How To Use The Second Subject Line In Emails
27th May 2021
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We spoke last week about how changing the time you send your emails can improve the open rates. This week, we have another very useful “trick” that can stop giving the impression that your email is just another salesy, corporate, mass email.
 
The main subject line is the one we all know and talk about.
But what we’re talking about here is the often forgotten ‘second’ subject line.
 
When you look at your inbox, you’ll see just three things in each email.

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1. From Name
2. Subject Line
3. Second Subject Line or ‘preview’
 

The Second Subject Line is the preview of the first few sentences of your email.

You can see them here when we look at the inbox:

The second subject line is critical to getting your email opened, and yet, so many people just ignore what they use in their emails.

The most common ‘second subject line’ in a marketing email is:
 
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What an absolutely, totally ridiculous waste of space!

  • It does NOT compel you to open the email in any way.
  • It screams “I’m a mass mailed promotional email, please ignore me!”

(When was the last time you emailed a friend with that sentence?)

And yet, not only do most people include it in their emails, but they give it pride of place right at the top so that it’s pulled in to the second subject line.

So let’s look at some GOOD examples of second subject lines:

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This ‘second subject line’ complements the main subject line. It reinforces the message and further compels you to click and read the email.
 
Here’s another example:
 
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This second subject line works because it overcomes two of the main objections people would have when reading the main subject line.

“Swipe our £12,849 Facebook Ad Template” – the reason someone wouldn’t open this email is because they think “that’s going to take too much work” OR “that won’t work for my business/industry.”

This second subject line overcomes both of those objections and is therefore going to give us more opens!

So have a look at your emails and the second subject lines that go out.
Whose line is it? Your email providers’ that is auto-generated - or yours?


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About the Author

David Ruddle

Member since: 10th July 2012

Owner of thebestof Eastbourne, I help local businesses and organisations raise their profile in Eastbourne and then help maintain their visibility via our website and social media.

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