“Email Subject Lines: 15 Rules to Write Them Right” on the LyrisHQ blog offers some tips that can help even with your routine client communications.
For starters, remember that “Fifty characters could be all that stands between you and success in your next email campaign.”
Why? Because our reader will probably see only 50 characters–that’s about eight words–of your subject line before deciding whether to read your email or delete it.
Here are four particularly useful rules from the LyrisHQ blog post.
Rule 1. Read the newspaper.
Modeling your subject lines on newspaper headlines is another good suggestion. Newspaper headlines get to the point fast. They’re also good at pushing readers’ hot buttons.
Rule 5: List key info first.
If you’re making a request, use an action verb. For example, if you’re asking a client to send you something, start your subject line with “Please send.”
Rule 7: Personalize.
If I really want to get a response from Jane, I might start my subject line, “Jane, can you….” That way she knows my email is directed specifically to her.
Rule 15. Can you pass the must-open/must-read test?
People’s email in-boxes are jammed. You’ve got to give them a compelling reason to open your email.
You may find the other 11 rules of interest if you’re sending an email newsletter or selling something using email.
July 2014 update: The blog post I referred on the LyrisHQ blog is no longer available.