Affiliate Marketing & Programs

Five tips for great email subject lines


When you’re launching your first affiliate marketing email campaign, you’re going to want to do everything you can to get your audience to open your emails and click on your affiliate link.

But that’s easier said than done. It’s a crowded marketplace and your potential buyers have lots of other marketers fighting for their attention.
The best way to break through the clutter is to differentiate yourself. And when you make a promise of great content in your subject line, your audience will be able to see exactly what they can gain by opening your email and checking out your content.

Want to see your open rates trending higher by the end of the week? Follow these five subject line tips.

1. Hook them in. When you’re a good communicator, you’ll have a clear subject line that reveals what your email is about.
Give your readers a reason to open your messages. Tell them what they’ll learn. Or you can tease them with benefits.
Here are a couple of examples of subject lines that work:
- How to improve conversions by 30%
- Do this and you’ll get more natural search traffic to your site
Just don’t tell them the whole story. Then you won’t be giving your readers an incentive to open your messages.

2. Keep it short. Your subject line should never be a long sentence. Keep it short and simple. many email clients, such as AOL and Hotmail, truncate long subject lines around 50 characters. Some other clients truncate at 80 characters.

Eighty characters isn’t much. In fact, it’s less than a 14-character tweet. Practice writing subject lines that are punchy, short and sweet. Not only will you improve your emails, you’ll also improve your writing.

Here are two examples:

- Learn how to manage your dog walking business
- A terrific opportunity for freelance writers

3. Stay on topic. If your list consists of people interested in dog training, don’t start sending them offers for cats or tropical fish. If those subscribers wanted cats or tropical fish, they would have gone to your other sites.

This is a challenge that every email marketer faces … how far is too far off topic.

However, if you keep crossing this line, you will dilute the quality of your list. Make sure you and your readers know what your site, and your brand, are about. Use the list you’ve built on your site to recommend offers that are highly relevant to your niche. Staying on topic will increase your open rates. It will also reduce the possibility that a reader will unsubscribe because you didn’t meet their expectations.

4. Don’t trick people. You can drive people crazy with tricks and anticipation. But your  readers get so many tricks they quickly grow to resent the emails that come promising riches only to contain a marketing message. You should always pique your reader’s curiosity. Just make sure your email’s content delivers on the promise contained in the subject line.

5. Say something. I’m sure you’ve seen subject lines that use words, but don’t say anything. Make sure you say something interesting in your subject line. Highlight a benefit. Suggest a quick and easy way to do something. You can even serialize your emails if it’s relevant to your business and the content of your emails.

Here are a few good examples:

- How to find the best German Shepherd training resources
- Enjoy the Kentucky Derby – Place your bets online
- Work from Home Digest April 13, 2011

If you take a minute to review Mail Chimp’s study of open rates, you might be surprised to find that serialized subject lines outperform other styles of subject lines by as much as 400 percent.

In closing, it’s important to remember that your email subject line isn’t everything. You’ll still have to get your readers to click through your offers and convert. But without a great subject line that inspires them to open their email, you’ve got no chance of getting that valuable click.

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2 Responses to Five tips for great email subject lines

  1. April 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Good post I wish you had a few line breaks in there so it was easier to read. Thanks for the information.

    • Arjun April 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks Lisa! just a small bug in the system with the line breaks. It’ll be fixed in just a few minutes :)

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