The 4 U’s behind great subject lines | September 3, 2020

Hello friends!

How are things in your corner of the world? Today we’re talking about email subject lines. These little words right here…

A well-read email newsletter starts with a well-crafted subject line. But subject line success is a tough code to crack. Let’s start with the basics.

Pop quiz: What’s the ideal length for an email subject line? (Answer below.) 

Think of your subject line as a promise to the reader. Your promise should be thoughtful. You also need to keep it. Dedicate at least 15 minutes to brainstorming email newsletter subject line ideas. Consider what’s inside the newsletter and the action you want readers to take. We like this tip from AddThis: Be clear about the value of your email, and what it means for your subscribers.

The 4-U Checklist for Subject Lines*

… looks for the following:

  1. Usefulness → Is your promised message valuable to the reader?
  2. Ultra-specificity → Does the reader know what you’re promising?
  3. Uniqueness → Is your promised message compelling?
  4. Urgency → Does the reader feel the need to read now?

*Thanks to Copyblogger’s Brian Clark for a breakdown of this checklist.

Another point? Don’t go long. The sweet spot for subject lines is about 41 characters, or seven words. Check out this 2019 data on subject line length from Marketo. Subject Line Data


📖 19 Tips to Write Catchy Email Subject Lines: HubSpot walks through the basics, with examples. 

📖 8 Subject Line Formulas to Get Your Emails Opened: The science of crafting effective subject lines.

📖 8 Data-Backed Subject Line Strategies: Including 100 words guaranteed to trigger spam filters (read: avoid these!).Did we keep our subject line promise? Hit reply to tell us what you think about our subject line for this week’s newsletter. We’re learning, too.

Until next week!

– Team

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