Carving the Perfect Email Subject Line

Crafting the Perfect Email Subject Line



What entices you to open any email? More than anything else, the decision making factor is the subject line.  Many marketers keep it short- typically around 50 characters.  Why?  Because a subject line of an email should be compelling and concise enough to convince the recipient to open the email and take the necessary call to action.  That said, there is no magic formula, as an email subject takes both art and science to craft. You should be able to connect with your audience’s heart with a compelling subject on the one side, but it needs to have strategic intent and the right tone too!

Here are 4 rules to consider to get to that perfectly carved compelling email subject for your email campaign, and get a good open, click and deliverability rate too:

  1. Get to the Point: Relevance is key, so get to the point in the most creative way with fresh information. Remember, attention spans are short and your recipients’ time is valuable.
  2. Don’t Mislead for an Open: You want to add a spark to a headline so that it creates curiosity and leads the recipient to open the email. That said, you don’t want to mislead them just to get the email opened. Your subject should tie back to the content in the email. This will improve long term email results, since your goal is to build trust. So be honest, concise and precise while enticing them to open the email.
  3. Test, Test, Test: Perform A/B Testing for your subject line on a segment of your desired recipients. It will certainly give you great insights into what will work for you. Here are some of the types of tests I have done with Marketo customers to improve their subject lines:
    • Personalization: Using first name or company name
    • Proof:  Highlighting an expert or a peer of the recipient
    • Scarcity: Highlighting that the content is exclusive or limited
    • Relevance: Mentioning their city or a competitor
    • Brevity: Shorter email subjects versus longer
  4. Review and focus on the end goal: Look back at your emails or lead nurturing campaigns and see which subject lines got you the best conversions and click-throughs. Most of the time we tend to think, higher open rate is the best way to read the result on if an email subject is good (which is true), but also try to get more insight by ensuring those subject lines lead to results. Going one step deeper may help you identify the content that is working with your audience, allowing you to write more relevant emails going forward.

These tips, plus keeping subject lines short (think 50 characters or 4-6 words) will surely have an  impact on your email marketing success. Personally, I have seen lot of my customers achieve great results with these tips, and I would love to know if these help you (or if I’ve missed any that you can share). What are you testing in your emails?

5 Ways to Get Started With Closed Loop Marketing


Most of us have come a long way and have witnessed how life was before Google, or even before Twitter and LinkedIn. It is difficult to imagine the world without them now!

Similarly, we have also seen how traditional marketing use works, and how we market today with the goal to get to Closed Loop Marketing to generate more revenue. In a nutshell, with a Closed Loop Marketing approach, marketers are responsible for more than branding and product updates, and need to watch customer reaction to marketing, to ensure their sales funnel doesn’t have any leaks.

With a no lead is left behind attitude going in, here are 5 ways to get started with Closed Loop Marketing:

  1. Data Management: Effective data management is critical for any Marketing Organization. Sales and Marketing need to collect data that is most important for their relative function. Effective data collection and maintenance is also essential to ensuring database integrity for customers and leads. Ensure you have a process in place to keep your data clean and standardized.
  2. Lead Scoring: Have a good lead scoring program in place. Lead scoring is a process of determining the sales readiness of leads using predetermined scoring methodology and ranking them accordingly. Remember, it is an iterative process in that once you have lead scoring defined and working, make sure you revisit and enhance it based on information you’ve collected over time.
  3. Lead Nurturing: As a general lead nurturing rule, there should be no place in the buying process where leads just “sit,” and you should have only one lead stage value for leads being nurtured. All other lead status values should have a time limit, and leads that sit idle past the deadline should be automatically recycled for further nurturing. In sum, lead nurturing ensures movement and interaction with prospects, even if they are not ready to buy or sales does not engage.
  4. Sales and Marketing Alignment: Marketers today need to share pipeline information with the Sales Team, and in return Sales should share the information back with Marketing. This is all so they can get insight into which marketing campaigns are having impact. Communication is the key which brings true sales and marketing alignment.
  5. Reporting for ROI: Today’s CEO demands accountability, and if you have to justify 1000’s of dollars for a trade show, then you need to present more than just the number of people who visited your booth. The CxO would love to know how many opportunities were created, and ultimately, how much revenue did we close as a result. Reporting should be able to measure the effectiveness and ROI of marketing investment.

    Ready for diving into Closed Loop Marketing? Check out my quick presentation on the subject!