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Special characters in email subject linesThere are countless articles and blog posts dedicated to crafting the perfect subject line. Here’s one from Lasso that we published a while back.  The truth is no one has perfected the subject line. The main reason is that different tactics work for different audiences. There are, however, universally recognized practices that help increase open rates, including keeping character count to 50 or fewer, being relevant and specific, and making your subject stand out in a crowded inbox.

That last one is tough. There are rules of etiquette, like not using all caps, which force marketers to become more creative when it comes to creating visually appealing subject lines. You also don’t want to set off spam alerts by overusing punctuation or words like ‘FREE.’ But a new phenomenon has come along that’s getting audiences’ – and marketers’ – attention: special characters.

You’ve definitely seen them. If you text regularly with a teenager (or even some 30-year-olds), you’re bound to see smiley faces, hearts, stars, even thumbs up signs. These special characters are starting to show up in email subject lines to get consumers’ attention and increase open rates.

While many special characters are graphic art files, some of the basic ones – like arrows, hearts, stars and diamonds – can be recreated using html code and added to a subject line. A note of warning: while special characters do attract attention and in some cases have led to increased open rates, excessive use can trigger spam alerts. If you choose to experiment, use them sparingly, as in one or two per subject line. If you use two, use the same two. Also, it’s recommended to use special characters in no more than one email per month. You want to use them when it really counts. Here are some examples of special characters done correctly:

Examples of Special Characters

(Image source: icontact.com)

In Lasso, some of these special characters are already available in the design mode of email template creation. To use them, simply follow these steps:

Place your cursor in the body of the email, them click the Symbol button in the toolbar.

Lasso toolbar

Click on the symbol you’d like to use, which will insert the symbol into the body of the email.

Lasso special characters

Cut and paste the symbol from the body of the email to the subject line.

Lasso email template

If you’re interested in creating additional symbols using html code, this web page can show you how.

As with any email template, it’s always wise to test it in several different email providers to make sure it renders properly.

If you have questions about using or creating special characters in your email templates, please contact support@lassocrm.com.

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