The importance of an Email Subject Line

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Communicating to your patients through emails isn’t an easy task. Creating an email subject line that delivers is 99% of the battle. The email subject line plays a substantial role before and after reaching your patients’ inboxes. What’s in a subject line that makes your patients open or spam your email?

Less IS more

Make the subject line short with 50 characters or less. Begin with the most important words. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) truncate the subject line previews, making it difficult for the reader to quickly decide if the email is important enough for them to open. 50% of email subscribers read their emails on mobile phones, and the preview of the subject line is even shorter. According to Mailer Mailer, shorter subject lines of 4-15 characters have a much higher open rate and click rate than longer ones.

chart-1
Open rates by subject line

Image source: Mailer Mailer

Ignore the ‘Caps Lock’
First of all, it is more difficult to read an all UPPERCASE sentence. Second, capitalizing a single word to emphasize is not the same as CAPITALIZING A WHOLE SENTENCE – YOU’RE YELLING.

Avoid spam words
Many of us are quick to click delete, or worse – spam, at the sight of marketing words such as free, guarantee, special, deals… Furthermore, ISPs do scan the entire email for such words and may determine that your email is a spam.

Make it appealing and relevant
Be creative! Make it enticing for your patients to want to find out more. However, there’s nothing more disappointing than opening an email based on a catchy subject line just to find out that the content isn’t about what you thought it was. Be truthful and treat the subject line as a sneak peak of your email content.

Inject some personality
Be personal, use a tone that you would as if you’re speaking to a patient while they’re in the office. Also when it’s relevant, address them by name in the subject line.

Test if applicable
Yes, test the subject line if you’re using an ESP such as MailChimp or Listrak. For example, create a long version and send it to 20% of your patients, simplify that long subject line and send the shorter version to a different 20% of your patients. After 24 hours, pick a winner based on the open rate and send it to the rest of your patients.

Marie-Anne Widrig

is an UI & Graphic Designer at Net32.com. Over sixteen years, Marie has applied her design talents in the areas of advertising, packaging design, and web design.  For the past three years, Marie has focused on email marketing and improving customer experience through User Interface Design at Net32. She also enjoys sharing email marketing and website tips with Modern Practice's readers.

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is an UI & Graphic Designer at Net32.com. Over sixteen years, Marie has applied her design talents in the areas of advertising, packaging design, and web design.  For the past three years, Marie has focused on email marketing and improving customer experience through User Interface Design at Net32. She also enjoys sharing email marketing and website tips with Modern Practice's readers.

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Last modified: May 8, 2019

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