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One of the most important things you can do with your email marketing is making sure those on your list open your emails. The biggest key to success is your email subject line.

What your audience sees on that subject line can determine whether or not they open your emails. If you want a better chance of converting your audience into sales, your email could be a big part of it.

Here are the steps you should take to create an email subject line that generates opens — and increases your chance of sales:

1. Be Specific and Useful

First of all, your email subject line should be useful and specific. This should be information that people want to read. It should also let them know exactly what is in the email.

When you are specific and useful, readers already know they want what’s in that email. They are primed to respond favorably. It’s even possible that they are already on their way toward being a sale.

Be clear about what is going on, and what you offer, whether it’s a discount on a helpful product, a free webinar that provides information they want, or an event they want to attend.

2. Be Clear About Who You Are

Consider using a consistent prefix for your email subject line. This should identify who you are. You want your audience to know it’s you. They trust you and are more likely to open an email from you than from some random person or organization.

3. Add Some Urgency

Make sure you add some urgency. When you send an email sequence for an event or some other one-off item, people tend to forget about it. You need to inject urgency into your email subject line. Make sure you remind people of real deadlines. Some examples include:

  • Your discount ends in 48 hours
  • Today is the last day to register
  • We only have X left
  • The first X people have access to

These are ways you can convey urgency and encourage your audience to open the email and take action immediately.

You can also use this tactic to connect your offering to current news items and live events that your audience is interested in.

4. Use Visual Markers to Call Out Your Email

Using numerals instead of writing out numbers can be eye-catching. You can also use brackets, dashes, quotes, and other items to catch the eye and make your email subject line more interesting. You want to stand out a little bit to grab attention.

5. Include a Call to Action

Finally, consider adding a call to action to your email subject line. A call to action can clearly tell your audience what to do in order to take the next step. What do you expect your readers to do when they open the email?

As you try different email subject lines, pay attention to what seems to work best. It’s a bit of an effort of fine-tuning to find subject lines that are more effective with your particular audience. As you get better at creating subject lines, you’ll see better open rates and conversions.