Best Practices for Writing Effective Email Subject Lines

Email Subject Lines

The humble email subject line may appear to be a menial part of your email marketing campaign. However, research suggests otherwise. Reports show that 47% of people judge emails on their subject line alone. Furthermore, 69% of recipients claimed to report emails as spam due to a bad subject line. As if that isn’t bad enough, internet service providers are also constantly scanning inboxes for emails they deem as junk. And, yes the subject line is one of the main factors affecting this.

So, if you want to avoid the junk folder, or even worse the bin, you need to give some attention to your subject line. Studies show that writing an effective subject line can greatly increase your email open rate. Thus, this blog post aims to explain best practices for writing effective email subject lines. 

Make it Personal

Emails with a personalised subject line are 26% more likely to be opened. Personalisation of the subject line makes the recipient feel more valued. They feel as though the sender has created this email just for them to read. However, the inclusion of the recipient’s name may no longer be enough. As a result, you need to use the data (such as job, gender, preferences etc.) you have on your subscribers to really personalise the subject line. 

Include Any Offers

If the aim of your email is to increase conversions by offering a discount or promotion then it is best to lead with that. Inform readers that if they open the email there is a discount inside. Generally, people love a discount so the mention of a discount in the subject line can be alluring. For example, ‘Get 30% off your next order!’ You are letting the recipient know that opening your email will benefit them. 

Create a Sense of Urgency

By creating a sense of urgency recipients can be encouraged to act quickly. People hate to miss out – especially on a good deal – so including a set time frame may help you communicate urgency. If your email does not contain an offer but you still want to create a sense of urgency words such as ‘breaking’, ‘important’ and ‘now’ can help you do so. 

Make the Recipient Curios

Sometimes it’s good to keep your cards close to your chest – and that can definitely be said when it comes to subject lines. By creating a sense of mystery you can tap into humans natural sense of curiosity. Give the reader a little taste of the contents of your email in the subject line – tease them a bit. Leave them with the only option of opening your email to find out more. 

Those are some effective ways of writing your email subject line. However, concurrent with all of these tips and tricks it is important to remember some other key factors

It Must be Relevant

Your subject line must actually be relevant to your business and the contents of your email. Most people have subscribed to your email list because they are interested in your business. So, if you send out an email with an irrelevant subject line you can guarantee your subscribers are marking as spam or, even worse, unsubscribing.

Do Not Make False Promises

It would be really easy to increase your email open rate by promising the subscriber the world. However, this does not make your business look good. It will lower your credibility and trustworthiness as a brand. And, ultimately, it could result in a high unsubscribe rate.

Avoid Spammy Phrases and Characters

Avoid the overuse of characters like exclamation points and question marks!!!! Internet service providers will not act in your favour and send your email straight to the spam folder. Phrases such as ‘Congratulations you have won’, ‘act now!!!’ and ‘no strings attached’ may also get you sent to the spam folder. 

So, it’s time to get creative and have fun with your subject lines. Use your subject line to portray your brand personality and tone of voice. You want your amazing content to be seen by your subscribers and having an effective subject line is going to help you do that. If you have anymore tips for effective email subject lines leave them in the comments!

Emma Sneddon
Hello, I'm Emma! I recently graduated from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen with a masters in Digital Marketing. I love all things fashion and have an undergraduate degree in Fashion Management. I am currently searching for a digital marketing role within the fashion industry and I am excited to see where my journey takes me next!