Why Subject Lines Matter In A B2B Email: 5 Ways To Get The Best Open Rate

Published On:
August 2, 2021

No matter what people say, emails are judged by their subject lines. It is one of the first points of contact for a wide range of leads. But, what many miss to see is that the difference between a good and a bad subject line is telling and selling. The former informs prospects, and the latter is a full-fledged sales pitch. Now, we all know how sales people can get pushy, irritating and overselling, right?

While listening to the self-indulgent sales banter is tolerated to some extent, the same does not go for email marketing. If your subject line seems pushy, the email will be thrown into the trash can (figuratively and literally). But, coming up with a good subject line is challenging and frustrating as it needs to be short and informative, yet catchy and clickbait-worthy.

So, how can one attain these qualities in a few words?

Remember, getting people to read your emails is a science in itself. Open your mind or your thesaurus and get that word game on. You need not be a content writer. But, if you happen to be one, it shall come in handy. Throwing the truth bomb – the bulk of the emails get deleted without much thought. Given this, subject lines compete with an overly crowded inbox.

So, below are five ideas that shall ramp up your open rates in no time.

1. Create a sense of urgency

Looking back at the classic infomercials, remember how their go-to phrase was “Act now!”. A similar CTA structure can be applied here.

Nailing that sense of urgency is crucial as it helps compel readers to click and read along, if not act. But, do not use the exact language for email content.

Now that you know why urgency is required let us get to the bottom of it. How to create this in so few words?

Well, you can go with phrases such as “Limited time offer” or “Time is running out”, but the key is to use them artistically or strategically. Firstly, do not create a sense of panic all the time. There is no worse way to lose importance than by repetitive gestures.

This idea works best for seasonal or festive items, such as clothing, footwear and apparel. Or, if it solves a problem then, you’ve got a winner on your hands.

For instance, a free trial to an antivirus software could be emailed as – “Your PC is slowing down. Download this app now!”

Key Takeaways:

  • Tap into a problem that businesses face
  • Offer the solution in the email subject line
  • Include calls-to-action in your subject line
Get started with Datagenie B2B prospecting platform
Get instant access to a B2B leads database that has 100+ million business
emails in 15 million companies.

    2. Build curiosity to bring in the leads

    Everyone today is hooked onto thrillers or dramas, in some way or the other. Creating an idea of suspense works for movies and businesses as well. It is the mystery of curiosity that sells the most.

    The same applies to email marketing and forming subject lines. Now the typical reel that “You will benefit from this email” might seem cold and boring. So, flip the narrative with numbers. “Want to see your leads grow by 200%?”.

    Such phrasing helps instil that initial curiosity and generate higher open and click rates for you. However, it must align with your brand.

    You can forge a sense of enigma through a story as well. For instance, “A brand doubled its revenue in two months with a few clicks. Here’s how.” Now, this creates that sense of curiosity.

    Although facts display honesty and integrity, they might seem bland, so try to build them with an immediate solution. With that said, the same structure used in B2C marketing applies in B2B marketing, just that the level is sobered down.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Explicitly mention the benefit
    • Use the question format to incite curiosity
    • The level should be sober or watered down compared to B2C marketing

    3. Use capitalization

    Use Capital or Block Letters in your subject line, but do not go overboard. Some words, such as REPORT or NOW, for instance, can be in ALL CAPS. Doing so brings immediate attention to the email.

    But, beware of the age-old idea of writing the entire subject line in ALL CAPS. No longer is this trick an effective one as people have evolved. If they have, then so should your subject lines. Today, such an email will appear as spam and see itself in the trash. But, capitalization is a powerful tool nonetheless when used smartly.

    You need not use jargon or sophisticated phrases, just a few that catch the eyeballs. Use your capital letters sparingly, professionally, and you’ll be good to go.

    Research indicates that whatever be the chronology of the capitalization, it all works. Whether you capitalize the first letter or the last one, it will work as long as it is used at the right time.

    • [2021 DATA] See how VR can help further your business?
    • LATEST VIDEO: Learn how to use CRM to reduce time lags
    • The importance of Content Management Systems [REPORT]
    • LATEST VIDEO: Learn about using VR and AR from the expert
    • Latest systems and technologies that can help you manage workplace content [PDF REPORT]
    • Best tips to increase efficiency with CRM at the workplace? [REPORT]

    Key Takeaways:

    • Capitalization works as an attention-grabbing tool
    • Avoid writing everything in block letters
    • You can either begin or end with capital words

    4. Personalize your emails (using gated content)

    No two email subscribers are the same. So, the subject lines should not be either. With browsing history and geo-tracking hitting the online world by storm, personalization has become simpler.

    It is a good space for email marketers as they now have a bank of knowledge on their hands – preferences, interests, social media, jobs, likes and dislikes, and so much more. Practically, everything you need to know for converting a lead.

    Using this, personalization for B2B clients can be created through gated content.

    Gated content is when data is made available to users only after receiving their details. Information provided is then accessible, thereby opening the floor up to a prospective lead. The concept provides a sense of exclusivity and elitism as it targets a specific audience.

    A point to note is that the prospect is exposing themselves to you and giving up anonymity. With that said, you must phrase your emails to be value-oriented. For instance, a gaming developer or brand that caters to high-resolution games would find information about AR and VR most relatable. The reason is that these two are upcoming trends and are most likely to fit their target audience.

    So, your subject line can read, “See how AR and VR software can enhance your game quality”. Another way to get clicked by the gaming company or developer is “Are you using this VR and AR software? Everyone else is.”

    Couple this with a sense of urgency, and you’ll strike gold. For instance, for businesses, “Use this CRM software to cut down the administrative time by 20%”. To go a step further, you can club this with a discount or price offer, if you may, to encourage clicks.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Show an understanding of the industry challenges
    • Offer value-driven suggestions and solutions to problems
    • Inform the business clients about the latest trends in the industry

    Once done, data from gated content shall serve as a list of potential leads. And the good news is that they will not only be interested in what you say but more so, in what you have to offer.

    5. Focus on forming emotional connections

    Let’s note this down – emotion works everywhere.

    Irrelevant of the situation you’re in, a touch of emotion and relatability can get the message across way faster than logic ever could.

    As expected, the principle applies in B2B marketing as well.

    Therefore, the subject line should focus on the story of your brand. Once you’re able to establish a connection with your prospects, enabling them to take that leap of faith would be quite consequential. So, before you bring forth the core competencies of your product or service, think about how your subject line can solve that one pain point for your customers.

    The process is quite simple – study the market, explore the current problems, relate the solution with your brand and finally, deliver the idea in a crisp statement.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Emotion trumps logic on every day of the week
    • Brand relatability needs to be built upon a story
    • The subject line should talk about the customer pain points

    The end game

    Now that you have read these tips to arrive down here, the next step should be nailing these tactics and bending the curve by keeping your brand relevant, relatable and aspirational for the prospects.

    Once you have dialled down the specifics of what works and what doesn’t – getting those massive open and click rates would be second nature for your company.

    Yes, it involves detailed research and follow-ups, but it also gives you a complete roadmap to finding your audience right where they are.

    And suppose you’re wondering about building a database of email IDs. In that case, DataGenie hand-sources a list of global prospects specific to your product, industry and location that can be downloaded to your CRM directly, building a direct path to success.