How Do I Choose My Newsletter Subject Line?

You chose an advanced, sophisticated email platform, took the time to plan a series of quality, interesting and professional newsletters, made sure the design was eye-catching yet tasteful, and even decided to throw in a special offer to the mix for your registered customers.

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Now you’re waiting for the statistics to roll in and… surprise! Your open rates are much lower than you expected, and you have no idea where you went wrong.

Newsletter title

Successful Newsletters Begin With Winning Titles

Always assume that your customers are just as busy as you are; just like you, they are flooded with newsletters and marketing emails on a daily basis.

When it comes time to tackle their inbox, they quickly scan their emails with their index finger ready and waiting, eager to click the delete button. You only have a few short seconds to grab their attention – and this is where your newsletter title comes into play.

A winning title is nothing but a teaser, hinting about the newsletter’s topic, attracting your customers’ attention and hopefully leading them to open your newsletter and continue reading.

Which types of titles make customers want to read on?

A few parameters, especially when combined, turn a boring title into one that attracts attention: an appeal to the reader’s interest, the hint of a simple, quick solution, and lastly, curiosity.

For example, the title, “Not Enough Hours in the Day? 5 Golden Rules to Gain More Time” incorporates all three of the parameters into one title – it appeals to the interest of any reader that is busy (let’s face it, that’s all of us), gives the feeling that the reader’s problem will be solved with the click of the button, and stirs curiosity. Therefore, this is a winning title.

On the other hand, the title, “How to Deal with a Busy Schedule” will most likely result in less-promising results.

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Tips for Choosing the Best Newsletter Title

1. Keep it short and sweet – the winning title should be read and understood quickly, without the reader having to put an effort into it. 

2. Avoid excess creativity- a title that has double meaning, or one that takes a prolonged thought to understand is less effective. After all, you only have the reader’s attention for a few seconds!

3. A newsletter title has to hint at the content of the newsletter. What is the newsletter subject, is it about weight loss strategies? Does it invite the readers to a related workshop? Mention this in the title! When you’re brainstorming title ideas, think about your readers and how you can make them feel that the content of the newsletter is directed at them.

Take the following title as an example: “Fighting for each and every customer? Learn how to increase your customer database even during a recession.” If the readers tell themselves, “this is exactly what I’m dealing with now” or “that is exactly what my goal is”, then your work is done.

4. Words related to current events always attract a lot of attention, so take advantage of this in your titles. Using words such as recession, elections, etc. will work wonders for your open rates.

5. Include a call for action, but avoid an exaggerated sense of urgency that might deter your recipients. For example, “Sign up today!!!!” is exaggerated urgency.

6. Avoid writing titles that look like spam- it is long gone since people are opening viruses that sneak into their mail box,  we’ve all developed a sixth sense for spam!

7. Try out a few different titles and check to see which ones yielded higher open rates and which ones were less successful. This way you can analyze what works best on the recipients in your mailing list. With ActiveTrail’s platform you can do just that with AB testing. It allows you to send different versions of a newsletter, each with minor differences, and to subsequently analyze the results.

Sound like a lot of work? True, it might take just as much time to perfect the title as it does to write the content of the newsletter itself, but that’s more than okay. After all, the goal isn’t to send as much mail as possible, but rather to increase your customer circle.

If you miss a potential customer all because your newsletter title didn’t draw him in, then you’re not living up to your full potential as an email marketer, and you most likely will not reach your goal.

After you finish writing your brilliant title, you’ll need to choose whom you want to send your newsletter to, and how to categorize your mailing list- Learn how to split up your mailing list into relevant groups of recipients

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