Email subject lines are more important than you might think!  They’re one of the main reasons someone will or won’t open your emails.

Writing effective email subject lines takes practice. But once you get the hang of it, it gets easier. Just like a habit.

This is why it’s essential to give intentional thought to each subject line. Don’t act as if it’s an afterthought. It’s too important to be treated like one!

Want better open rates? I’m going to give you 10 tips for writing effective email subject lines. These are tried and true practices for what to do AND what not to do to achieve better open rates from your emails.

#1. Keep it short

  • The proven length according to many email marketing providers for best open rates is between 6-11 words. If you want your entire subject line to be visible in someone’s email inbox, you should keep the length closer to 6 words.

#2. Use the pre-header text

  • Think of it as extra promotion for your subject line. This area is good real estate, so don’t skip it. It can give more details of the messaging inside your email.

#3. Watch your tone

  • Do not use ALL CAPS, excessive punctuation!!!, or emojis 🙂 🙂 🙂 :), words or phrases found in your SPAM folder, or profanity. All caps give the impression of screaming. Excessive punctuation is obnoxious and can end up in SPAM. Too many emojis can come across as infantile, and profanity can come across as vulgar to some.

#4. Emphasis

  • Place the most important words at the beginning of the subject line.

#5. Be clever

  • Use alliterative phrases like Business Building Blocks or ask a question.

#6. Use listicles and numbers

  • Phrasing like “The top 10”, “5 Tips”, “8 Ways” etc… get attention and show that the content inside isn’t too lengthy. Remember human attention spans are getting shorter and shorter all the time!

#7. Offer something

  • Provide an offer or some kind of value in the title that’s complimentary. An example would be “Open for your coupon code” or “ 2 for 1 offer inside”.

#8. Don’t bait and switch readers

  • By this, I mean not to use a catchy phrase as your subject line only to get an open and then offer a broken promise inside. Also, don’t include content inside the email that’s not relevant to the subject line.

#9. Use personalization or ONE emoji when appropriate

  • If you collected your subscriber’s first name when they joined your list, you can automate the campaign to include it in the subject line. To further stand out in someone’s inbox, use a colorful emoji that correlates to your subject line.

#10. Write your subject line LAST

  • The best way to create a subject line is after you’ve completed the content inside the email. This way, you can consider the relevance of the topic and gain clarity by seeing the main idea of the email.

Bonus tips:

  1. Conduct A/B testing. Try two different subject lines and send the first to part of your list. Then send the other subject line to another percentage. Whichever subject line gets the most opens with the test, send it to the rest of your list.
  2. Use subject line suggestion tools. Your email marketing service provider might have a suggestion tool. It generates various ideas based on the content inside the email campaign. How cool is that?
  3. Test your subject line against previous subject lines within your analytics dashboard. Compare the last 5 or 10 and see which types generated the highest open rates. From this research, you can draw on similar themes going forward.

And there you have it! Tried and true ways to take your bland subject lines to grand subject lines.



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Sue Glenn