalized topics that your audience can relate to (think along the lines of, “Three ways to improve your lead management”).

Include dynamic content.
Yes, even in your subject line. The beauty of marketing automation is that you have more information about a leads’ specific needs than ever before, and you are able to send them content that reflects that. But what good does that do, if your lead never opens the email? So include dynamic content in your subject lines by adding double percent signs and dropping in a variable field ( %%variable field%% ).

Learn from others.
The best thing about finding effective subject lines is that, every single day, you are emailed multiple examples that are tested on a real subject – you. How many emails do you receive in your inbox that you instantly send to the trash? Which ones do you open? More than likely, you respond best to the ones that seem more human, and less like generic advertisements. But what keywords do these subject lines include that make an email seem more personal? Start being conscious of what emails grab your attention and why.

We’d love to hear your input. What are some other best practices for writing subject lines that you’ve found as a B2B marketer? Please feel free to share in our comments section.