6 Best Practices for Blog Outreach Subject Lines

6 Best Practices for Blog Outreach Subject Lines

One of the biggest challenges in your outreach campaign is getting a webmaster to notice your email and reply. We know because we have been reaching out for guest posting opportunities and link building for Marketer’s Center’s own website. And with trial and error, we have noticed that one of the most effective ways to get noticed is to write great subject lines for our emails.

Here are the best practices you can try for your blog outreach subject lines.

1. Make it short and sweet

The people you are reaching out to receive many emails every day. They can get emails from their peers, subscriptions, and unsolicited senders like you. You want to make your blog outreach subject lines to be short and sweet. This is because of the following reasons:

  • The people you are reaching out to are busy with their day. Get straight to the point. Nobody will take the time to read unsolicited messages when they have solicited messages to work on.
  • Short and straight-to-the-point subject lines get your idea across immediately. People often don’t trust unsolicited messages because many of them are from scammers and spammers. Get to the point quickly, so they know immediately what you are up to.
  • Long and complicated subject lines are harder to understand. If your blog outreach subject lines are hard to understand, many readers won’t even bother trying to understand them, especially because the emails are unsolicited messages anyway and are not that important to them.

Blog outreach subject lines that are short and sweet value the readers’ time and don’t look suspicious.

2. Don’t use all caps

There are no clear-cut rules when it comes to capitalization in email subject lines. Some people capitalize every major word as if the subject lines are titles. Some people capitalize just the very first word. And there are some who don’t capitalize at all.

But one unspoken rule is to not use all caps in your email subject lines. This is because of the following reasons:

  • Using all caps just looks unprofessional. Using all caps just makes you look untrustworthy. You will be better off following other capitalization rules, like capitalizing major words or just the first word of your subject lines.
  • Subject lines with all caps appear spammy. Many spammers use all caps in their email subject lines with the intention to catch the attention of the readers more. But this actually has the opposite effect. Many readers associate all caps with spam. It doesn’t help that many of those who use all caps use spammy words too like ALERT, URGENT, or PLEASE READ.
  • All caps can change the tone of your message. Your blog outreach subject lines should generally be friendly. You can even stroke the ego of the reader a bit. Unfortunately, using all caps makes you appear unfriendly and aggressive. It also makes you appear like you are yelling.

Just write your subject lines like how a normal person will write them – capitalizing major words or simply writing them as is.

3. Avoid using words that trigger spam filters

You may have found a blog that fits perfectly for your outreach campaign. But here’s the thing – the blogger who owns that blog probably gets a lot of unsolicited messages and spam already. To avoid getting their inbox flooded, many webmasters use spam filters.

Your blog outreach subject lines should not use words that may trigger these filters.

  • Avoid exaggerated claims. Don’t use expressions like 100% free, guaranteed, risk-free, and save up to 10%. You are not sparking the interest of your readers. You are alarming their spam bells.
  • Avoid shady promises. Spam filters are often triggered by expressions with shady promises like cancel at any time, no hidden costs, and no strings attached. Your blog outreach emails will go straight to the spam folder of your prospects if you use these.
  • Avoid unnecessary urgency. We all have heard it before – add a sense of urgency and a call-to-action to your blog outreach subject lines for more engagement. But this doesn’t always work. Adding pressure and urgency to your messages will sometimes turn off readers. Avoid unnecessarily using expressions like call now, click below, and please read.

Offering free stuff and annoying readers with a false sense of urgency and call-to-action trigger spam filters – or readers.

4. Don’t use an overly promotional tone

Again, offering free stuff and having exaggerated claims and shady promises will trigger spam filters. They are often viewed as too good to be true emails and straight-up spam. With that said, spam filters have become more advanced over the years. And they won’t instantly flag your blog outreach emails when you use such expressions. But even if you pass through the filters, having an overly promotional tone in your messaging will not give you results.

  • Exaggerated claims and shady promises are just spammy. This can’t be stressed enough – you will not gain the favor of your readers by having claims and promises that appear suspicious, especially if you are using expressions that are commonly associated with spam.
  • An overly promotional tone makes you look desperate and suspicious. When you are reaching out to webmasters and bloggers for guest posting and/or link building, you have to offer some kind of value in return. It helps to be genuine and interesting too. But if you have an overly promotional tone, you may give the impression that you are desperate for a guest post and/or a link.
  • A promotional tone with other red flags can trigger even advanced spam filters. Yes, advanced spam filters don’t automatically send you to spam folders just because you use expressions that are commonly associated with spam. But your blog outreach emails may still trigger them if you use these expressions together with other spammy techniques, like including suspicious attachments and links.

It’s okay to offer some value to your potential readers, but don’t be overly promotional because it’s spammy and suspicious.

5. Make the reader wonder if the email is worth opening

Most blog outreach emails are unsolicited messages. Because of this alone, your emails are already not likely to be noticed. But with effective subject lines, you may increase the odds of getting noticed and a reply. Effective subject lines make the reader think that the emails are worth opening.

  • Be straightforward. In your subject line, you can already mention how you want a guest post opportunity and/or a link. If you are this straightforward, the reader understands that you respect their time and they know immediately what you want. Those who reply are automatically good leads because they already know what they are getting into.
  • Be personal. Personalization is an important aspect of outreach emails. It makes it appear like your emails are written personally for your prospects, not just templates that have been sent to hundreds of other prospects. There are a lot of ways to make subject lines personal, but the most effective ones are using the real name of the recipients and complimenting them for something they have done recently, like writing a blog post or getting a promotion.
  • Be witty. Everybody likes a good sense of humor – yes, even in the professional scene and B2B. Curious subject lines, jokes, and just general humor may just be the icebreaker you’ve been looking for. But be careful in appearing cheesy or looking too desperate to incorporate humor into your messaging.

Your prospects get a lot of unsolicited messages. Make sure that yours is worth opening.

6. Experiment with a lot of different subject lines

Thanks to effective blog outreach subject lines, we have a consistent flow of guest post opportunities and links for Marketer’s Center’s website. But these subject lines can be ineffective for other industries like, say, home service and HVAC. It’s important to try different approaches to see what works and what doesn’t.

  • Try the different techniques in this list. You can tweak your subject lines here and there, but the techniques in this list are general enough for you to follow easily and effectively. Make your subject lines direct and not overly promotional, and then make tiny edits that may give you more responses. The important thing is to try different things.
  • Remember that some techniques may work better than others. From our own experiences, we have learned that techniques that work for one niche may not work for another. Maybe the subject lines are simple for the people of one niche but complicated for the people of another. This just highlights why it’s important to try different things as you go.
  • Always A/B test. It’s important to A/B test in email marketing to determine what works and what doesn’t and to know what metrics affect your numbers. If you are sending thousands of emails, even just a 1% increase in your open and response rates can give you a significant boost in your outreach.

Don’t rest on your laurels and always try to improve your numbers. Sure, you can be running a campaign that is already effective. But how can you make it even better?

Subject lines are crucial parts of your blog outreach emails

Subject lines are crucial to the success of your overall blog outreach strategy. They determine whether your blog outreach emails are going to be opened at all. With poor blog outreach subject lines, your open and response rates may suffer.

Make sure to try different things because every case, industry, and niche is different.


Andrew Scherer

I've been involved in digital marketing for over a decade, since 2006. Marketer's Center gives digital marketing consultants the ability to easily scale their local marketing agencies in a way that isn't labor-intensive and still very profitable. If you want to get my "6 Month SEO Plan" please request a free reseller dashboard account here. You'll also be able to download a price list for all of the services we offer. You can connect with me via Facebook in our Local Marketing Freethinkers group, or via Twitter and Linkedin.

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