Is your email worth responding to? Will they scroll right past your email? Or, will they outright delete it?
We are constantly inundated with emails. In fact, we receive and send an average of 121 emails every day, and it is up to the reader to decide how they are going to deal with that many emails. Is your email worth responding to? Will they scroll right past your email? Or, will they outright delete it? These are all questions that you should be asking yourself when you’re constructing your real estate email subject line.
Their time is valuable and so they’re not going to read and respond to a hundred separate emails, so the subject line becomes one of their first lines of defense. So, if you’re going to try and compete for the attention of a prospective client with hundreds of other emails, you need to stand out. Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be helping you craft an effective email marketing campaign that will help you generate and convert more leads. Today our focus is on the email subject line.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SUBJECT LINES IN EMAIL MARKETING
You might be thinking to yourself, “Are subject lines really that important?” or “Does anyone even really read the subject?” In short, yes, and yes. Much like a good handshake is your first shot at making a good impression with an employer or colleague, a strong subject line is your chance to do the same thing virtually with prospective clients.
At Happy Grasshopper we’ve been doing this for over a decade. Through research, data collection, and good old fashioned trial and error, we have connected countless people through the power of conversation. Here are some tried, tested, and true do’s and don’t’s:
KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET
Subject lines are meant to grab the reader’s attention and give them a reason to open your email. Studies show that subject lines with less than 50 characters enjoy a roughly 10% higher open rate and nearly a 75% higher click-through rate.
Most people check their email on their mobile devices, and only about 25-30 characters of any given subject line will show up on their screen. So, it is best to keep that in mind when crafting a subject line. You’ll always want to keep your subject lines under 8 words, but 3-5 is ideal.
Be wary of ‘clickbaity’ subject lines.
‘Clickbait’ usually carries a negative connotation in our minds, because it implies that whoever is sending the ‘clickbait’ is trying to put one over on us. Nobody likes clicking on an email with the promise of something interesting and then realizing the message did not live up to your expectations.
However, it can be a very useful marketing technique. After all, the end goal of a good email marketing campaign is to get as many eyes on your emails as possible. The best way to do that is to inspire curiosity within the reader. As a real estate professional, this means avoiding words, such as “free, special, price/pricing, offer, discount”. You can still use these words and similar ‘clickbaity’ words, but be wary. The idea is to not trick them into opening your email.
If you’re ever unsure about an email subject line, try putting it in a service like this. It’s a free and easy to use tool that will grade your subject line on a scale from 0 to 100 and provide feedback on how you can improve.
Don’t capitalize everything
Capitalizing every letter in your subject line is not an effective strategy. This should go without saying, but you would be surprised how many people continue to do this. A SUBJECT LINE THAT LOOKS LIKE THIS is an automatic green light to go ahead and delete your email. In fact, most email services (whether it’s Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) will see this and most likely send it to the spam folder.
An additional note: it’s probably a good idea to avoid capitalizing the first letter of each word, as well. “Did you see this?” works much better than “Did You See This?”.
Make sure the tone of the subject line matches the tone of your message
If the email you’re thinking of sending is a real estate or business-related email blast, keep your subject line professional. You don’t want to send a serious email with a joke or a bunch of emojis in the subject line. On the other hand, if the email is friendly or lighthearted, don’t be afraid to throw an emoji or two in the subject line. However, don’t go overboard with them.
Not only should an effective subject line, whether is business-related or more lighthearted, inspire curiosity within the reader to open your email, but it must also not undersell or oversell the content of your email. The subject line and the content must work in unison. It is a fine balance, and something I will expound upon in future posts.
Personalization and calls to conversation go a long way
It’s really no secret that people tend to respond better to products and content that are personalized for them. So, why not personalize your subject lines? A simple “Happy Birthday, <first name>!” or “Can you believe it’s been a whole year!?” (for transaction anniversaries) can go a long way in increasing your open and click-through rates.
Setting up automation to draw in the first names from your database will allow you to easily personalize the subject lines of an email marketing campaign. For example, if you’re trying to get your reader to call, set up a lunch or meeting, or if you just want to catch up, a simple “Let’s connect, <first name>!”, “ Wanna grab lunch, <first name>?”, or “How are you, <first name>?” is more likely to get someone’s attention. It sets the expectation for a response and a conversation and, furthermore, a relationship.
email subject lines are the difference between 'opened' and 'deleted'
Most people tend to think that subject lines aren’t that important to an effective email marketing campaign. That they’re simply a few throwaway keywords or phrases that can be added after the contents of your email have been written.
In reality, they’re one of the most critical components of a strong email marketing campaign. As Jay Baer noted, “35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone.” They’re your first chance to make an impression on prospective clients. It will definitely take some trial and error, but if you spend a little extra time and follow these tips, before long you should start to see an increase in your open and click-through rates and, ultimately, an increase in both converting leads but also generating more leads.
Stay tuned for future parts of this series, because an effective email marketing campaign isn’t all about the subject lines; your content is just as important!