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If you use email as part of your content marketing strategy, you know the importance of an attention-getting email subject line. It’s what will make your reader take the next step and open your email and not delete it without reading first.

Your email subject line requires the same time and attention to detail that the rest of your email campaign demands. Your subject line must capture the reader’s attention in a nonosecond. And, without being too “salesy,” it must lure the reader with the promise that something worthwhile is just on the other side.

Everyone can benefit from a quick refresher on how to craft a five- to seven-word subject line that will stand out from the rest of the in-box competition. Here are five fast tips:

1. Appeal to human nature. We all want to do better, improve and achieve. That’s why using words like “how to,” “get more” or “where to find” in your email subject line work well.

2. Ask an open-ended question. Similar to appealing to human nature, an open-ended question posed around the main theme of the information in your email campaign works by instantly starting a dialogue. Try starting your subject lines with “What’s next for …..” or “How safe is your …..?”

3. Shorten the subject line. Most people open emails on mobile, so it’s imperative that your email subject lines stay below 40 characters.

4. Mix up the structure. Do you regularly send email blasts to the same data base? If you do, try mixing up the structure of the subject line from time to time. For example, if you typically use sentence case (5 ways to make better decisions) try capitalizing the first letter of each word (5 Ways To Make Better Decisions).

5. Avoid spammy words and ALL CAPS. The spam filter is where good emails go to die. Avoid this untimely demise by reducing or eliminating trigger words that are red flags for email provider services. These words include: limited time offer, act now, eliminate debt, money, cash, job alert, huge sale, email marketing, congratulations, or anything for free (e.g. free download, free trial, free quote, free membership). And while one or two fully capitalized words alone won’t get caught by the filters, it does increase the risk of your email ending up in the spam folder.

Finally, do what all great copywriters do: Write that subject line after you have completed the email. You’ll be able to effectively apply the tips above and ensure that the email subject line accurately represents your content.

You’ll find even more support in this post about timeless headlines strategies. And while you’re here, tell us about your content needs in a quick email. We’d love to help.

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