Avoiding the trash: Optimising subject lines and snippets

by | Tue 4 Feb, 20

Ensuring that eCommerce email marketing is drawing in customers, rather than being swiped into the trash.

They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but many of us do exactly that when it comes to our emails. Nowadays, we find it far too easy to just transfer most of our emails straight to the trash, especially with many of us organising our inbox using our smartphones.

However, email marketing has proven to be a great way for eCommerce sites and online retail to reach customers quickly and effectively. But with that said, according to statistics, 2019 saw a low email opening rate for online retailers with only 13.9% of email marketing being opened.

Avoiding the trash: optimising subject lines and snippets

But when email marketing works, oh does it work. It’s been found that email marketing is 40 times more effective than social media, and the buying process happens 3 times as quickly; making it the perfect strategy for an ecommerce site. So to make sure that promotional or advertising emails are doing their job, it’s important for emails to look inviting, engaging and simply irresistible at face value – urging customers to open, read and follow through to the site. And this can be done by tackling the first three things that the recipient is met with – the sender name, the subject line and the snippet.

Subject Line? Snippet? Why are they so important?

Most email formats consist of the listed sender so the recipient knows who it’s from, the subject line so the recipient knows what the email is regarding, and a snippet of the content to give the reader a little taste of what the email contains.

Avoiding the trash: optimising subject lines and snippets

So for an ecommerce site to benefit from email marketing, it would mean that these three components would have to fully engage the recipient to ensure that your content is being read and taken on board.

Email marketing suits ecommerce well as it’s direct to the customer. Not only that, the content is being sent straight to a selection of your target audience that has already shown interest in your services by submitting their email, which is a big added bonus. And on top of that, stats show that 91% of people access their emails on a daily basis, so you are guaranteed to reach an audience, unlike the instability behind social media and other forms of marketing.

So, What can be done?

Having worked with a multitude of ecommerce sites, Limely is aware of the importance of ecommerce marketing and how it takes the right content, which has been successfully optimised and altered, to effectively draw in business from customers both old and new. This also applies to the intrinsic detail in which goes into email marketing.

Optimizing the Subject Line

It could be said that the subject line is the most important out of these components, and for this reason, it needs to be sculpted so it works in favour of the business. Getting the experts to whip up something small but effective can work wonders for your marketing strategy.

– Make it short and sweet
As humans, we’re quite lazy, especially when it comes to reading. So, making the subject line snappy with a big effect helps to draw in the recipient. Using inviting language that hints towards something exciting and exclusive does well to catch their attention and get them clicking.

Avoiding the trash: optimising subject lines and snippets

– Ambiguity Can Work!
We’ve all heard of clickbait; displaying titles or content that leaves a question unanswered and the reader wanting more. This can be applied to the subject line; teasing recipients with what information or exclusive offers they can find if they open the email.

– Make it Personal
Having already signed up for emails or created an account on the ecommerce site, it may enable the ability to personalise emails according to the recipient. Using their name, their site activity including their latest orders can make the email feel less automated, more personal and ultimately more attractive to the reader. We’re more likely to open emails from people we know, or people who know us, and making marketing emails feel more relaxed will urge the recipient to open up and see what it has to say.

Avoiding the trash: optimising subject lines and snippets

– Make it Fun and Engaging!
Knowing the audience is crucial, especially when it comes to adapting content. Depending on the specific customer base and target audience, it could be that some fun could be injected into the marketing. As well as making emails personal, emojis can be inserted, as well as cultural references and even the odd pun in which can evoke laughs and relate to the email content. This not only shows a fun side to the brand but will engage the recipient to probe further.

Optimizing the Snippet

The snippet’s purpose is to let the recipient know that the content is worth checking out. This requires a short and snappy sentence that not only gives them a taste of what it’s in store for them but one that successfully draws them in.

– Summarise
To make sure that the snippet is being used to its fullest potential, it’s good to summarise the contents of the email in just a few words whilst trying to showcase all of its best bits. Sounds harder than it actually is, but it’s all about selecting the right keywords that also draw in the reader. For example, focusing on words which hint at exclusive new promotions, exciting new product releases, or even a friendly ‘Thank You’ email works well to engage the reader. Putting this information in a snippet further teases the customer whilst urging them to read further.

Avoiding the trash: optimising subject lines and snippets

– Entice
This is particularly for those marketing emails that raise awareness for new products, exclusive offers and/or promotions. Usually, for ecommerce email marketing, the content itself will consist of buttons and call to action links in which will take the reader straight to the site. By mentioning these offers, promotions and product launches within the snippet, it evokes the need to know more – urging readers to open the email and follow the links found within.

– Get to the Point
Inserting discounts, promotion codes and exclusive offers within the snippet is a quickfire way to benefit from email marketing as it gives the reader the content that they are after without opening the email. Opening rates may not be as high, but the site in question will be able to benefit from increased traffic and sales which have been brought about by customers taking advantage of exclusive offers.

Let Email Marketing Benefit You

The best effects of email marketing come from using it at its fullest potential. By adhering content to the business, as well as optimising all components, ecommerce sites can benefit from high click-through rates, consequently helping to increase site traffic and drive sales.

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