Top 10 Email Subject Line Tips


The subject line is one of the most important components of any email. It helps the reader decide whether or not a message is worth reading. As an internet marketer, it’s important to make sure that your subject lines always make the reader want to open your email. Here are some tips that will help.

#1: Keep it Short

When it comes to an email subject line, less is more. The goal is to get the reader to open the email and read it, not give everything away from the start. A Mailchimp study found that subject lines with a length of 28 to 39 characters had the highest click rate. It’s also important to keep the subject line short for practical reasons. Most email programs cut it off at 50 to 55 characters, so if you go beyond that the reader will not see the whole thing.


#2: Avoid Spam Triggers

No matter how spectacular your email may be, if it ends up in the user’s spam folder, the chances of him reading it are slim to none. It’s a good idea to encourage your subscriber’s to add your email address to their whitelist so that they won’t miss any of your emails, but since not everyone will do so it’s important to avoid using words and symbols in your subject line that could trigger spam filters as much as possible.

These include:

  • Free
  • Earn
  • Income
  • Cash
  • Buy
  • Clearance
  • Million
  • Credit
  • Stock
  • Sale
  • Online pharmacy
  • Weight loss
  • Urgent
  • Winner
  • Casino
  • Dollar signs
  • Excessive exclamation points
  • All caps

You can also use your autoresponder’s spam check. Here’s an example from an Aweber spam check.


#3: Use Numbers

Numbers have a way of making headlines more appealing, and the same holds true for email subject lines. Using a number promises quantifiable information and people like this. And in the case of lists such as “5 ways to boost conversion rates” or “Top 7 Facebook marketing tools,” it promises an easily digestible list of useful information.


#4: Create a Sense of Urgency

If the reader doesn’t read your email as soon as it is received, chances are he won’t read it at all. That’s why it’s good to create a sense of urgency with the subject line. Go ahead and let them know that spots for your latest course are limited, that your big sale ends tomorrow, or that they must take action right away. They will feel compelled to open your email and learn more.


#5: Be Clear About What’s Inside

Sometimes an air of mystery can work to your advantage, but in most cases readers want to know what an email is about up front. Their time is valuable, and if they are unsure whether it will be wasted by reading your email, they may send it straight to the trash.

Never mislead your readers…it will reduce your credibility and is also likely illegal.5-be-clear

#6: Make it Timely

Current events that are relevant to your audience make for great email subject lines. You don’t necessarily have to make the entire email about the event. Simply finding a way to tie it in with your message is a good way to generate interest and make recipients want to read more.


#7: Focus on Benefits

One of the most important rules of copywriting is to focus on the benefits that your product offers the customer. This can also be

applied to email subject lines. Let the reader know what’s in it for him right off the bat, and he will be eager to read the rest of your message.


#8: Be Controversial

Don’t be afraid of stirring up a little controversy. It’s a great way to pique the reader’s interest, even if he doesn’t agree with your stance. Just make sure that you back up any claims made in the subject line within the email; otherwise, you may lose the reader’s trust.


#9: Avoid Cheap Tricks

9-no-tricksSome marketers resort to trickery as a means of getting readers to open their emails. For example, they might add Re: or Fwd: to the beginning to make it look like the email is coming from someone the recipient knows.

Most users are savvy enough to ignore such tactics, and those who do open the email will be turned off by the dishonesty and delete the email.

Just give it to them straight and treat them like you would a friend that you’re emailing.

#10: Test Your Subject Lines Untitled

There is no foolproof formula for creating the perfect subject line. Tactics that work for one marketer may be all wrong for another, so it’s important to test your subject lines to determine what works best for your specific audience. You can do this by sending identical emails with different subject lines to two groups of subscribers. Look at the open and response rates for each, and apply the techniques that work best to future emails.

No matter how good your email is, it’s worthless if it goes unopened. By taking the time to craft an informative and attention-getting subject line, you can make sure that most of your recipients will keep reading.