Effective Subject Lines for Follow-Up Emails

effective email subject lines

effective email subject lines

You just got off the phone with a promising lead. You told them you’d be sending them all of the information needed to make a purchasing decision. You use a great template, or you craft a completely new email. Co-workers check it and give you the thumbs up. Hit send, and now you wait. And unfortunately, you don’t always get a response that first time. Without effective subject lines for your follow-up emails, you could be stuck in email limbo for quite some time.

You shouldn’t have to pester a lead multiple times to make sure they’ve received an email from you. And the easiest way to get a lead to respond, and remain interested in your offering, is standing out in their inbox. With so many other subject lines to compete with (even though they’ve demonstrated an interest in what you have to offer), you need to stand out from the crowd.

That’s why we decided you need a few eye-catching subject lines to use in your emails.

Use the lead’s name

This is as simple as it gets. People notice their own name. It’s ingrained in us to react when we see our name. In this case, we’re reacting by opening an email and caring a little more about the contents.

Most follow-up emails have your company’s name in them and a reminder as to why they should care about you. But instead of “About DemandZEN marketing services” you can make it “Claire, thanks for discussing DemandZEN”. This is conversational, and it still serves as a reminder of why they should remember you.

But before you hit that send button, you better make sure their name is spelled correctly. A misspelled name is something that people often don’t let go. If you can’t safely copy/paste their name from their email (in cases where their email is an initial followed by their last name), find them on LinkedIn to confirm the spelling.

If you’re really stuck, drop the name altogether and use other best practices to grab your lead’s attention.

Use action words

If you’re responding to a lead because you need them to fulfill an action before they can move forward in the process of becoming a customer, don’t beat around the bush. No, you don’t want to seem rude or pushy. However, you also need to make sure they do what you need them to do.

So let’s say they need to sign a contract (you’re almost there!). You might be tempted to write a headline such as “Here is the contract you need to sign” or “DemandZEN Contract”. The first one doesn’t tell me who sent this or why I need to sign it, and the second one doesn’t even mention I have to do anything.

Instead, let’s start with the verb and make it “Sign by February 15, 2017: DemandZEN Contract.” Now we’ve given them a deadline and have specified exactly what is due.

So before you start your next subject line with the word “please,” add a few action words to your vocabulary:

  • Attend
  • Call
  • Read
  • File
  • Speak
  • Answer
  • Respond
  • Correct
  • Calculate
  • Review
  • Educate

Keep it short, but don’t lose your meaning

Short doesn’t always mean low character count. Yes, there is only a finite number of characters visible in a subject line when you’re scrolling through your email. But you also want to minimize the number of words you’re using. Earlier I created the subject line “Claire, thanks for discussing DemandZEN’s marketing services”. But I could have also made it “Claire, really great to talk to you about DemandZEN’s marketing services earlier”. And that second version is just plain wordy.

If you can cut down on your subject line without changing the meaning of what you’re saying, do it. The easier the headline is to read, and the quicker someone reads it, the likelihood of someone opening that email increases.

Don’t be afraid to use tools

If you don’t have anyone to double-check your work, having a tool helps tremendously. Don’t shy away from entering your subject line into a tool that gives it a score like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer or Subjectline.com’s tool.

Still want some help crafting that perfect response? DemandZEN would love to help you with that.

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