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How to Write Compelling Email Subject Lines

How to Write Compelling Email Subject Lines

Subject lines will make or break your emails. They’re the very first thing people see when they open their inbox, and it’s what they use to determine whether to open an email. In fact, 47% of users decide to open an email based solely on the subject line.

It may seem daunting to come up with a compelling subject line, but by keeping these best practices in mind, you’ll be able to create subject lines that your subscribers just can’t help but open.

Keep it short and sweet

The moment a reader opens their inbox, they’re making a snap decision about which emails to click. Catch their attention with a subject line that’s clear and concise. Klaviyo found that the shorter the subject line, the higher the open rate, and vice versa. They also found that 63% of emails are opened on a phone. Most phone screens truncate the copy, which is why it’s best to keep your subject line around 7 words or 41 characters long.

Personalize it to your target audience

The average person receives 100-120 emails per day. You want a subject line that will help you stand out from the crowd. One easy way to do this is to put your reader’s first name in the subject line. This is a proven tactic that boosts open rates by 10-14%. You can also personalize your subject lines in other ways. Try including your reader’s recent purchases or use casual, friendly language to create a feeling of closeness with your audience.

Use action words

It’s a proven fact that people respond best to clear, simple instructions — even Harvard says so. Think of your email as a call to action. Start the subject line with clear, actionable directions that entice people to click. Some strong action verbs include “join,” “shop,” “buy,” and “get today.”

Include the offer in the subject line

If you’re running a promo, make it known to your entire subscriber list. Put your offer right in the subject line so no one misses it. If someone is interested in making a purchase, they’ll be bound to click that email and take advantage of your deal.

Ask questions

It’s human nature to be curious. Tap into this instinct by asking open-ended questions right in your subject line. It’ll cause subscribers to stop and think for a moment, and even answer the question in their head, before clicking your email open.

Create a sense of urgency

FOMO doesn’t just apply to missed parties or after-work drinks. It can also be an incredibly effective email marketing tactic. No one wants to miss out on a limited-time offer or a limited-edition product, so infuse your emails with a sense of urgency.

Be controversial

Some of the most effective subject lines are ones that are controversial or polarizing. Hot takes or unpopular opinions will instantly grab your reader’s attention and cause them to click your email. Of course, you don’t actually want to cause a controversy, so choose your words wisely.

Be funny

In a world of boring emails, be the one that stands out. A funny or clever subject line that tickles your audience’s funny bone will go a long way. It can sometimes be hard to strike the right balance between funny and sensitive, so be sure to get to know your audience first.

Use emojis — sparingly 😉

Emojis are a fun way to add some flair and infuse some color into your subject line. According to research, they can even increase your open rates by 45%. But don’t go overboard with emojis — only use them to supplement, and not replace, your message.

Don’t overdo CAPITALIZATIONS or exclamation points!!!

You don’t want your email to be sent straight to spam, nor do you want to sound like a used car salesman. Keep capitalizations and exclamation points to a minimum and avoid spam-triggering phrases like “CLICK HERE!!!” and “FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!!!”

Don’t forget about preview text

Think of your preview text as even more real estate to pack your email with value. Rather than leaving this space empty, add a sentence here to expand upon your subject line.

Writing subject lines can be tough. Let us do the work for you — drop us a line below!


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