With an ROI of 42 percent, the question for most businesses in the security industry is not whether they need an email campaign, but how to execute one. Over the years, we’ve found that one of the most challenging things for our clients is getting creative in the email subject line.

We get it. Security is a conservative industry dealing with some serious topics, but just because we’re all about keeping people safe doesn’t mean we need to play it safe in our email marketing.

Here’s why. It doesn’t matter what’s in the emails if they are never opened. You could be giving away the farm, complete with silver cows and a flock of geese that lays golden eggs, but if your email subject line doesn’t persuade the reader to open, engage and act, the message is lost.

And people don’t read your subject lines. They skim every subject line in their email box and swiftly decide what’s worth their time. Boring won’t get opened. Boring won’t compel decision makers. However, “unboring” doesn't mean it has to be ridiculously lighthearted, spamy or clickbait. It means it will be compelling, and compelling nearly always means customer-centric and matching the tone of the subject.

It’s the difference between “7 Reasons Why ABC Security Company offers the Best Commercial Security in Timbuktu!” and “7 Deadly Mistakes Commercial Businesses in Timbuktu Can Avoid. Free Guide.”

A subject line should be informative and intriguing, convincing people to click without over or under promising on what’s inside. And readers do judge those that don’t accurately represent what’s inside — studies show that 69 percent of email recipients judge whether a message is spam based on subject lines alone. Overcoming that takes some serious creativity, but it’s worthwhile.

In the security industry, the average open rate of an email is 13 percent. Using creative and eye-catching subject lines, we have an average open rate of closer to 23 percent. As you can see, a creative subject line is the difference between sending an email and connecting with the reader.

Remember, your email list is golden and must be used with intent. One ineffective, boring subject line can not only leave your newsletters unopened — they can also lead to massive unsubscribes that can absolutely destroy your email list.