10 Quick Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Subject Lines

email marketing subject lines

Subject lines are the gatekeepers of your email campaigns. Working for hours to nail an amazing email copy and in return getting no response is really something everybody hates! The words you choose as a title of your email can have a huge impact on whether the hard work you’ve put into your email will pay off or not. Investing some extra time on your subject title will help you boost email open rates, avoid the junk folder, and get your message to the right audience.

Here are some quick tips that might help you in this.

1. Be Specific:

There are usually two types of email messages that companies send to their clients: notifications and direct updates (newsletters). Try to make sure that all the subject lines you choose for your emails doesn’t get cut short, by keeping it under 40 characters or around five to eight words.

When it comes to notifications (transactional emails), the best approach to subject title is normally to be specific and let readers know exactly what they’re going to open. You must understand that readers just scan through their inbox quickly. So it is best to have subject lines using just a word or two to engage your readers more effectively.

2. Take Out Anything Spammy:

Titles of your emails that are overly sales-ey are usually marked as spam. So it is best to avoid using loud punctuation like all caps and using several exclamation marks, plus overtly like “Purchase now” or “Get Free.”

Double check your content that it is in good shape for deliverability. Rather than creating overly promotional content, try to offer your expertise and sharing information that is valuable for the audience.

3. Localize, Personalize and Target:

These days, basic personalization is a very common practice. Beginning the title of your email with ‘Hey Chris, why do…” is really standard, and maybe a bit ‘same old’.

This doesn’t mean that you must give up on personalization! Personalization comes in many structures. The most powerful things that can be done for this is to use the customer attributes and activities to tailor the titles and the email you’re sending. We’ve previously explained how to to personalize your email marketing campaign to obtain better results. You must check that to get better understanding of which area needs more attention.

4. Be Unique:

In order to create a good title for your email, you need to know about two things: number one is your audience and number two is uniqueness of your offer, which they can’t get anywhere else. Decide what your business is particularly about and highlight that in your subject line.

Don’t be reluctant to put your business’ name right in the subject title. Most of the people will open messages just based on the sender alone, so don’t miss the opportunity to strengthen your brand image.

5. Ask a question:

Why would it be advisable for you to use questions as a part of your subject line? Questions are a great approach to get your readers attention and crest their curiosity.

At the same time questions also feel incomplete all alone. With the use of a question, you can inspire your readers to open your email looking for an answer.

6. Include a Deadline:

Considering that a lot of distractions are standing between you and your readers, using a deadline is something that you may use as a priority at times.

Having a successful marketing strategy for some event or a special offer, will probably require a series of emails. You can release an initial announcement, letting individuals think about a future date. And then send a last reminder with a tight deadline to act.

Don’t be hesitant to set the turnaround time as short as 24 hours. “Now or never” types of due dates are usually the best.

7. Use Numbers:

Just like blog titles, making use of numbers in your title has been a worthy practice. Most of the people love numbered lists and human interest always spikes when numerals are included. This is one of the widely recognized best practices for email marketing.

8. Personalization Tokens:

Try to use “personalization tokens” in the subject to make it attractive for the readers. Let’s be honest, everybody adores the sound of their own name. By adding the recipient names, you can add a feel of relation with readers. Attach it to your title by saying things like: “John Doe, we really wanted to share this…”

9. Easy identification

Make sure that your contacts know the email is coming from you. Tricky titles might be confusing for people so it is preferable to try to include your business name in the title. Also, verify that you set the “From” attribute of your email to add your name and your organization’s name, for example, “From: John Smith.”

10. Never Forget Mobile:

The last but not the least suggestion is about mobile. As studies have indicated that around 80% of the people check their emails either on a tablet or a mobile; making small screens a key factor in modern marketing. This requires you to keep your subjects short enough to be easily read on the mobile screen. Arrange your catchy words in a way that they are visible to the mobile viewer.

I hope these tips will help increase your e-mail open rate and will bring success for your business. Good Luck!


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Tahir Akbar

Tahir Akbar

Tahir Akbar is Digital Marketing Manager at Makesbridge. He loves to write about digital strategy & trends, email marketing, industry best practices, and management. He tweets at @tahirakbr