#FAC | 4 Tips for Writing Killer Subject Lines

Tagged in : Content Strategy Friday After Class

How do you keep your emails from going straight to the virtual trashcan? In this week’s episode of Friday After Class, I’ll give you 4 tips for writing a killer subject line.

Our inboxes are jam packed with messages from companies and organizations competing for our attention. When emailing prospective students, you have to write great subject lines to make it through the clutter. Here are four tips.

Tip 1: Be short and compelling.

Your subject line is your elevator pitch – in a really crowded elevator. Grab your reader’s attention with a subject line that’s short and to the point. A good rule of thumb is 50 characters or less. Tell readers what they’re going to get when they open the email, and use segmentation to your benefit. When you know a prospect’s needs and interests, you can write your subject line to speak directly to them.

Tip 2: Avoid overused words and phrases.

Apply now. Click here. Free. These words and phrases get used all the time in email subject lines. Use them in an email and instead of catching your reader’s attention, your message will probably get deleted. If you want to stay out of your reader’s spam folder, resist the temptation to use excessive punctuation, especially exclamation points, and avoid capitalizing every word in your subject line.

Tip 3: Personalize your message.

Research shows that personalized subject lines get the best open rates. One easy way to personalize is adding your recipient’s name to your subject line. You can also update the ‘from’ field to give your email a personal touch. An email from your dean of admissions that addresses a student by name is far more personal and inviting than an email with no clear sender or recipient.

And finally…

Tip 4: Optimize for mobile.

More than half of all emails are opened on a mobile device. When writing your subject line, shorter is better. Say your subject line is 48 characters. A prospective student who opens your email on a laptop will be able to see the full subject line, but a student who opens your email on an iPhone might only see 35 characters. For mobile, the rule of thumb is 20 to 40 characters. Include your most important words first and try to be as brief as possible to maximize your open rates.

Thanks for joining us for Friday After Class.

4 Days. 18 Sessions. More ideas than we can count.

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