Tips for Writing Awesome Email Subject Lines


Digital Marketing


More often than not, people would see random emails in their email addresses and delete it on first sight. Emails need to grab the attention of the people that it is sent to. Marketing is a tough venture and keeping the people interested in the product or service is top priority. Email advertising is even more challenging, with the person having the option on deleting the email. For this, emails must have an exciting and enticing subject line. Obviously, an email is only as good as its subject line because this is what the people will generally see immediately. If it doesn’t catch their attention, it’s no good.

We’ll see how to give emails the needed flare to get everyone’s attention. Here are some great tips on how to improve email open rates and overall interest in the emails that you send to prospective customers. Remember, if the email remains unopened, then there is no point sending it in the first place.

Clarity is Key

In the world of marketing, the important thing to remember is being able to stand out. Brand recognition is incredibly important and can drastically boost sales. Most of the time, people are not looking for entertainment in their emails, so subsequently, email subject lines are not the best places do this. Most people would want to know what exactly is inside the email, not just some “prizes in store” or “open for a surprise”. This usually easily gets warning signals of being just another spam email and should be avoided.

There is a case study back in 2011 by AWeber Communications that indicate subject line clarity, which is putting exactly what the recipient is to expect has drastically improved the number of opened emails. And by drastic, that’s 541% drastic. That is more than 5 times the number of prospective customers to open the email just by simply putting the clearest subject line possible.

Keep It Short

Keeping it clear is one thing, but keeping it short is even more important. The aforementioned study showed that keeping subject lines clarity makes prospective customers want to open the email because they know what to expect. The usual problem with this is that in making the subject line clear, there’s risk of making it too long. Always remember to put only the necessary words in the subject head and making it as short and as clear as possible. And while we are into shortening subject lines…


In keeping it short, sometimes people will shrug it off as something trivial and unimportant. It may sound clear but sometimes it’s not enough to simply make it clear and concise. It is also good to put a little sense of urgency into subject lines. This can induce prospective to customers to actually buy or take up on the services or products that are offered by the company, a kind of panic buying if you will. Try putting in words like: “save 50% on shipping expenses, for this week only” or “win a free trip, today only”. Specify the dates and present it as a limited, one-time offer (to which it may or may not necessarily be) and this would definitely grab the attention of the person.

Flagged words

There are also words that email address services would automatically mark as spam or trash. This is detrimental to the marketing plan because it will not appear in the inbox at all; it gets automatically moved into the “Trash” or “Spam” folder; and everyone generally clears the spam folder without reading its content. Some of the words to avoid are: “Percent off (in words, not symbols), Clearance, Earn and Make $ (yes including the symbol), Biz, Collect, Increase your, and (ironically) Dear.


Keeping the subject line personal and including the locale helps. In the days of increased information overload, it can be easy to simply ignore some messages that are clearly been mass produced and sent to random people over the web. Generic sounding subject lines tend to get trashed almost immediately upon reading. Making the subject line personal can improve open rates of emails. Sometimes the addition of a simple “you” can be enticing enough for the prospective customer to open the email.            

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