Modern day internet users often become so accustomed to the thousands of ads that they see on websites that they can develop a natural defense of ignoring them. Areas of the screen such as the sides and tops where banners normally appear eventually become something they unconsciously avoid even glancing at. The same can be said of promotional emails that appear in a customer’s inbox throughout the day. They may get hundreds of emails and they have trained themselves to be able to sift through to the important ones in seconds. People often develop a kind of “inbox blindness” that allows them to scroll through emails that look like advertisements without even reading them. The subject lines of these emails may not even register for them because they instinctively avoid commercial emails that they do not have time to read. Even customers who have subscribed to your email newsletters may not notice your marketing efforts because of the sheer volume of emails they receive a day.
Using Subject Lines to Your Advantage
In order to avoid the pitfalls of “inbox blindness” you need to find ways to use pattern interrupts or subject lines that stand out and get people’s attention. There are a few types of pattern-interrupt subject lines that can be used to get customers to notice, open and read your marketing emails. When creating a subject line it is helpful to avoid making the email look too much like an advertisement. Long subject lines that seem impersonal are a dead giveaway. One strategy is to use short, informal sounding subject lines that read the same way a personal email would. These can work best as the first welcome email to your subscribers so that they become engaged in our newsletter. Another way to standout in the subject line is by using characters, symbols or emojis that give an extra visual element to your email. The characters or symbols can help to emphasize the subject of your email as well as differentiate it from your competitors. Emails with symbols or emojis tend to have higher open rates than emails with more typical subject lines.
Speaking to the Reader
An important concept in grabbing people’s attention is addressing them directly rather than making a more general statement. Using the words “you” or “your” in statements within the subject line can make them feel more compelled to open it because it may be something which concerns them. Even using their first name as part of the subject can make the email feel more personal and draw them into reading the content. Employing some of these techniques can help get your emails read but a little goes a long way. Trying some new strategies without being desperate for subscribers’ attention can help improve your open rates and make your marketing efforts worthwhile. Along with great email content, you need an effective subject line to avoid being ignored by the kind of inbox blindness that is so common among internet users.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.