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We’ve discussed the importance of creating an email blast in 10 Quick Ways to Improve Your Blog Traffic. Sending emails to announce new posts, contests and news is a great way to drive readers to your blog, so today we are helping make your emails count by giving you the dos and don’ts of subject lines.

We know you spend precious time and effort creating emails for your readers, but these emails are worthless unless they take the time to open them. Although email subject lines are only a couple of words, they are actually the most important part of your email. Below we outline how to capture a reader’s attention, and get them to click open!

Don’t use caps lock. We’ve all seen spam emails with words like “FREE,” “DEALS” and “MUST READ” shouting at us when we check our inbox. Readers prefer a more conversational subject line (one that looks like it was sent from a friend) instead of screaming advertisements, so forgo the caps lock and only capitalize the first letter of each word.


Do: 10 Must-Have Holiday Fashions

Do keep it conversational. Studies have shown that the most opened emails are personal emails. The more you can make your subject line look personal; the more likely readers are to open your email.

Don’t: The Ultimate Gifts for the Winter 2014 Season

Do: Top Gifts this Season

Don’t blend in. Personalizing emails is a great way to stand out from the crowd. If you’re yelling at everyone in a crowded room, it’s unlikely anyone will listen to you. But, if you yell one person’s name, they are more inclined to hear you. The same concept applies for emails. People are conditioned to respond to their name, so personalize your subject lines to get readers to open them.

Don’t: Hey You! Do You Have a Favorite Recipe?

Do: Jane, Do You Have a Favorite Recipe?

Do hook them with location. People are interested in events and information pertinent to where they live. If you’re writing a piece that is specific to an area, include that in the subject line and be sure to market your emails to those who live in or around the area.  

Don’t: Don’t Miss the Upcoming Holiday Festival

Do: Don’t Miss San Diego’s Holiday Festival

Don’t be too long. The shorter and more to the point your subject line is, the more likely people will open it. Subject lines should be less than 50 characters (this includes spaces). Pithy, attention-grabbing language is best used in subject lines. This will capture the reader’s attention with just a quick glance.

Don’t: How to Turn Your Wardrobe from Drab to Fab in Just 5 Easy Steps

Do: Wardrobe Makeover: Drab to Fab

Do stay timely. By adding a current event or holiday in your subject, you can capture readers' interest. Stay up-to-date with what’s happening and keep in mind seasons. Tailor your blog posts to what people are interested in, and be sure to include it in the subject line. 

Don’t: Learn How to Beat the Summer Heat

Do: How to Have a Warm Winter this Christmas

Don’t over send. Even if you begin with a 100% open rate, your numbers will quickly drop if you’re sending too many emails. There is no perfect amount of emails to send, but depending on your audience and volume of posts, you can determine the best number. Try to only send emails when you have new or exciting content to share.

Don’t: Reminder #3—New Blog Post!

Do: Happy Thursday: New Blog Post!

Tip: If you’re using an email system such as MailChimp, you also want to consider the “from” line. This is where email recipients will see who is sending the email. You want to keep this consistent. It is recommended to use your blog name, or your personal name if it is listed on your blog. You want this to be something readers can identify with your blog each time they see an email from you. Whereas your subject line will change with each email, your “From” line will stay the same.

We’ve shared our dos and don’ts; now let us know what works for you. Give us your tips and tricks for creating the perfect email subject line in the comments below!

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