Significance of Subject Lines in B2B Email Marketing

A short description of the email body that is yet to be opened and read is the subject line of the mailer.What attributes makes an individual open a b2b marketing email? The only sneak peek available for the recipient is the subject line written and that’s what triggers the urge in him to go ahead and open the email. The subject line of an email is important as it is the first hint as to what your message is all about. It can also target and spark interest in readers you are trying to engage with. Your subject line not only needs to grab a recipient’s attention, but also needs to follow best practices. Otherwise, your subject line can lead to your entire email going straight to spam.

Good b2b email subject line size

Stats state that “Snappy” subject lines of 1-2 words easily performed best in each of the metrics, while those with more than 14 words also performed above average. All other word count groups skewed closely to the average (Source: Adestra July 2012 Report). Subject lines fewer than 10 characters long boasted an open rate of 58%, 38% higher than the next highest open rate, for subject lines of 50-59 characters in length (42%). (Source: Informz 2012 Email Marketing Benchmarks Report). Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened (Source: Adestra July 2012 Report).

Subject line should not be longer than max 45-50 characters: It is noticed that subject lines with 50 characters or less have 12% higher open rates & 75% higher click-through rates than emails with longer subject lines. Keep your subject lines crisp, precise yet leaving a curiosity in the minds of readers to want to open the mail.

Tactics that boost b2b email click rates


The most common practice, using only the recipient’s first name, leads to a small but noticeable boost in open rates of mails by 20-25% , inclusion of both first and last names in subject lines is less common, it has the largest overall positive impact on open rates, after all who doesn’t want to be an individual focus point of attention.

Do not be spam friendly

This attribute is one which we have to be beware of. Words like ‘free’ and ‘guarantee’ should be completely wavered off. They are mostly set as filters for spam. So you might just land up being in your target audiences spam folder.

Avoid usage of uppercase and punctuation

In contrast to what is in general perception, using uppercase in B2B marketing email is actually a spoiler. It gives a shouting impression to the reader and using too much punctuation like apostrophes and question marks makes you look too anxious. In either case it should be avoided as it may land you in the trash list.

Be truthful and consistent

The content and body should match in terms of the information provided. Avoid making fake promises in the subject line when the actual website link doesn’t have them incorporated. Fingerprints and omitted offer details often leave a level of disbelief amongst the recipients.

Offer value and trust

The subject should be designed in a way which communicates a level of value offering for the reader, a value that has the potential to change their lives. At the same time it should have capability to restore faith in your mail in comparison to other emails that he is receiving. It should be free of errors, spelling mistakes and free of excess usage of special characters.


Even when you’re doing an email blast, you can still go for a customized option of sending mailers with subject lines in alignment with the interests of the different recipients. You can also send same emails to segregated groups who have same interest levels. That just requires that little bit of extra effort in researching on your leads.

The key at the end is to place yourself in the shoes of all the recipients that you intend to send the emails across to and feel what will be your first reaction to the subject line that you have jotted for them. Don’t try and be a pestering seller, try and be a solution provider. Because only when you have value to offer, will you get receive value.

We welcome more ideas for the topic discussed; fell free to drop in with your comments and views.

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