GOOD SUBJECT LINES GET OPENED, BETTER SUBJECT LINES PAY RENT
Subject lines set you apart from everyone else
The subject line of your next email campaign competes with the subject lines of everyone else in your subscribers inbox - so it’s worth taking a minute (or 30) and getting it right.
I always recommend sending weekly emails (“your fans subscribed because they love you, and want more of you”) so you can find out what “works” much faster than sending a once a month email, but if you’re still wary, you should at least be A/B testing your subject lines.
That just means sending your email with two different subject lines to a small section of your subscribers (Mailchimp and Klaviyo make this super easy).
After a few hours, the one that was opened the most is the “winner,” and the email gets sent to the rest of your subscribers with that subject line.
Sending with just one subject line might get you 11% opens. Or 20%! Sure.
But by testing two different subject lines with your audience, you might learn they like things short and sweet. Maybe they like super long, descriptive subject lines.
You won’t know until you try.
Let’s say you have a new video that just went live, and you want to let your fans know about it. You could write a subject line like this:
Subject line: NEW VIDEO!
Then maybe that gets a 24% open rate.
Or you could try A/B testing your subject lines, and try something like this:
Subject line A: NEW VIDEO!
Subject line B: Three cats, a car chase, and a surprise guest - check out our new video!
Subject A might get a 22% open rate, but Subject B might get a 34% open rate - that’s a lot more people opening your email by just testing out a different subject line style.
“On a list of 10,000 people, an open rate of 20% gets you 2,000 readers. If you can bump that up to 25%—which is totally possible with a great email subject line—you’ve earned another 500 readers.
Even at a meager 1% conversion rate, that’s 5 new customers,” from Active Campaign.
Think about that, too - you don’t need EVERYONE to place an order (though that’d be great). Increasing opens, or clicks, or conversions by 1% can add up when you do that week after week for a full year.
“Next time you’re writing the subject line for your email campaign, consider testing the order of the words to see if front-loading the benefit can help improve your open rates,” Campaign Monitor
Free shipping, a 10% discount, low stock - consider testing where you put that in your next subject line, as it could affect how many people open your next email.
Remember - you’re competing with maybe 100s of emails in someone’s inbox. There’s nothing wrong with writing 10, 20, even 50 different variations of a subject line, just to practice the craft. That could take you 15 minutes or more, yes, but it could also lead to 10 more orders.
“Email is one of the few direct to consumer channels, and the more data you have about your audience, the better you can share your music with them,” Berklee Online
“Try out different subject lines, images, layouts, and send times to see what’s working best,” from Mailchimp
Think about it - you could try different band photos, album art styles, or sending at different times, and increase the number of clicks from an email. That could mean more selling more records, or tickets for your next tour.
Okay, that’s a lot to digest, but I hope I gave you something to think about.
Taking the time to A/B test your subject lines could literally mean money in your pocket, which means you get to keep making cool stuff.
If you have questions, hit reply or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. I updated my CLOSE MONDAYS website, so if you work in heavy music and want help selling more music or merch with your email list get in touch!