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10 Tips to Write Compelling Subject Lines for Effective Email Marketing

10 Tips to Write Compelling Subject Lines for Effective Email Marketing

Admin 01-12-2020

Email marketing is an effective way of communicating with consumers. It is fast, easy, and targets the customers that have shown interest in your product or service. It is one of the most efficient ways of interacting with your customers to increase brand awareness and drive revenue.

However, email marketing is only successful if the recipients open your emails. That is why the open rate is an important metric for any email marketer. And one thing that affects the open rate of your emails is the subject line.

Email subject line is the written text that is displayed along with the sender’s name when your consumer receives your email in their inbox. If consumers see a catchy subject line that compels them to open your email, then they will also read the inner contents to satiate their curiosity.

Creating and optimizing your subject line can improve your open rate by almost 33%. So naturally, you need to be more careful while crafting your subject line. While many people know the importance of a great email subject line, certain tips can help you craft a better subject line.

In today’s blog, we are going to discuss 10 major tips to write a compelling subject line.

Tip #01: Write shorter subject lines

As we discussed in one of our previous blogs, your email needs to be more mobile-friendly to cater to that 46% of email recipients who check their emails on their phone. It means that your subject lines need to be shorter.

Go through your subject line and see which word can be removed or replaced. It is wise to keep your subject line under 50 characters so that it does not get cut off on your reader’s phone screen.

Moreover, avoid using common words like “Update” or “Alert!” or even “newsletter.” They are overused, and so, customers often leave the email for later or forget about it.

In fact, even a single word can be a great subject line if it is extremely relevant to your product or service. However, make sure that the word is relevant to your brand and the message contained in your email.

Tip #02: Never use ‘no-reply’ sender names

The ‘no-reply’ sender name could very well be one of the biggest peeves for the customers. That is because customers would rather communicate with a real person than receive communication from a bot.

Using a familiar sender name allows customers to give a name to the person they are communicating with rather than the whole company. Moreover, email sent with a familiar name has more chances of getting opened than emails sent through the company name and definitely more chances than a no-reply email.

Tip #03: Use FOMO and curiosity at the right times

Making your customers believe that there is a need for them to act fast can increase your click-through rates. When there is an urgency, people often feel the fear of missing out (FOMO) on the deals.

However, be careful about using urgency only when it is genuinely required and not only for the sake of increasing your email’s open rate. Otherwise, it could negatively affect your brand or business.

Similarly, with a subject line that invokes curiosity, you must use them sparingly and with clever caution. Too many subject lines like that will make your customer uninterested, and, after some time, they will not open your emails.

You need to create an email subject line that makes your customer believe that something rewarding is in the email and that they need to open it. So your subject line can be a little puzzling but relevant to your brand. Ensure that you do not make it so vague that your customer does not even realize that the email is from your brand.

Tip #04: Be more clear and concise

Like we said earlier, use urgency and curiosity sparingly. For other emails, your subject line should be more clear and concise. Subject lines that are clear and concise have an opening rate of a whopping 60-87%.

Shorter and easier to understand subject lines allow customers to know what is inside the email. For, example if you want to tell your customers about your summer collection, you can write “Be summer-ready with our new summer collection” instead of “Our summer collection is here”. It gives your customer an idea of how your deal can be useful for them.

And that brings us to the next tip…

Tip #05: Start your subject line with action verbs

Words like “Grab now” and “Buy now” written at the end have a lesser impact than when they are written in the beginning. Compare these, “Spend the evening dancing to the beats of The Yellow Diary” and “The Yellow Diary concert tickets are here! Grab them now!”

The former one sounds more appealing because it sparks an imagination within the customer’s mind of what they could do if they opened the email and bought the tickets.

Similarly, you can induce a rewarding imagination in your customer’s minds with suitable action verbs that will compel them to click on your email and read it.

Tip #06: Personalize your email subject lines

This tip has been told and used many times in the past, and it still holds like nothing else. Now, more than ever, you can use the data gathered from your customers to personalize their subject line.

You can use their name, location, or retarget them using their past purchases depending on what is relevant to your brand and at the right time.

For example, if your customer has bought weekly groceries from your business, you can send them deals and offers on products they had bought right before the start of the next week.

In the subject line, refrain from writing “based on your past purchases” or “based on your past activity, these are some recommendations.” These subject lines sound a little vague, and customers may not open them if they had made the purchase only a few hours ago.

This personalization and timeliness allow users to get the products and services they use right when they need them. For businesses, it increases the open and click-through rate.

Tip #07: Ask a question

You know who your audience is, and you know what they are interested in. Use this knowledge to ask a question that makes them want to get an answer.

Asking a compelling question to your customers makes them wonder if you have the answer to that question. So they would click on the email to find out what solution you have to offer them. For example, if your customer is a school teacher, you can send them an email with a subject line like, “Are you too making these 5 teaching mistakes?

Questions like these are already in the minds of your customers, and they are looking for an answer to that, or they are curious about what could be these mistakes and how can they correct them.

Tip #08: Show your customers your funny side

Most people appreciate good humor and would reward you by going through your email if your subject line made them laugh or even smile a little bit. Here are a couple of examples,

“Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)” – Groupon

“Just Pho You: Where to Eat SF’s Best Pho” – The Bold Italic

The latter is a simple pun on popular Vietnamese food, pho. Similarly, you can use puns or simple humor to get a good laugh. However, ensure that you do not overdo it.

Tip #09: Use emojis

Emojis or emoticons are popular among a large number of consumers. Moreover, using an emoji in the subject line highlights your email in the list of emails that your customers may have received.

People often use small emojis in their daily conversations. Using the above tips, along with a relevant emoji, will make your subject line a little quirky. Email subject lines with emojis have a 56% more chance of opening than subject lines that do not have emojis.

However, do not put random emojis in the subject line, or it may confuse your customers.

Tip #10: Make use of your preview text

Preview text is the text that directly follows your subject line in the desktop view. It is a place where you can carefully choose what to write but never miss that chance to interact with your customers.

Many times the preview text is about email visibility or device compatibility or just random text that your email client has pulled out of your content. You can set the email visibility and compatibility text at the end of the email and write an engaging copy in the preview text instead.

This preview text is also visible in major mobile email applications. However, it does depend on the user preferences whether they have kept the visibility on or not.


Here we conclude our list of tips to write compelling subject lines for email marketing. Writing an attractive email subject line is the first step towards increasing your opening rate, click-throughs, conversion rate and ultimately increase your revenue generated through email marketing.

It is not an exaggeration to say that writing a powerful subject line is the most important thing in email marketing. If the customers do not open your email then the content within will be of no use. So the next time you craft an email subject line, make sure that you use the above tips for better results.

What else do you do to ensure higher email open rates? Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to check out our other blogs for more marketing tips like these.

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