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How to Create Emails that Capture a Reader's Attention

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara received her MBA from Adams State University and is currently working on her DBA from California Southern University. She spent 11 years as a sales and marketing executive. She spent several years with Western Governor's University as a faculty member. Tara has been at Study.com for seven years.

Learn how to create compelling subject lines that will get your email messages open. Follow some basic, straightforward rules to attract readers and generate interest in your email.

The Power of Emails to Capture Attention

Emails are an effective way to reach current and potential customers. However, with the vast amount of spam and unwanted emails, it's a challenge to get the attention of your readers. Learning to write emails that capture attention will help increase the number of people reading your messages and the response rate.

Best Subject Line Words to Use

When creating a subject line, there are some basic rules to remember.

  • Keep it simple. The more complicated or the more unnecessary characters you use, the less likely it is that your email will be opened. For instance, 'Earn Dollar$$$ the E-Z Way' may get past some spam blockers, but readers will spot it as spam. However, a subject line that is straightforward will have more legitimacy.

Effective: Freelance Opportunities that Pay Well

Ineffective: Earn Dollar$$$ the E-Z Way

  • Keep Your Audience in Mind. Subject lines that appeal to one group may have no impact on others. Let's imagine you are promoting a line of new baby toys. Your email is targeted to young mothers who will buy products for their children. Your subject line needs to appeal to mothers, or it may not get opened.

Effective: Exciting Toys that are Fun and Educational

Ineffective: Teach Your Kids to be More Macho

  • Keep Subject Lines Short. If the reader must work hard to read the subject, they likely won't open the email. It's too overwhelming. However, if the subject is short and has appeal, the email will have a higher success rate.

Effective: Make Your Home More Comfortable - Sign Up Today

Ineffective: Sign up for a free class where you will learn how to make changes to your home that will make it more comfortable.

Subject Line Words to Avoid

When writing emails, there are keywords and phrases to avoid. These words will trigger spam filters and remove your email from the reader's inbox. If somehow your email makes it through the spam filter, it is highly unlikely the reader will open it. Some of these keywords include free, % off, perfect, good, wonderful, donate, or dollar amounts. Keep in mind, if it sounds like work or it will cost something, your open rate will decrease. Additionally, if the email sounds like it will cause the reader to work or complete something, they'll just avoid or delete the message.

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