Pulitzer Prize winner Isaac Asimov once stated "I made up my mind long ago to follow one cardinal rule in all my writing - to be clear", and we couldn't agree more when it comes to your email subject lines. No, you don't need to be a Pulitzer Prize writer to drive those open rates, but there are a collection of 'magic' words that WILL help your email list grow and keep your clients coming back for more of that sweet, sweet content...and it couldn't be more clear (pun intended).
So what makes a word 'magical'? It's a word that provokes certain feelings or emotions in your audience, something that drives desire, fulfills need, or solves a problem. The key is not just to KNOW those words, but also understand how you can use them to evoke the response you want from your audience.
Based on our user engagement and data curated around the web, here's a list of 'magical' words for your email subject lines that drive opens and clicks...and a selection of words that you should NEVER use (if you want to stay out of spam filters):
1. "Now" A tried and true motivator to get your audience to act. It's a simple part of a call-to-action, but it conveys a sense of urgency that is hard to resist. Enough said.
2. "Tips" People. Love. Tips. It doesn't matter about what, but if you are offering them the chance to make their lives easier, or short-cut some time in their busy schedules with some "tips", they will be all over it. Ideas? Tips for winterizing your home, Tips for preparing your home for sale, Tips for picking the best agent...oh yeah, we could do this all day...
3. "Remember" Your clients are busy, so it's always a good idea to send reminder emails, and auto-responders make this easy. Maybe you want to remind customers about an open house they've rsvp'ed to attend or send a text an hour before your closing appointment. Your clients will appreciate the outreach, and you'll appreciate the fact that they showed up!
4. "Be the first" People like exclusivity, and nothing is more exclusive than the opportunity to (fill in the blank): Purchase this dream home, Be an agent in a top producing office, Own a top-producing real estate franchise. The candidates you want are the candidates that can't help but click.
5. "New" Anything bright, shiny, and new, you will have customers who will be chomping at the bit to learn more about it. It's a good attention-getter, and when used in a subject line can increase open rates. For example: "New listing in top school district"...yep, it's that easy!
6. "Your" / "You" Here it's all about the personal touch. You want your customers to know you are looking out for them, and can give them that personalized experience that they want. Great for subject lines and for throwing some tongue-in-cheek content into the email as well. Personalization drives 20% more open rates.
7. "Thank you" Appreciation goes a looonnngggg way, so show your customers a little love. Maybe you've hit a growth goal in your organization and want to thank those that have contributed along the way, or maybe you want to send a personal thank you to a new sale...your expression of gratitude goes a long way.
8. "Instant" In our world of instant gratification people like for things to be done now. A call-to-action with immediate words like "instant" tickle the brain’s need for quick response and adds an air of excitement to your content...like "Click here to receive an instant market snapshot of your neighborhood".
9. "Because" You clients don't just want to know WHAT they are getting, it's the WHY that truly matters. "Because" is the trigger word that implies action, followed by a reason. You need X because Y. Wow!
10. "Free" Interestingly enough, this is also one of the worst words to use in a subject line. So why do we include it? Because in the body of your email, it can be very powerful. For example - "Download your free market report" is powerful, just make sure it doesn't turn into "FREE! FREE! FREE!" because that's when you start crossing over into the realm of the following...
5 Words You Should Never Use In Email Subject Lines
1. "Free" I know we just got done saying it was OK, and it is, but not for your subject lines. Why? Two words: Spam filters. Spam filters do not like the word "Free" because of how badly it has been abused when spamming people. So that your marketing emails don't get lumped in to that genre, it's better to just keep it out for good measure and follow our previous suggestion for its usage.
2. "ALL CAPS" In case you weren't aware, in "Internet Land" saying anything in all caps is equal to screaming, which really, really hurts people's ears. You wouldn't stand in front of a client yelling, and expect for them to stand there for long, would you? Of course not. So leave the caps out of it. And while we're at it, stop putting three exclamation points in there, it's NOT making the email sound more enticing...trust us!
3. "Guarantee" Nothing in life is guaranteed (except death & taxes, right?), and while it is important to back your services, it's a better idea to refrain from using the word in subject lines. Again, not something spam filters are especially fond of, particularly when it is preceded by the words "money back".
4. "Once In A Lifetime" Blah. Gross. It's so cliché that it hurts to type. There is not a single instance where anyone ever saw an email subject line that included "once in a lifetime" and thought "Now that’s compelling!" click. Seriously, be more creative.
5. "Hurry" Yes, it does convey a sense of urgency and can encourage customers to act, but it's not the best option out there. Especially in email subject lines. You would be better served using "Act Now" or "Immediate Investor Opportunity", but ultimately you want to keep your subject lines pressure free if possible, unless the audience is a group of your top investors where it makes sense.
Honestly, this list could be a top 100 list...but we wanted to supply you with a few tried and true tips to help you drive the best open and engagement rates with your emails. The most important thing to consider is your audience: Who are they? Why did they sign up to receive your emails? What value are you bringing them? As long as you are paying attention to their wants / needs and responding to them, you should be good to go (as long as you don't SCREAM AT THEM in the process!).