5 Tips for Writing the Best Email Headlines Ever

by Andy Coffaro



You’re probably aware that one of the best ways to nurture your leads is through engaging, compelling, and enlightening email newsletters. There are best practices you should employ when sending them out, including using fun and casual language and providing one-click unsubscribe links at the bottom.

There’s only one major problem here: If your leads never open your email in the first place, then all the best practices in the world won’t matter.

The bottom line is this: When it comes to email marketing, there is nothing more important than the subject line.

A bad email subject line is like a busted doorknob. There might be all kinds of awesomeness on the other side, but it’s irrelevant if the door is never opened.

To make sure your leads walk through that door and open your emails, here are five tips and best practices you can start using today.

Remember this: More email opens equals more customers taking action, which equals a better ROI.

It’s a Mobile-First World So Keep it Short

Just how there’s a high likelihood you open emails on your phone or tablet, so too are your leads. This is even truer on the weekends when they’re likely using mobile devices while out looking at homes.

Recent studies have shown that 40% of emails are opened first on mobile devices. This is why you’ll want to use short email subject lines, otherwise it’ll get cut off on your lead’s mobile device and won’t make sense.

The basic rule of thumb is to use 50 characters or fewer. I personally use this free character count tool to make sure I don’t go over the 50-character mark.


Get Personal

Everyone likes hearing the sound of her or his own name when it comes to marketing, so why not use that to your advantage?

In the same way you might use the first names of your homebuyers and sellers to help build rapport in person, plug the name(s) of your lead(s) into email subject lines to attain more opens.


8 is Great, but 7 is Heaven

Have you ever noticed that the email subject lines you get or articles you read online often have an odd number in them? We’re talking things like “7 Ways to Lose That Gut” or “5 Wedding Locations That Won’t Break the Bank.”

Turns out the use of odd numbers that employ numerals (i.e. “7” versus “seven”) make it easier for humans to remember the items in that list.

There’s a ton of psychology behind this theory, and we bet you’ll start to notice this strategy when you read content online from now on.

It works. So make it work for you.


Tell Them What’s on the Other Side of the Door

Let’s think about our door analogy again.

Imagine knowing that on the other side of a door is a pot of gold, or a puppy, or a hammock and ice-cold cocktail.

Now what if you had zero clues as to what was on the other side? Would you be as compelled to turn that knob clockwise?

You have to give you leads something to get excited about, and your email subject line is the perfect place to do it.

Have a new and exciting promotion coming up? Tease it. Is there a new home on the market where previously inventory had been a ghost town? Let them know. Simply trying to wish a lead a happy birthday? Say so in the subject line.

Be direct, use concise language, and most importantly give your leads a reason to walk through that door to see what’s on the other side.


A/B Split Testing

Now that you’re using the four tips listed above, how do you know what is and isn’t working? How can you tell if email subject lines of 30 characters works better than 50? Do your readers enjoy emails that give them a comprehensive list of 11 tips, or do they prefer something a bit more digestible like 5 best practices?

There’s only one way to find out: A/B split testing.

If you aren’t familiar with A/B split testing, it’s actually really simple. Let’s say your email list has 1,000 leads in it. You write a first email subject line (A) using best practices, and then an additional one (B). These can be vastly different, or maybe you just move the lead’s name to the front of the email subject line versus the end. It’s entirely up to you.

100 people receive email subject line A. At the same time, 100 others receive email subject line B. After a set amount of time – let’s say one hour for our example – whichever email subject line was opened the most, that’s the one that the other 800 people will get.

A/B split testing is an absolute no-brainer and should be an integral part of your email marketing.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to engage your leads, built authority and trust, and even to send folks to your website. By utilizing these five best practices for email subject lines, you’ll increase the percentage of leads that get to your awesome content on the other side of that door.


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