Effective Email Subject Lines

Email subject lines are tricky business. 47% of marketers say they test different subject lines to optimize their emails’ performance. We know what subject lines are. They are what you see when an email lands in your inbox. But, what are good email subject lines?

Effective Email Subject Lines for High Open Rates

Elements of Effective Email Subject Lines

Email Subject Lines: 10 Tips for Construction Sales

Email subject lines are tricky business. In our Sales Emails Strategy article for construction professionals, we briefly touched on the importance of email subject lines.

47% of marketers say they test different email subject lines to optimize their emails’ performance. We know the answer to the question: What are subject lines? They are what you see when an email lands in your inbox. But, what are good email subject lines? An effective subject line will compel your prospects or clients to open your email and explore your value proposition. It gets you halfway to closing the bid or gaining a new client! And how do you write an email subject? Let’s dig a little deeper into sales email subject lines to see what to do and what not:

Personalize Your Email Subject Lines

Address your subscribers directly in your email subject lines where applicable. One of the most interesting findings is that the use of both first and last names has a positive impact on email open rates. Email subject lines examples in this category are:

{First_Name}, thanks for the invitation to bid {Project_Name}. Attached is our proposal.
Or
{First_Name}, give us a chance to bid your next construction project

Mailchimp research showed that using only a first name was particularly effective when addressing someone in the government but had a negative effect for the legal industry.

Keep Subject Lines Short

Many recipients open their messages on their mobile devices, so make sure they can see the entire subject line. HubSpot recommends an email subject line of fewer than 50 characters. MailChimp, suggest no more than 9 words and 60 characters, so their recommendation is in the same ballpark. That is a tall order, right? We’re not all poets! But we can cut the fluff. Here is a good email subject line example of what to do and what not:

Our Sprinkler Systems Have a Safety Record We Are Proud Of
VS
Our Sprinkler Systems Have a 0% Fail Rate

Remember, you can elaborate on your subject line in the Preview text of your email.

Use Action-oriented Verbs

For follow up email subject lines, where possible, start your email subject line with a verb. For example:

Partner with BMC Plumbing on Your Next Opportunity
OR
Team Up with Us on Your Next Building Project

Free Marketing Workshops

  • Create Stunning Marketing Brochures and Flyers Without the Help of a Graphic Designer
  • Turn Your Website into a Business Growth Tool
  • Build a Project Portfolio Flipbook
  • 10 Email Marketing Best Practices for Construction Companies to Reach New Clients
  • Establish a Successful Social Media Presence
  • Learn How to Use Adobe InDesign for Your Proposals or Brochures in 60 Minutes
  • Learn How to Enhance the Look of Your Proposals with Word in 60 Minutes
  • Create Stunning Presentations to Impress Potential Clients

Sign up for workshops. They’re FREE!

Ask a Question

Identify a question or a pain point your prospect may have in the subject line of your email and answer or address it in the body of the email. Done deal! See the two examples below of “just OK” vs. best email subject lines:

Building Code Requirements Explained
VS
Trouble Finding Your Way through Building Codes?

Or

Find Out If You Need a 5-Year Inspection or a 1-Year one.
VS
Wondering If You Need a 5-Year Inspection or 1-Year One?

State the Facts

What is a professional subject line for an email? Construction professionals are looking for concrete — no pun intended — facts and figures. Not generalizations like “the best” or “must have”. Use numbers. Grab subscribers’ attention with some metrics, then offer supporting content in your body email. Here goes:

Stay on schedule. On budget. On scope.
VS
XYZ Rated in the Top 10 General Contractors by ENR

Cut to the Chase

Be specific. Again, construction professionals are cut and dry folk. Tell it like is. Be specific. Say what you do and be sure you can do what you say. Provide support for your subject line in the body of the email.  Here are some examples of email subject lines for sales:

We Build Anything from Bridges to Bookstores
VS
Specialists in Concrete, Gypsum Floor Underlayments and Leveling
OR
Specialists in Concrete. We Can Build Bridges and Bookstores. (even better!)

And don’t forget to add a call to action in the body of the email!

Be Creative

Construction professionals are creative by nature. Together they create what it takes to build anything from family homes to warehouses to skyscrapers. Tap into that creativity. Inspire and energize your clients with your subject lines.

Need a General Contractor?
VS
We Build the Future

Stir Curiosity

They say that curiosity kills the cat. But it also allows one to come up with answers, solutions, even inventions! Suffice it to say, do not give your recipe for success away in the subject line, or the email body for that matter. Allow them to find it for themselves. Send them to your website or have them pick up the phone…

Contact Us for All Your Electrical Wiring Needs
VS
What It Takes to Build an Energy Efficient Home

Break the Rules

Last but not least, follow your gut. Sometimes long subject lines cut it. Just make it authentic. Put thought into it. Always consider who you are addressing that email to, and what you want them to do, even if it is just to build your network of leads.

Do NOT

Use the following words in your subject line because they may cause your email to be flagged as spam (visit Autopilot for more examples):

Important information
Free
Urgent
While stocks last
Exclusive deal
Sign Up
Act Now
Last Chance
Exclamation marks!
Emoticons 😊
ALL CAPS

Conclusion

A single word in your email subject lines can determine whether your readers will open your emails. To a large extent, the content of your message determines which words you use. However, it helps to run your subject by the criteria in this article before you hit the Send button. Also try A/B testing to see which subject lines your subscribers prefer. Most mail platforms provide open and click-through rates for emails. Construction CRM tools like iDeal do too. Keep track of those metrics to see what works and what does not. But, most of all, be mindful of your audience and use your words wisely!