10 best practices for writing the perfect email subject line

10 best practices for writing the perfect email subject line

The subject line is usually the create or break text for an email.

That’s what makes your email stand out from the crowd 100 – plus in the average inbox Daily. That’s what motivates the recipient to open the email.

How do you make a great first impression in the inbox?

Read on to learn how to not only capture your recipients’ interest, but improve their engagement with your brand.

1. Make it Personalized

You have many personalization options for email. For example, you could send it from someone at your brand instead of a generic brand email name like TextRanch does here:

Human touch is more likely to grab the attention of subscribers, who see it as a more personal email, not a promotional brand email.

You can also personalized subject line based on what you know about the subscriber. For example, subscribers who live in Toronto where heavy snow is forecast might receive an email with the following subject line: “Snowy Toronto – get 20 % off leather jackets. ”

2. Keep it short and to the point

Almost half Some people prefer to open their emails on mobile devices. If you write a lengthy headline, much of it won’t be seen by mobile viewers. Most email clients won’t show more 43 characters of the headline in the mobile view.

Most #email clients do not display more than 43 characters of the subject line in mobile views, notes @EvaldasMockus via @CMIContent. #E-mail advertising Click to Tweet A Market research showed that subject lines containing four words received the highest average open rates (18.26%). However, the click-to-open rate may be more important as it includes both opening and clicking on at least one link – conversion. The highest average CTO rate (10.8%) occurred with seven-word headlines, followed by nine words (10.6%) and six words (10.1%).

The highest average CTO rate (10.8%) occurs with seven-word email subject lines, according to a study by @adobemarketo via @EvaldasMockus via @CMIContent. #E-mail advertising Click to Tweet

3. Use all available properties

While the headline should be short, the preview text or headline can be slightly longer. In this example from Clark at InVision, the subject line is “Real World: Product Design” with preview text, “5 UX career trends for 2019. Plus, the actual lifespan of a product. main product…”

Image source

In this example, the subject line is 26 characters, while the preview text includes 68 spaces.

Make sure you don’t repeat the headline in the preview or header. Instead, add an explanation or highlight something that was introduced by the subject line, or include a detail that the subject line might not indicate was included.

Make sure you do not & # 039; do not repeat the #email subject line in the preview or the previous header, @EvaldasMockus said via @CMIContent. #E-mail advertising Click to Tweet

4. Use the number

Debra Jason once said: “Our brains are attracted to numbers because they automatically arrange information into a logical order. In marketing and advertising, your headline is an advertisement for your content. An odd, small digit, such as seven, is like candy for your organizational mind. ”

The same goes for your email subject lines. Is the software analyzed? 115 millions of headlines and was found to include numbers in subject lines that increase open and reply rates:

# Email subject lines with numbers have higher open and reply rates, according to @Yesware #research via @EvaldasMockus @CMIContent. #E-mail advertising Click to Tweet Numbers tell the story succinctly and are visually different from letters, which appear more in the inbox. Consider two options with similar messages:

  • Top weight loss tips today!
  • Lose 5 pounds 45 days

Which works better? The latter because it sets expectations and creates a clear picture of what’s inside for the recipient.

5. Use power words

To transform a bland, overwhelming subject line into an irresistible subject line, use Power words .

You can trigger an emotional and psychological response in the recipient, which is more likely to result in a click to open the email. Consider words that have the power to spark curiosity, appeal to vanity, build trust, or develop FOMO (fear of missing out).

Arouse curiosity

Our brains actively respond to curious impulses when presented with something that is inconsistent with our understanding. Use that mindset to create a curiosity gap in your subject lines.

For example, ask a question: Wonder How We Make Our T-shirt Unique ? Or make a real promise: 7 Surprise tactic to increase your sales.

I have bolded the power words in the examples above. Here is a complete list of curious words to consider:

A frivolous appeal

You can exploit the psychological behavior that makes people want to be admired or recognized. This subject line captures the vanity surrounding beauty: A dazzling skin care product will make you look younger.

This is a list of frivolous attractive power words. Remember, you can also use powerful words to enhance the effectiveness of your subject line, but don’t overdo it:

Build trust

Integrate words into your subject line and preview text to foster a sense of trust with recipients. Check out these examples: Try These Bestsellers or Get Lifetime Access to Our Membership Plans.

Here is a list of power words that help create a sense of trust:

Create FOMO

Loss aversion is proportional to the fear of missing out. You can clearly communicate what the recipient can lose by not opening your email as this example illustrates: 5 tips you must know when buying jeans.

Here are the words to use in your subject lines to create a sense of FOMO:

6. Get offers

You know that sharing something of value is always a good marketing strategy. Let recipients understand what they will get after opening your email. Make the offer attractive and irresistible.

You don’t have to use the word “free” to create value. Offer discounts, include a success story, etc. Consider the following examples:

  • Check Out Out Our Awesome 20% Mother’s Day Sale
  • Get a 10 % discount on your first purchase
  • See how Rebecca got rid of her acne with our serum

Be honest about your product or service and make no false promises to earn an opening.

7. Give notice

Announcements about new product releases, limited editions, updates or even upcoming events in your organization? Do it in your email. Convey a sense of insider news or exclusivity in your subject line:

  • Be the First to Order a Tesla Model 3, Available Now
  • Exclusive preview: 5 order Annual Black Friday training program

number 8. Think twice about emojis

Old research from Experian Said emoji in the subject line resulted in a 56 % higher Open Rate. But more recent analysis from Search Engine Land and others point out that emojis can have a negative effect in prompting recipients to open an email.

Don’t assume the emoji in @EvaldasMockus via @CMIContent indicate the subject lines should prompt to open. #E-mail advertising Click to Tweet If you want to test the impact of emojis in your subject line, make sure they’re relevant to your message and easy to understand by recipients like this for giveaway events:

Place them at the end, between words, and even in the preview text. But don’t overdo it and make sure to analyze your open and click metrics to see if they have a positive impact.

9. Avoid shouting

Have you ever received an email with a subject line like this? OPEN NOW — YOU WILL BE SURPRISED!

Many brands still work to get subscribers’ attention. However, this method is not good and may cause your email to be flagged or marked as spam. Instead, write in a less aggressive manner.

While it’s never a good idea to use all caps, check which uppercase letter — sentence, title, or lowercase — works best for your audience. Here’s how those options will appear:

  • Increase your ecommerce sales in just 4 weeks (sentence case)
  • Increase your ecommerce sales in just 4 weeks (headline case)
  • increase your ecommerce sales in just 4 weeks (lowercase)

10. Check Your Subject Line

Last but not least, test your subject line before sending an email to a recipient. You can run it by a teammate or a friend and get feedback on how engaging the headline is. You can also use tools like Omnisend’s My Master subject line checker , Net Atlantic of or other.

Here are some suggestions for checking subject lines:

  • Write at least 20 variations to test.
  • Identify the top three groups.
  • Use each of those in your campaign through A/B testing.
  • Winner analysis.
  • Repeat the process for future campaigns.
RELATED CONTENT TO BE HAND-VIEWED: Why We Are Still Tal king About Email in 2020


While there’s no hard and fast rule that will give you 100% engagement and conversions, these best practices will help you write high-performing topics that will help drive interest and conversions. engage your readers.

If you have a tool to recommend that isn’t here, feel free to add it in the comments.

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Cover photo by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute

By Nguyen Manh Cuong

Nguyen Manh Cuong is the author and founder of the nguyendiep blog. With over 14 years of experience in Online Marketing, he now runs a number of successful websites, and occasionally shares his experience & knowledge on this blog.

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