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5 Tips For Successful Subject Lines

Movio Cinema has sent over 1 billion emails in the last year, so we like to think that we know a thing or two about email best practice.

In fact, we recently published a handy ebook on this subject ‘10 Tips to become The Godfather of Email’ giving a full overview of email best practice. However, there’s one particular topic we wanted to shine the spotlight on, and that’s email subject lines.

Don’t fall at the first hurdle

Your email subject line is the first opportunity you get to grab your audience’s attention.  Therefore always pay close scrutiny to how you craft and report on the success of your subject lines. We all know that first impressions count and in loyalty marketing you need to ensure you keep your subscribers happy and engaged.

Remember that you're competing with many others in their inbox, so it’s key to stand out and become a trusted source that the recipient is happy to hear from. You want to ensure your audience doesn’t delete your message without even taking a look. If people regularly engage with your emails you’ll avoid landing in the dreaded spam folder. We covered the issue of email deliverability in out blog ‘3 keys to email deliverability success’ where you can find tips to make sure you don’t miss out on those precious clicks.

Boost your open rate

There are a few different strategies you can apply to your subject line to improve its open rate. Writing a good subject line is a process of trial and error and you’ll need to find what’s good for your audience, however, following these tips will help ensure you are using best practices to ensure the best results:

1. Roll up! Roll up! Create that email ‘headline’

Remember that the subject line is your email ‘headline’, but unlike a newspaper headline you want your audience to take action and participate when engaging with it. It needs to both pique interest and ensure that much wanted email open click. For example:

  • Use a question to entice them to click -  ‘Have you met our latest superheroes?’
  • Create urgency - ‘Last chance to see Finding Dory this weekend.’
  • Tell them to act - ‘Book now for Suicide Squad.’

2. Size matters

Keeping your subject lines short and simple is usually best. Ideally 6 to 10 words, or 50 characters, result in the highest open rates. If the subject line is too long it will get cut off, especially on mobile, and this is not an audience you want to lose - Movio Cinema saw 60% of emails being opened on a mobile device in Q2 2016.

3. Signed, sealed, delivered

Make sure your email gets delivered. In order to avoid spam filters, refrain from using all caps, lots of punctuation and excessive repetition, as these are all indicators of spam email.

4. Get personal

To increase engagement, get personal where possible. Not all your customers are the same, so why would you send them the same message?

For example, using your recipient's first name is proven to increase email open rate. Movio Cinema customers have found that their emails get up to a 25% increase in open rate by using loyalty members first name in their communications subject line.  Another way you could use personalization is by running a campaign that is based on the member's previous movie preference. For example, in Movio Cinema you can send a promotion for ‘Suicide Squad’ to those that watched ‘Deadpool’. Your subject line can be personalized by saying, ‘Hey Matthew if you enjoyed Deadpool, you’re going to love this new release!’

personalized subject lines

5. No tricks only treats

Finally, be honest. Make sure that your subject line and content are consistent. Don’t lure people in with an enticing subject line if you don’t deliver on your promise.

If you are still unsure of the best option for your audience you should test different subject lines and review your campaign results to confirm what works best for your audience.

Following best practice on subject lines will help you improve your open rate but remember that you need to listen to your audience to ensure you remain relevant to their needs. You should be constantly testing, learning and refining your email strategy.

Below are some quick tips to get the best from your email subject lines:

  • Be concise - Ideally, 6-10 words or fewer than 50 characters
  • Get personal - When possible use the person’s first name
  • Pique interest - Make the reader curious to read more

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