The Five Elements of Click-Worthy Email Subject Lines

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According to a 2019 Ycharts’ client communications, nearly 80% of clients prefer that their advisor communicates with them via email over all other forms of communication.

Given the overwhelming preference for email, the success of your communication relies on the strength of your subject line and content. According to Convince & Convert, 35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone.

That’s why it’s incredibly important to have a strategy for creating click-worthy subject lines.

Most articles on this topic only look at general best practices for subject lines and are not specific to advisors. To get more granular, I wanted to look specifically at what’s working for financial advisors’ email marketing*.

Using my company’s data that shows the performance of various subject lines, I’ll discuss the types that are working best and how to write your own version to communicate with clients.

Before we dive in, let’s get some context.

Email marketing statistics in financial services

Email marketing is measured using three metrics:

Open rate: the percentage of recipients who open a specific email out of the total number of recipients the email was sent to.

Click-through rate: the percentage of people who clicked on at least one link in your email message.

Click-to-open rate: A comparison of the above two numbers, providing a percentage representing the overall effectiveness of your message.

In Campaign Monitor’s breakdown of email performance based on industry, financial services emails have an average open rate of 24.8%, an average click-through rate of 2.7% and an average click-to-open rate of 10.6%.

The examples below surpass these averages.

Five types of subject lines to get more opens

  1. Imply value with hyper-specific topics

Focusing on benefits to the recipient is one of the best ways to attract readers to your subject line. But for some of my company’s informative emails, I found narrowing in on the topic and audience to be more effective.

Here is the data from three high-performing informative emails:

Each subject line was successful because it implied benefits to the reader by focusing on the topic and audience.

Let’s take “Tax Strategies for High Earners.” The benefit of the subject line is implied – these strategies help high earners save money.

But the subject line says nothing explicitly about the benefit. Instead, it focuses on the audience and the how.