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Tips for effective ‘subject lines’ in ecommerce newsletters

January 6, 2015

No one active in the world of ecommerce today can ignore the necessity of sending newsletters. However, there are several things to bear in mind if you want to make the most out of your email marketing. This article will deal solely with one particularly important aspect of the newsletter: the subject line.

If you run a webshop, be aware that an effective, eye-catching subject line is integral to the success of the newsletter. Reading the subject line will often decide in just a few seconds whether the recipient opens the email or deletes it.

The difference with ecommerce email marketing campaigns is that the recipient should not only be persuaded to open the newsletter, but to continue the process through to the purchase stage.

The following points will help you to carry out effective email marketing campaigns for your online shop.

1. Incentivise the reader to ‘open and buy’ with the subject line: 

To reach this goal, online shops should segment their newsletter recipients according to their personal buying behaviour and think about these things:

Send newsletters with suitable content in the subject line. For example: if your customer is female and only buys women’s shoes, refer to this product type in the subject line. A suitable subject might be ‘New women’s autumn shoe collection available now‘. This will increase the probability that the customer will open the newsletter and continue on to your shop and purchase something.

Cross Selling. Offer related products, such as shoe care products, to the customer whose last purchase was shoes. You might also want to offer these products at a discount; and make sure to refer to the product specifically in the subject line.

– Use the subject line to inform your customers about clearance sales or discounts. For example: ‘Gorgeous coats in end of winter sale’.

Indicate the end date of the sale or discount in the subject line. This will incentivise the customer to take an immediate interest and not adopt the ‘I’ll come back later’ attitude. For example: ‘Clearance sale today only until Midnight – 40% off all balcony chairs‘. The use of an end date or time increases the impulsion to open the email. Most recipients do not open marketing emails at a later time. It is usually a case of ‘now or never’.

2. Personalise the subject line:

– Give your customer the impression that the newsletter is not a mass email, by addressing them by their name in the subject line. The email will take on a more personal touch and the customer will expect the content to be tailored to his or her interests.

– This is also an opportunity to send birthday emails, if you know your customers’ birthdays. Use this opportunity to personalise the subject line: ‘For you on your birthday, Mrs. Taylor‘. Make sure you choose email software that allows you to set up birthday emails automatically such as Newsletter2Go. Make the most of ecommerce to offer your customers a surprise birthday reduction – this will come as a pleasant surprise and will greatly increase the likelihood of the customer using the discount voucher.

 

3. Avoid spam terminology

Online shops often attract their customers’ attention with discounts or even free offers. Unfortunately, terms used in the subject line such as ‘free’, ‘gift’ or ‘free of charge’ can result in the email provider identifying the email as spam. You should indicate your offers in the subject line but avoid very strong advertising terms, which can see your email land in the spam folder.

4. Be surprising! 

Sending newsletters doesn’t always have to be deadly serious. Take a few risks and use humour or questions in the subject line every now and again to surprise your customers.
Why sleep through the alarm again when the best alarm clocks are on offer?‘ Be creative and try to implement idioms or well-known sayings that apply to your product. It’s more fun to shop with someone who knows how to have a laugh!

 

Let’s conclude:

Write subject lines that are short, concise and eye-catching. Invoke curiosity and desire for more information in the customer. Exciting subject lines will decide whether your email is opened or not. Make sure you remember that the goal of an email marketing campaign in ecommerce is not necessarily just measured by the open rate but by actual sales generated. For this reason it is essential that the content that follows the subject line is relevant to the customer, so that they are inclined to complete the process by clicking further and reaching your shop.

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