by Matt Alderton | January 09, 2019
Email marketing is like fishing: When you cast your line, you never know whether you'll actually catch a fish. You can improve your odds, however, by filling your hook with the proper bait.
In the case of email, that bait is a strong subject line, according to freelance writer Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead. "A successful email marketing campaign needs an eye-catching, succinct and relevant subject line to grab the attention of recipients and encourage them to open the email to learn more," Pickard-Whitehead writes in a blog post for Small Business Trends.

According to Pickard-Whitehead, the best email subject lines are personalized. "Rather than using generic terms such as 'customer' or 'client' in a subject line, opt for a more personalized approach that states the name of the recipient," she suggests. "As MailChimp advises, personalize subject lines with each recipient's name or location. Personalization is particularly effective when used in conjunction with targeted emails … and is proven to increase open rates."

To take personalization to the next level, consider using social media handles instead of names. "Another effective way to personalize professional email subject lines is to include the recipient's social media handle, which helps the email stand out from the hordes of other emails that land in subscribers' inboxes every day," Pickard-Whitehead continues. "Twitter regularly sends emails with the recipient's Twitter handle in the subject line, recognizing the positive affect it has on open rates."

Finally, consider making emails as "personable" as they are "personalized" by using emojis -- sparingly. "Emojis can add color, vibrancy and pizazz into subject lines. According to Experian, 56 percent of brands that use emojis in subject lines see an increase in open rates," Pickard-Whitehead concludes. "However, while adding the likes of smiley faces, thumbs up and other relevant emojis to subject lines can prove an effective way to increase brand awareness and encourage subscribers to open an email, going overboard with emojis can be seen as spammy, immature and unprofessional."

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