SECRETS OF THE EMAIL SUBJECT LINE
Importance of Subject Lines for Emails received via Mobile Devices
Consumer shopping habits are no longer predefined or linear but we are noticing some popular trends. Some people browse on their mobile phones and buy in-store. The tendency towards online shopping and the % of people who check their Email via a mobile device, tablet or wearable is increasing quickly. Skyrocketing really! With Konversation Email Campaign software, we have templates that are responsive design orientated and hence adapt to the device.
The ordinary user now may add items to their carts on their work computers but buy at home on their tablets. Some people research products online and then visit a store to see the merchandise in person before buying while others research in stores but buy online. There is no one direct sales path. But, there is also no denying that mobile shopping is on the rise!
- Over 50% of online retail website traffic comes from smartphones and tablets
- Over 50% of Emails are checked also via mobile devices
So what does this mean?
As marketers and service providers, we must tailor our content to these users, the new majority, the millennials.
Writing Subject Lines for Mobile Devices: What You Need to Know
In this article, I’d like to discuss with you a bit about subject lines for mobile devices, how do they differ? Well, let’s keep in mind subject lines are truly the first point of contact with clients, consumers, customers and prospective clients. It’s the first impression and sometimes the only chance you are going to get to catch the attention of your target audience.
I’ve seen so many times generic subject lines with little “twang” faction, Newsletters named the same thing each week. But let’s face it, Subject lines (i.e. the title of the Email in your inbox) are the first things the recipient sees and it determines whether or not the email gets opened so the importance of the subject line can’t be over-stated!
When a customer signs up for your Email Campaigns, you want a subject line that is both descriptive, memorable and carry a sense of urgency to get a ‘foot in the door’ with the person. Millenials value brand authenticity, so the devil really is in the details.
- The iPhone will only show about 35-38 characters in portrait mode but 80 in landscape mode.
- The Galaxy S4 shows slightly fewer characters – about 33 in portrait mode and 72 in landscape.
- An iPad will show 39 characters regardless of the orientation while the
- iPhone 6+ shows up to 63.
A subject line in portrait (mobile) format may look like this in Gmail:
A subject line in landscape mode (tablet) format may look like this in Gmail:
- Another thing to keep mind is Email spam filters may block your message if there are too many “sales” keywords in the subject line itself. While offering something for Free in your message is a must-do, avoid placing it in the subject-line so you won’t be labeled as potential spam.
With Konversation, you can preview and test your Newsletters and Campaigns before sending them out, and view them on your devices to make sure you know what you are doing. Rigorous A/B testing is essential to send Campaigns that look just right completey adapted to the segment of your contact list that you are targetting.
Golden Mean of Subject Line Character Length & Secrets of the Trade
Our advice on subject lines, is to keep it to 35 characters, that is adaptable to whatever device. Keeping your main message to 5 to 6 words that is, is good practice.
- Avoid subject lines that are too long
- Put the most enticing part of the message first
- Adjust small text in your message so that it’s readable on mobile devices (test this out).
- Avoid characters in red (not viewable on most devices)
- If you have buttons in your message, make them big enough for thumbs (no kidding!)
- Create a sense of urgency without sounding too generically like Sales/Spam
- Test rigorously your subject lines and message on every device you have access to until you are truly satisfied with the quality, layout and maximum infuence.
- Implement responsive design emails even if your site isn’t responsive yet, as you will increase your reach.
- Choose a familiar name the recipent knows. In many mobile inbox providers (e.g. Gmail, Outlook and Apple Mail) the sender’s name is given precedence over the subject line.
- There is some evidence (research from Mailer Mailer published back in 2012 showed that four to 15 character subject lines have the highest open rates.) that very short subject lines do well. You can expect 70% of opens to occur in the first 16 hours. Experment with very short subject lines with your target audience.
- Try a scheduled Sunday mailout and see if at midnight it provides high open and click rates. The above study suggests that it does or can.
- As a rule, avoid the words: “free”, “sale” and “discount”. These types of words are not only associated with spam by the receiver, but also trigger the spam filters of most email portals. Google for example are quite good at filtering out spam messages. That’s why your Gmail inbox is so clutter free. So unless you want your email not even making it to the receiver, try and avoid subject lines that sound spammy or crying for attention in any way.
- Refrain from whatever temptation you may have to WRITE IN CAPS. It’s annoying and usually won’t be tolerated in inboxes.
- If your software supports it, use a personalized subject line. Making a subject line personal, makes the message appeal to us and makes us feel special and like we are being addressed in person. Konversation includes this feature its campaign features.
- Incite keyword subject lines, are brief ambiguous one or two word subject lines that are hinted at extremely high open-rates. Such as,
For intance, in a study by Contact Monkey that took a look at 30 million emails, short subject lines can really improve open rates. The study found that a subject line with two words or less can result in an 80% open rate. Furthermore, subject lines “Update,” “Intro,” “Re:” and “Fwd” helped achieve an open rate of 90%. Sometimes, mystery is better than urgency or descriptive professional sounding subjet lines. However, depending on your industry this tactic clearly isn’t always appropriate.
- Try this as an experiment, include multiple topics in a single Email Subject line, e.g.
This gives the atmosphere of choice, so while one may not appeal to the reader, the other related topic might
I hope you have found these tips and guide helpful,
The bottom line is to get the max ROI on your Email Campaigns, Promotions and Newsletters, they should be responsive (adapted to device). The click-through rates show huge increases. As Mobile sales continues to increase, having content that is visual, e.g. infographics, videos, audio podcasts from hosted material on soundcloud is recommended. We will be continuing this topic in other editions of the blog, so stay tuned.