12 Tips for Writing Effective Email Subject Lines

We get lots of emails daily in our inbox. Coupons, newsletters, offers, sites we signed up for, most of which we delete without reading. But we do read a few, don’t we? And that is purely because of the subject line. First Impression is the last impression. It is rightly said, a good subject lines […]

We get lots of emails daily in our inbox. Coupons, newsletters, offers, sites we signed up for, most of which we delete without reading. But we do read a few, don’t we? And that is purely because of the subject line. First Impression is the last impression. It is rightly said, a good subject lines for email marketing leads to higher email open rates and automatically makes Email Marketing effective.

As a digital marketer assigned with the task of email marketing, one should be able to create emails with subject line that wouldn’t get ignored and definitely not go into spam folder. Following are the ways you can learn how to create top notch subject lines:

1. Crisp it up!

What good is the subject line if no one wants to read it? Subject lines should be short and crisp. Don’t add too many words or details, making the user want to delete or ignore it as soon as he receives it. Limit the subject line to 30-40 letters/ 5-7 words. Try building up curiosity of the target with the subject line, leading him to open the email.
Example: “Thank god, it’s Freeday Friday!” By E-Commerce Company

2. Delete the spam words

It is a known fact that email providers automatically filter spam emails. As an email marketer, you would not want your mails to reach the target’s spam folder. Avoid words like “Claim” “Free” etc that would lead the mail into spam. Also, phrase your email subject line in a non-spam way. [P.S There are spam checker tools like emailspamtest.com available which can help you with this.]

3. Make a list!

You are reading this because the title suggests that this post is a list! Yes, lists today are a popular form of article all over the internet and can definitely be used as an email subject line. It is because people today prefer the information in short and a continuous portion, because it makes it easier.

Example: “10 Tips for Healthy Diet!” by Famous Chef/Food Website

4. Question the target

Question is a great way of to grab the target’s attention. A subject line with a question would induce the target to open the email. It would make them feel inquisitive and motivate them to find the answer in the mail.

Example: “Who’s making a comeback?” by Television Series Production House.

5. Give a trailer

Give the target an idea about the email, but the key here is holding the real content just like the movies. Try a phrase that sparks the interest of the reader with a little preview in the subject line. It hints a surprise but doesn’t give away enough making the target open the email.

Example: “Grand Hotel, Feel like a Royal!”

6. Try something different

Having a unique subject line will lead to maximum open rates. Know your target, what you are offering and build a subject line accordingly. Write something that would want the users to open the mail and also remember it later on.

Example: “Exotic bite with melting berries” by Ice Cream Franchise

7. Add your brand/person name

Many people automatically open the mail, just because subject line has the name of brand or the person sending it. Be it loyal followers or prospective target, reinforcing the name of brand or person is not something to be backed off from. This isn’t about great subject line but rather “What does this person has to say? Let me check!”

Example: “Phillip Kotler: Hello, Dear Marketers!” [Personal Email Newsletter]

8. Direct Subject Lines

Don’t refrain from having straight forward subject lines. Sometimes, people respond to plain instructions given in the subject line. Just find the right target audience, use the right tone and command them.

Example: “Join us for the Walkathon!”

9. Add date or deadlines

Give a wakeup call to the target audience! Send final reminder about offers, registrations, purchases and renewals with the right subject line. Keep the time of the email within the final 24 hours for boosting the open rates. The subject line in such cases also feels friendly and doesn’t seem like the company is trying to sell something/show something forcefully.

Example: “Uh-oh, your subscription is expiring!” by Online Streaming Service

10. Be funny

It can be hard to be funny, especially when it comes to an email subject line. But this is one of the effective ways to capture the target’s focus while making them laugh out loud! Different from classic subject lines, this can be a complete surprise to the target.

Example: “Hire real lawyers, not Mike Ross” by Law agency

11. Add personal touch

It is no secret that a personal touch in marketing can make it more effective. Adding a personal message, with exciting offers or unique content is an incredibly effective way of email marketing. Statistics say, the recipient name added to subject line received more open rates than the ones which did not.

Example: “Happy Birthday, Bhakti! A Gift Waits!”

12. Important information

This subject line may not be for promotions, but for communicating important information to the recipient. This subject line should be concise and direct. Adding humor, crafty lines, or any such subject line may divert the attention from the required information.

Example: “eBay India: Change your password immediately”

These are some of the email subject line tips to increase subscriber engagement with emails. Always know you have less than five seconds to convince a person not to delete the mail, and only thing that matters here is the effectiveness of the subject lines. Make it your aim to have a vivid subject line that communicates the required information they seek.

Also, have a quick look at your inbox and let us know which emails grabbed your attention to open them, and why in the comment section below:

1 Comment

  1. Eshwaran TS

    Very useful tips…finding it apt for my activities. Many thanks.


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