Byte-Size Email Subject Lines

open rates 470x140March Byte-size Tips

The 2016 Byte-size Series focuses on easy, do-able tech tips for Cru staff. This month’s tip will help you craft your email subject lines. Each byte-size series post is intentionally not exhaustive, so look for more email tips elsewhere on eQuipping for eMinistry.

Byte-size Series Tip for Email Subject Lines

I’m using an infographic in this post (see below) which is addressed more toward the sales industry, but I believe we can glean some tips from it. Probably most of your emails are going to people who know you personally, so the sales aspect doesn’t necessarily fit Cru staff and our intended readers. After the basic tips, I also have specific advice for those who use MailChimp or send an email with a blog post title as the subject line.

Subject Line Basics

These are basics from the infographic and also from articles listed at the end of this post:

  • Your email subject line is your first impression.
  • Keep subject lines short, but in a way that invites your reader to open.
  • Use a basic, to-the-point subject.
  • Your first two words are the most important.
  • The subject should reflect the content accurately.
  • Avoid vague subjects, like “monthly newsletter.”
  • Avoid excessiveness (e.g., ALL CAPS or a long string of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • Personalize with the first name of your reader or their city name.
  • Limit punctuation.

I mentioned before that the majority of people today are checking email and websites from a mobile device, so your friend may only see the first four to seven words on their phone’s screen. Keep your email subject line short; it may be truncated by your reader’s mobile device.

Blogging and MailChimp Advice

If you’re a MailChimp user, be sure to take advantage of personalization in the subject line. Use *|FNAME|* to merge a first name into the subject line. For more advice from MailChimp, see their Best Practices for Email Subject Lines.

If you send an automatic email which uses your blog post title as your subject line, consider these email tips as well when creating your blog post title. Will the blog title be too long in the email subject line? (In addition, when your blog title is longer than 60 characters, it’s shortened in a Google search.)

The Byte-size Series

For those who might want to go deeper on these topics:
  1. The 5 Deadly Sins of Subject Lines (Brands for the Heart)
  2. 7 Ways to to Improve Email Subject Lines (and a Sneaky Way to Test) (Web Marketing Today)
  3. Best Lengths for Social Media Posts (eQuipping for eMinistry)

Byte-size series icon

The Byte-size Series:

Each byte-size series post is meant to be easy for you to do.

  1. Priority Inbox for Gmail and using lists in Facebook
  2. Your web presence and your online MO
  3. Email subject lines
  4. Google Apps and search tips
  5. You could afford a tablet
  6. 5 Easy Tech Ideas You Didn’t Know You Needed
  7. Saving Facebook Posts… for Bloggers, Too
  8. Painting a Bigger Picture for Your Ministry Partners
  9. Easy Tips for Cropping Photos with
  10. Your eTools for Your Myers-Briggs Type
  11. Facebook Live Is an Easy Ministry Tool


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