email marketing subject line

10 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Subject Lines

Jul 15,2015 Posted by to Blog

10 ways to improve your email marketing subject line


Let’s face it, getting your email noticed in a recipients inbox is a little like trying to stand out in a crowd of seventy thousand avid Eagle’s fans. Sure you can paint your entire body green and white, don a horrendous wiry wig and sling as much bling around your neck as your body can support. This might just get you a 3 second cameo!

Your audience will judge an email by its subject line, so writing a good subject line is essential.  After all, it’s kind of like the old query, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?’ … if no one opens your email, does it make an impression? Definitely NOT!

Email is still an effective tool to connect to your customer when done right. The title that you give your email can make a big difference as to whether it ends up in the SPAM folder or is opened by the reader. The best email titles are short, descriptive and give the reader a reason to explore your message further.

Standing out in the inbox can be difficult and keeping your subject line simple and to the point is one of the best practices. Using cheesy or splashy phrases can backfire and result in your email being ignored.

10 ways to improve your email marketing subject line

Here are 10 Best Practices When Writing Email Subject Lines:

  1. Be Specific: When working on your subject line, identify and be very clear about your goal. Being upfront and honest will make it more likely that your email will be opened.
  2. Personalize, Localize and Target: Everyone likes the sound of their own name … using a first and/or last name, geographic or cultural references, details of the recipient’s actions, gender, seasons and/or holidays are all good ways to grab your reader’s attention.
  3. Subject Line Length: the general rule is to keep your subject line to 50 characters or less. In most cases this is best practice unless you have a highly targeted audience that will appreciate the additional information in the subject line.
  4. Numbers & Lists: Incorporating numbers into your subject line attracts attention (Our brains are naturally drawn to digits). List are easier for us to process and create interest, plus promise a quick and easy read.
  5. Preview Texts: Normally located near the subject line, the preview text gives readers a glimpse of what the email is about. Make it count and you will watch your open rate increase!
  6. Urgency: An effective subject line that adds a sense of urgency, such as “today only” or “12 hour giveaway”, will urge them to act now, instead of waiting and possibly forgetting to take advantage of your offer.
  7. Three Words to Avoid: Mailchimp recently came out with a study and identified 3 words that won’t trigger spam filters, but will negatively affect your open rates. They are: Help, Percent Off, and Reminder.
  8. A/B Testing: This is a great way to measure what is working with both your subject line and content. By creating 2 different subject lines and comparing the open rate, you can determine which style is working best for you.
  9. Ask a Question: Draw your reader in by asking an engaging question, such as “Are you making this email marketing mistake?” or “Does your email subject line stink?”
  10. Cut Back on Capitalization: Overuse of capital letters can backfire and reduce your open rate. Capitalize your letters according to grammar rules.

Famous WSI Results is a digital marketing company that helps small to mid-sized businesses in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey grow their online presence through tried and true internet marketing strategies such as, email marketing, adaptive search engine optimization, pay per click, display advertising, mobile marketing and more. If your business could use help with any of its online marketing, get in touch. | 302-407-0430|