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email subject linesEmail marketing is a key strategy you should include in your MSP marketing plan. It has nearly three times the success rate as marketing on social media, and it’s especially effective for keeping your clients and prospects informed about your IT services and helping them stay connected to you.

Plus, email is an inexpensive and easy way to reach your target audience. You can reach a large number of businesses for just pennies per message, and the learning curve isn’t a steep one.

However, you need to make sure you spend time carefully crafting the message in your subject lines. If your prospects don’t open your email, all your efforts will be wasted, and a good subject line can make the difference between your email being opened or trashed.

Here are some guidelines you should consider when writing subject lines in order to get the results you’re looking for:

1. Provide something of value if they open your email. Tell them in the subject line what’s inside your email. For example, if you’re offering a free e-book, say so. The right phrasing in your subject line can make your recipients feel special and draw them in to open your email. Here are a few ideas you could use:

  • “For our best customers only—a free e-book”
  • “Our gift to you—a free e-book”
  • “Private invite to download our free e-book”

2. Make the goal of each subject line clear. Subject lines that are straightforward and honest produce better results than those that are catchy or witty. The more clear and concise your subject line is, the better. And don’t make false promises. Your subject line is a promise about what you’re sending in your email, so you need to deliver what you say you will in order to build trust with your recipients and get your message across.

3. Carefully consider each word you use. Research words that email filters might pick up as spam if they’re included in an email’s subject line. Avoid them, or your message will most likely be resigned to the spam inbox. Additionally, you should use words that will prompt readers to open your email, such as “money,” “profit,” and “revenue,” rather than business terms like “industry,” “conference,” and “webinar.”

4. Keep it short. Short subject lines typically get the highest performance. Under 15 characters will maximize your open rate, and 28 to 39 characters maximizes your click rate. However, no matter how many characters you use, make sure every word counts. And remember, 40 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices, so the shorter the message, the better.

5. Personalize your subject lines. Using personalization like a name or location will help establish a feeling of rapport, and it can increase your click-through rates. Personalization is now a bigger trend in email marketing than it was in the past. But, your subject line must still come across as being honest. Plus, if the “From” name doesn’t sound like it’s from someone they want to hear from, it doesn’t matter what’s in the subject line. Consider personalizing the subject line with information you already know about your prospect, such as what industry they’re in.

6. Never use ALL CAPS. Most people have a negative visceral reaction when reading something in all caps. They feel like they’re being shouted at. Plus, spam filters look for all caps. It’s not worth taking the chance that you’ll be penalized and sent to the junk folder.

7. Use symbols and numbers. Believe it or not, using symbols or numbers in your subject line can increase your click rates. However, you need to do your research to determine what symbols appeal to your specific audience. Using data is also a great way to get your emails noticed. If the data is shocking (and truthful), you’ll get a better open rate with your emails.


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Stuart Crawford

Posted by Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is the CEO and Creative Director with Ulistic. Ulistic specializes in working with IT service companies globally helping them connect with their markets and achieve stratospheric success. Need help? Please feel free to reach out to Stuart and his team at Ulistic. Every day, they help managed IT services companies overcome many of the challenges they have with marketing. Learn more about Ulistic at or call 716-799-1999.

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