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5 Tips for Email Subject Lines That Get Opened

Thank you to Jennifer Snyder, real estate marketing consultant, speaker and blogger at Marketing Ideas for Agents for contributing this post.

Email subject lines are the most important part of any email marketing campaign. The subject line determines whether your email gets opened or deleted. That’s a lot of pressure on one sentence!

Here are five tips to help you create email subject lines that get your emails read:

  1. Make it personal. When you do email marketing you should use a service like AWeber or MailChimp. Each email service has codes that you can use in your subject lines. One of the codes you can use is your email subscribers’ first names. Anytime someone sees their first name in an email subject line they do pause and look at it. It’s a natural reaction to notice our own name. Use this to your advantage when crafting  your email subject line!
  1. The shorter the better. Most people are checking their emails on their smart phones. On these devices they are getting notifications of new email messages. To capture their attention keep your email subject lines short. If you can keep it to 3-6 words you have a better chance of catching their attention. I think people don’t like long subject lines because they worry the email will be long. Keep your email lines short to have a better shot of getting your email message opened!
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Make it personal but short and sweet.


  1. Use punctuation carefully. The right kind of punctuation works great in email subject lines. Brackets or question marks draw a reader’s attention to your email. Questions beg the reader to open the email to see what the answer is to the question.On the flip side I do not like the use of exclamation points. Exclamation points come across as spammy and in fact can get caught in the spam folder. Use punctuation that makes sense for your subject line to get your email opened!
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Be specific in your subject lines.


  1. Be Specific. When crafting your email subject lines make them specific. Generic subject lines like “John’s Real Estate News” or “Minneapolis Market Update” are less likely to get opened. Try instead using a main point from the topics in your email. Your copy should answer burning questions that your readers want to learn more about. Use that to your advantage and create a subject line geared towards your content.
  1. Use tried and true lines. My favorite email subject lines are either lists, questions or how to lines. These emails get opened the most because people are curious. Even when we don’t want to open an email we cannot resist emails with those subject lines.The best way to create a list or how to subject line is to take a look at the content in your email. Are you writing about five ideas to get your home ready to sell? There’s your subject line: “Top 5 Things to Do Before You List Your Home.” Or How to Get Your House Ready to Sell.” For a question try: “Is your house ready for new buyers?”
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Are you answering a question and fulfilling a need?


Writing email subject lines is a craft you have to work on to get your emails opened. You have to pair the subject line with the content you are delivering. Take a look at your content and brainstorm a list of five subject lines based on my tips. Then select your two favorite subject lines and test them to see which one gets opened more. Once you have a clear winner make that subject line your baseline for each email campaign you send. Using these tips and testing your subject lines is how to guarantee success with your email marketing!

If you’d like to read additional guest posts from Jennifer check out How to Create an Email Newsletter That Gets Read and 5 Niche Markets for Real Estate Landing Pages.


Jen Prof Photo Small_7369Jennifer Snyder is a real estate marketing consultant, speaker and blogger at Marketing Ideas for Agents. She researches marketing ideas, tools and resources that will make real estate agents’ lives easier and help them grow their businesses.




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