Quick Tips for Better Email Subject Lines

email subject line graphic

February 15, 2022

Email marketing is a huge opportunity for your business. From brand building to nurturing leads to making sales, email marketing is crucial for a fine-tuned marketing system.

According to Constant Contact, 60% of consumers reported making a purchase as the result of a marketing email they received. However, sending out enticing offers means nothing if your recipients don't open your emails.
That’s why crafting a compelling subject line is so important, and why we’re going to give you five easy tips to help jazz up your subject lines and boost your open rates, resulting in more conversions.

1. Contain at least one of these elements

Regardless of your industry or goals for email marketing (i.e. sharing company news, generating engagement, or promoting your products/services), your subject lines should contain at least one of these elements. 


Urgency and scarcity in an email subject line, when phrased creatively and strategically, can encourage readers to click (or act).

Example: Your 5,000 Free Postcards Disappear Today


Piquing the interest of your recipients will help get you higher open rates – since they need to open the email to get more information. Just be careful you’re actually giving them what the subject line promises.

Example: Yep! You’ll never believe what happened next…

An offer

Free or discounted offers are often enough to open up the email to see what kind of savings they could get.

Example: 40% off Valentines Day Special ends tonight


Modern-day marketing lends itself to learning a lot about your subscribers. So when you send them content, make it catered toward the individual.

Example: Dave, are you still accepting referrals?

Relevance and timeliness

Trending topics or timely headlines can help you establish your brand as an authority within your industry.

Example: Use your tax refund to get the car you always wanted

Name recognition

Inserting a recognizable name from your industry or someone that your audience admires can draw attention to your subject line and encourage clicks.

Example: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates agree this skill is critical 


Including a compelling allusion to a story that can only be read if the email is opened is a great way to create an intriguing subject line.

Example: How you can cash in on the Cryptocurrency craze

2. Keep it short and sweet

Many email providers have a set length they display for subject lines, and they’ll get cut off if your subject line is too long. With more email opens taking place on mobile, we recommend using subject lines with fewer than 50 characters.

This requires some brainpower to figure out which words are crucial, and which can be removed or replaced. For example, instead of saying, “Order #9435893458358 is being processed" you could simply write, “Your order is being processed.” It’s shorter, snappier, and can boost customer satisfaction when people open and read your email.

3. Start with action-oriented verbs

Subject lines are similar to "calls to action" in that you want to encourage people to click. That’s why subject lines that start with action verbs tend to acquire more clicks.

For example, if you were hosting a cooking class at your restaurant, you would want to use language like, “Learn to Make the Best Pizza in Chicago!” instead of just “Pizza Cooking Class.” The first subject line uses “Learn” to help the reader envision themselves in the class.

4. Use numbers to catch the eye

Being vague isn’t always the best way to entice interest. Sometimes, people are more drawn into seeing numbers in a subject line because of their specificity.

There are various ways to use numbers, for instance, you could say how many tips are in your article, a specific discount, or another statistic that tells a story, such as "Discover why we donated 40,397 pairs of socks last year!”

5. Pose a captivating question

“Are you making these tax return mistakes?”

“How much house can you afford?”

“What are your customers saying?”

Asking a question in a subject line can draw in your readers, especially if they don’t know the answer to the question. This is a great opportunity to provide value in your email marketing by providing the answers for them (even if they have to fill out a form to get it). Additionally, it can help further your prospects down the customer journey.

Craft Emails That Attract Attention

There are many benefits of email marketing, but if your subject lines are lackluster, then you won't see much of an ROI for your efforts. That's why it's vital to write subject lines that are catchy, clear, and succinct to attract your recipient's attention and invite clicks. Furthermore, make sure that you have a well-crafted strategy to guide your email marketing to maximize results.

Schedule a free 30-minute strategy session with Sales & Marketing Technologies to take your email marketing to the next level!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

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