The Power of Emotion

Woman using Laptop with email icon

How important are subject lines anyways? We all know that on average, across all industries, email open rates are low and have stayed that way for some time. While reports differ, the general consensus is that the average number falls somewhere between 20%-30%. Business owners and marketing directors are bombarded constantly with offers to improve open rates, click-throughs, and performance of their email marketing campaigns. With the impact that an email getting opened can mean to sales it’s no wonder. Let’s consider how an increase from a 20% open rate to a 30% open rate could impact your business. With a 20% rate, if you send out 200 emails and from those you are able to book 20 meetings then you could ultimately close 6 deals. Imagine if you book 25 meetings, you would then be potentially closing 7 or 8 deals.

Without spending your marketing budget on the latest and greatest email conversion solution or platform, how can you increase your open rates? One opportunity is to improve your subject lines. Consider the subject line the opening dialogue in your conversation with leads. First impressions matter and for a population with a waning attention span, making a solid first one is critical to your business.

Your subject lines are your one sentence brand story and they need to play on the emotions of the audience because emotions are what drive people to act. Start by identifying your best idea, your most important news. Identify the one thing you want the audience to do or to know. Now that you have identified the key point of your subject line, you will want to support it with words and calls to action that are emotionally driven. For instance, using highly persuasive words like Limited, Worthwhile, or Now can help create a sense of urgency for something you are promoting. Consider the following subject lines promoting a new cookbook:

Our New Cookbook Is Here!

Now Available, A Worthwhile Kitchen Addition!

The first example is an okay subject line, it is not too long on word count or character count and it gets the point across. Where it is lacking is that it does not tell a brand story nor does it use emotional or persuasive language to encourage the reader to open the message. In the second example I’m still identifying that something is now available. I’m taking it a step further and creating a sense of urgency by using “Now Available” and telling a brand story by indicating that the offer is a worthy purchase that will add value to the recipient.

Keep in the mind the following rules for your subject lines.

–        Keep it short, your character count should fall somewhere between 50-65 and the total number of words in your subject line should be between 6 or 7.

–        Identify your subject, whether it is an offer, news or a call to action. Make this the focus of your subject line.

–        Use persuasive words and words with a high emotional value. Create a sense of scarcity.

–        Tell your brand story, if your brand voice has a humorous aspect to it make sure that comes across in your emails.