In the world of email, subject lines are the first impressions. All the clichés you've heard about first impressions apply here. The subject line is the gateway to your email, the number one determinant of whether a healthcare professional (HCP) will open it.
The strength of your subject line will affect your open rate, which means it can make or break an entire campaign. No matter how stellar your content reads, your campaign will fail if you can't entice HCPs to open your message in the first place. Picture a Harvard MBA with a decade of experience showing up to a job interview in a tank top, leather vest, and biker boots. His qualifications are impeccable, but the employer will likely never know that. Why? A bad first impression.
Writing subject lines is both an art and a science that DMD has perfected through deploying more than 25,000 email campaigns. When it comes to HCP marketing, here's what we've found most effective.
The Ingredients for a Successful Subject Line: Relevance, Readability, Word Order, and Strategic Preheaders
Think about the hectic schedules of modern HCPs with stereotypically inundated inboxes. Your subject line must shine through the clutter, capturing their precious time and attention. Follow these rules to create a compelling subject lines:
- Ensure relevance and delivery. The subject line should be clear, specific, and clinically relevant to the group you're targeting (more on customization later).
- Limit the characters. Less is more when it comes to subject lines. Most email marketing authorities recommend no more than 50 characters for maximum efficacy.
- Front-load keywords. Keep the most important words at the beginning, so mobile device character limitations don’t cut them off.
- Enhance the message with preheaders. These are the few lines of text that appear in HCPs' inboxes underneath the subject line. Support the message in your subject line with an equally enticing preheader.
Maximize Email Campaign Results with Personalized Subject Lines for Devices and Different HCPs
Different mobile devices and operating systems display different numbers of characters for subject lines. Different devices also have different rules as to what content they show in the preheader. If you don’t properly program your preheader, iOS devices will create a default preheader, using the first line of the email copy. When a preheader reads, “To view this in your browser, click here,” your email will appear to be spam or coming from a third party. Bottom line: Optimize for all devices and operating systems to avoid these kinds of glitches.
Last but not least, write your subject line with your target group in mind. A one-size-fits-all subject line will lead your message to a one-size-fits-all recycle bin. Experiment with different subject lines by specialty, practice group, prescribing history, affiliations, and/or geography.
Email content is only as good as its subject line. Superb content without a solid subject line is like a jet that breaks the sound barrier in the air, but can't take off. With the tried-and-true tips we've shared with you, you're sure to improve your open rates and engagement levels.