how to write email subject lines

How to Write Email Subject Lines That Will Increase Your Open Rate

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Email subject lines can make or break your email campaign efforts. They are the first thing that the reader sees, and they determine whether the reader will open or ignore your email.

Most people still use email. Based on statistics from recent years, a single person receives around 90 emails a day on average. Given this large amount, it is easy for your email to get lost in that big pile.

Therefore, you need to pay special attention to email subject lines and prioritize perfecting them if you want to stand out.

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The good news is that a lot of the emails people receive offer little value to them. Thus, you can distinguish yourself by putting your readers first.

Writing catchy and interesting email subject lines is both a science and an art. While there are some rules that you can follow, it comes down to your creativity and your ability to capture your audience’s attention.

Thus, do not be afraid to think outside of the box and experiment with new things as long as you keep the readers’ interest in mind.

You don’t need to go through a lengthy trial and error process to figure out which email subject lines lead to the highest open rates. Many companies and agencies have been doing their research based on millions of emails sent, and they can vouch for practices that work best.

email subject lines

Checkout 8 best practices for writing email subject lines.

Be brief and to the point

There is no need to use cheesy words to lure your audience. You can use simple words to get your point across. 

Simple subject lines like “Our new summer collection is out” work best. Some statistics say that subject lines between 4 to 15 characters are optimal.

Add personalization

Your readers do not want to feel like they are numbers in your mailing list. Thus, reading their names in the subject will grab their attention.

You can establish rapport with readers by using this technique. For example, if your reader is called John, you can send him an email after having subscribed to your mailing list with the subject line “John, Thank you”.

This is short and makes the reader curious to know what you are thanking them for.

Also, people like to feel appreciated. Ensure you send this a couple of days after they have subscribed to add an element of surprise.

Give your readers an incentive to open the email and be specific

The mailing company MailChimp tested a few subject lines and found that those that included specific benefits to readers had the highest open rate.Instead of saying “we have good offers this weekend” in your subject line, you can say “30% discount on our premium products”.

The latter is more specific and to the point, and it does not waste people’s time.

You can use fear of missing out (FOMO)

Fear of missing out is a powerful motive among many people. While some marketers may find this approach unfavorable, it often works.

You can say, for example, “Offer expires by midnight”, or “50% discount for the first 10 buyers”.

This approach is effective because people attribute more value to things that are scarce.

Use numbers and lists

People love lists because they are concise, easy to read and convey value. You can say, for example, “20 lessons from failed startups”, or “top 10 hacks to land your first client”, and so forth.

You can tweak it depending on your audience and what you are offering.

Focus on issues your readers are struggling with

People subscribe to mailing lists because they want information that helps them solve their problems and learn. When you mention their problem in the subject line, you ensure that the line is relevant to them.

For example, you can say “how to increase your conversion rate”, or “guide to getting your finances in order”.

This requires you to do some research beforehand on what their pain points are.

You can be straight to the point

With some emails, you do not need fancy subject lines to get people to open your email. This is because people are used to a certain quality level from you or because there is no need to beat around the bush.

You can, for example, say “Happy holidays from [company name]”, or “invitation to webinar about [topic]” or something similar.

Use effective keywords

A detailed study by MarketingProfs showed that people respond to some key words more than others.

Words like “upgrade”, “just”, “content”, and “wonderful” had higher open rates than average, whereas terms like “deals”, “Groovy”, “Friday”, and “conditions” had lower open rates than average.

When it comes to symbols, the results varied, and there was no conclusive answer. Another study found that words such as “forecast”, “voluntary”, “congratulations”, and “deduction” also had a higher open rate than average.

Final words

The above are but a few lessons learned from previous campaigns, and they are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many best practices you can follow to improve your marketing results.

When conducting a cold outreach campaign, a good email subject line could significantly help tip the scales in your favor.

Writing excellent email subject lines is a single but integral part of your marketing efforts, sales campaigns, or new client acquisition. In all these cases, delivering on the promise you make in your subject line sets the foundation for a strong relationship and builds trust.

With SEO and other marketing activities, you should aim to be comprehensive and consistent across all channels.

Ideally, begin your marketing campaign by laying out a unique selling proposition and then crafting a communication plan around that proposition. Using communication framework templates available online can help structure your efforts and give you good results.

Moreover, you should keep track of metrics such as daily, weekly, and monthly reports so that you can detect and fix problems early on. Monitoring your marketing efforts and their results is as crucial as execution, especially if you want to adjust your efforts quickly to suit changing market demands.

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Heather Redding

Heather Redding

Heather Redding is a part-time assistant manager, solopreneur and writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is also an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. When Heather is not working or writing, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter @ heatheraredding.

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