Hashtags, In A Subject Line?

Potential Effects Of Hashtags

When the DirectIQ team sat down in a circle together to brainstorm for our subject line marketing school article, we really did think we touched on every base of the subject line dictionary. But, uh oh… we may have made a huge mistake there, and might actually have to go back in the and edit the “how to go about writing the perfect subject line” article, as we totally forgot to consider the effects hashtags could potentially have when used in your email subject lines. And for that, we totally apologize 🙁

What Is A Hashtag?

To make up for our blunder, the DirectIQ team got together again, sat around in a circle, and after a game of duck-duck-goose, talked about hashtags in email subject lines…Let’s first start off with a little history lesson for those that don’t know anything about hashtags. The hash character (#), also known as the number sign, is a metadata tag that designates whatever is tagged as part of certain group of information or relevance. For example, the Wendy’s twEATfor1K campaign that called for people to tweet a photo of their flatbread chicken sandwich to their twitter profile (@Wendys) with the hashtag, and those that did subsequently entered to win a daily drawing of $1,000. Pretty cool, huh!?

More History For Hashtag

Hashtags first began on Internet Relay Chat, their function was the same as it is today, to categorize information, like images and messages (and other content). In 2007, hashtags gained the popularity they’re know for today through Twitter when a tweeter proposed using them to the general public. The first real hashtag campaign centered around the wildfires in California, the hashtag was #sandiegofire, which you might remember? In 2009, Twitter embraced hashtags, and the rest is history. But anyways, how can they help improve your email subject lines?

How Can Hashtags Improve Email Subject Lines?

For one, hashtags add a call-to-action to a subject line, one that the “younger generation” (or anyone who knows what a hashtag is) to respond to it, and on various social media platforms. But more importantly, by definition hashtags represent a specific segment of information — and when in a subject line, that specificity adds an heir of personalization for the person that receives the message. Furthermore, hashtags are packed with expression, and using short subject lines can be an extremely effective strategy.

Hashtag In A Regular Subject Line

All that said, the most important question to consider before just jotting down a hashtag in a subject line is this – who will be receiving your emails? If it’s a demographic that might not have any idea what a subject line is, then it might be best to use a more traditional strategy. With that in mind, our DirectIQ team believes that as more and more people use their mobile phones for email, and other social media apps, hashtags will eventually gain enough popularity to be used more regularly in subject lines? #ItsJustAMatterOfTime