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How to write amazing email subject lines that boost open rates + FREE bonus examples

When was the last time you read an email from an unknown name? Do us a favour and march straight to your email inbox & just check how many emails would you actually open out of the first 10 simply by looking at the subject lines? Get your emails out of the unread zone to better open rates with just a few simple tweaks to your emails. 

Subject lines might seem to be a very small part of your message but are the MOST IMPORTANT element! 

  1. Subject lines are the first block to someone opening your emails. Write poorly and no one will ever open them
  2. They are an email marketer’s golden ticket to stand out of the crowd
  3. They bear the first impression you would have on your email recipients
  4. Will either be the bottleneck for your email marketing campaign or the cornerstone for high open rates - all depends upon how you write them

BUT - It can become difficult & uncertain whether your email copy will do the job for you & help you deliver conversions or not. Writing a good email copy is not a top notch secret known only to industry professionals. The key lies in simplicity, elegance & usage of compelling words! So, do you also want your emails to be opened, read & converted? Keep reading for some tried and tested tips from Knorish’s email marketing experts.

Step back - Get the fundamentals right first!

Before we even get into the nitty-gritty of writing good subject line copies and share some premium copy templates, let’s first understand the basic fundamentals that make the foundation for good high-converting subject lines.

Focus on a single audience

No two email subscribers can be exactly the same! Before you even think of growing your online business with the power of email marketing, you need to first identify your buyer persona. In simpler terms, every service/ product will always have a specific target audience. You must do intensive research to understand your target audience.

How do I do it?

Start by following a basic format as given below, and list out your target audience, their interests, likes, desires as well as what they aspire to achieve.

Target Audience/ Customer 
Background Job Title (s), life stage, career path, family, education etc. 
Demographics Sex, age, location, income, languages spoken, language preferred, etc. 
Interests Hobbies, brands they interact with online, special interests or groups they interact with etc. 
Social media groups active on How active are they in those groups, which ones are the most they interact with the most? 
Spending Capacity find out what are their liabilities? What pricing would they be comfortable spending money online to learn a new skill?
Challenges What are the core pain points/ challenges they face in their daily lives? How is your business solving that?
Goals and Aspirations What are their goals and aspirations? What do they hope to achieve with your product/ service? 
Day in Their Life What is their daily schedule? when are they most active online? When do they check their emails? When do they watch YouTube? Be as detailed as possible and list maximum information  

Once you get a hang of it, you can keep on increasing the details in the outlay and be more specific with the target audience that you plan to lock down your eyes on. 

Focus on ONE goal

Okay, now that you have identified the target audience you would want to attack with the intelligent email copy you are just about to write, you need to now understand what motive/ aim you want to reach out to them. A few of such priorities include:

  • Promotion for your brand - Building awareness
  • Increasing engagement via some valuable
  • Discount/ limited time offer announcement
  • Product/service promotion & launch
  • Conversion/Lead generation for your existing product/service

Find out the aim you wish to achieve and boil down to writing the email copy with the same plan in mind and see how your open rates will boost up. 

Why? Showing content to the right people with the right aim to achieve will make sure that people are not simply ignoring your message and actually open the mail!

Make it ‘enticing’, BUT KEEP IT SIMPLE

Sounds complicated? But it's a lot simpler than it sounds! 

What we mean here in simpler terms is don’t make the copy boring enough to be lost in the crowd, at the same time - it should also not be so technical that the reader gets scared/ annoyed by the jargon and deliberately ignores it.

So make sure that your next email copy fits the simple & technical balance square perfectly to give you the desired results you’ve been yearning for so long.

Get someone else to read it

One of the biggest & the most basic mistakes made by most marketers out there is that they fall in love with their jargon and keywords, forgetting that their audience doesn’t quite have the temperament & expertise to interpret the language they have written. Hence, failing to deliver the message. Showing your messaging to someone for a third opinion will definitely help you explore a lot of dimensions where others like them might struggle & then improve your copy!

A/B test the subject lines

THE ONLY WAY to analyze which copy will work or not is to A/B test multiple versions of the various copy drafts you have created for your messaging! Find a suitable campaign monitor and start testing your email campaigns at the click of a button. 

How will this help you?  

Not only will this make your email campaigns more effective, but also give you quite some insights to understand what kind of messaging will work the best for your audience.

Next step: Copywriting strategies & best practices that you SHOULD follow

Okay, now that you have understood the basic fundamentals behind writing great email subject line copies, here's how to write no-nonsense email subject lines

DISCLAIMER: Before you even begin reading, make sure you are adapting these strategies in combination with the fundamentals we just spoke of if you wish to reap the true benefits of your hard work! (Saying it twice because we know a lot of people will neglect them)

  1. [Most important] Keep it CONCISE - SHORT - SWEET

    When you write long subject lines for your emails, 2 things happen:

    1. Subject lines more than 50 characters get truncated
    2. Long subject lines = Emails not getting opened

    Studies suggest that usage of longer sentences decrease the open rate because the email subscribers will associate them with a series of emails and consider them spam. If you are struggling to keep the email subject lines short, start by building a list of single-usage words that you can replace with longer words so as to reduce the monotony in your copy.

  2. Don’t make false promises

    Click baits work well at a lot of places but NOT IN EMAIL COPYWRITING! When you are writing copy for your email subscribers, you are giving them a promise irrespective of the aim with which you are writing to them.

    False promises mean your audience will not get what they opened the mail for, very enthusiastically. Hence, they will get annoyed and pestered & will end up unsubscribing from your mailer list.

  3. Start creating urgency & curiosity in your messaging
    Your copywriting game should be strong here. Start using words that curiosity, if not urgency in your messaging and compel the email subscribers to take action & deliver what you want them to!

    Examples of sentences/ phrases/ words that create curiosity in the users:

    "You are about to benefit from this mail" 
    "Did you download our free premium giveaway"
    "How to write no-nonsense email subject lines"
    ^You see what we did there? You little genius, you ;)

    Examples of sentences/ phrases/ words that create urgency:

    “Limited time offer”
    “Ends today”
    “Only for the first 50 signups"
    “Final discount bell”
    “You are about to miss what people crave”

    Start incorporating these words in your copy and see the difference in the open rates. However, make sure you use them sparingly, too much obscure content & you could end up being seen as SPAM
  4. Make people feel special & create a sense of importance

    Doesn’t it feel nice when something is offered to us in exclusivity? The entire psychological aspect of exclusivity is so powerful, yet a lot of people do not put it to good use! We will make sure you don’t make the same mistake too!

    Using the right words can make your recipients feel special. Following are some examples of how you can also incite exclusivity in the minds of your emails subscribers:

    “Exclusive for premium members”
    “You are invited for our webinar”
    “For our loyal customers only”
  5. Attack them with compelling questions 

    Asking questions in the subject lines arises a lot of curiosity in the minds of the readers. All this curiosity augments when you are asking the right questions to the right audience( That’s why understanding the aim of your messaging & identifying your target audience in the first place BECOMES EXTREMELY CRUCIAL)

    Following are some of the examples you can incorporate in your email subject lines:

    • Are you making these mistakes in your career?
    • Have you started using these hacks on your website?
    • Got 2 minutes? This might just change your life...

Wrapping it up with examples of some catchy subject lines

AS PROMISED, here are examples of some catchy subject lines handpicked ONLY for you to take inspiration from:
  • “Learn more about the Art of {domain} today@7 PM” - Webinar Invites
  • “You're invited | Masterclass on how to build and grow a successful online business” - Masterclass Invite
  • {First Name} this just came for you... - High value content share
  • Are you paying attention? This is amazing!

You see, when it comes to email marketing, either it is a yes or a no. You need to be extremely precise with your subject lines & copywriting strategies, otherwise, you will always find your ball in the negative side of the room, continuously dropping your open rate. 

That’s it from our end today, hope you gained some valuable insights that you would implement in your business. Looking forward to seeing you soon! 

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