Email Subject Line Best Practices

More than 144.8 billion emails are delivered across the globe. That’s a wow figure, isn’t it?

Gone are the days when buyers and sellers would have to meet and bargain over a shop or store. Everything happens on the virtual platform today.

There are websites and e-stores popping up by the minute adding on to the intense competition. They are presenting unique and out-of-the-box content. However, having a website is not enough.

You need to work on it, promote it and expand its reach. Email marketing and ecommerce solutions help you with that.

Now, most people usually ignore email subject lines. You know that thing you have at the top of any email stating the title and content of the email, concisely? Yes, that is important. Read on to know all about email signatures and the reasons why they are so necessary for your business.

The Importance of Email Subject Lines

Email signatures can make or break your marketing campaign. It is the first thing that the receiver sees, even before he’s opened the mail. The subject is an introduction of the sorts to what you would find inside the mail.

Webmasters all across the globe aims at providing engaging content that keeps the audience interested and compels him/her to eventually buy your product. An effective email subject line helps you achieve that.

An email subject line, though compact and concise, is not all that easy to write. It has to be compelling, attractive and catchy enough to grab the attention of the viewer.

Moreover, these subject lines have to be compatible with not just the computer but other devices as well. Listed below are some of the reasons why email subject lines are so important:

Email subject lines click rates

More Personalised Approach

When it comes to sending emails, the subject line is the part that you just cannot ignore. Subject lines are like click baits- they can make or break your campaign.

A personalized or compact subject line feels relatable. Hence, it is a compelling reason why the reader would click open and go through the main body of the email.

Engages the Reader

An average person gets about a 150 emails a day and obviously, he is not going to go through all of it!

It is a savage and intense process of eliminating and archiving the spams and clearing the inbox of all the clutter.

To ensure that your email doesn’t end up deleted or dumped in the spam folder, you need to present it in an engaging, informal way. An email subject line is personalized, descriptive and catchy that gets the reader hooked right away.

average person gets about a 100 emails a day

Know Your Audience

Every business or online venture is different and caters to a different set of audience. So, it is kind of obvious that your marketing campaigns and ecommerce solution will have some variations as well.

Judging a book by its cover is something people on the World Wide Web follow religiously. We live in times when decisions are made solely on the basis of how you present yourself. The chances of the email getting viewed depend largely on how catchy the subject line is.

The subject should be in accordance with the services you offer.

Do you want them to buy your product? Or promote a service? Or do you want to simply reach out to your subscribers?

Be clear about the content of the email and what it would mean to your readers?

First and foremost you need to have a clear idea about what your readers want and how do you want them to respond to the email.

The subject line is added not only to get their attention but also encourage some course of action.

Even companies like MailChimp and Litmus have validated and agreed upon the importance of email subject lines and their contribution to their enterprise.

Email Client Market Share

Optimize the Second Subject Line

There are two parts to an email subject line, the first is the heading the second is the content.

The heading is usually the first thing that strikes the reader even before he clicks to open the email.

The content or the second line of the subject is usually a small description of what’s inside the email. It gives you a sneak peek, a glimpse into what the email is all about.

This not only prepares the reader and gives him a fair idea of what to expect from the email but also allows him to make a quick decision.

The second subject line is a bit of the text from the main body that might appear after the subject line and sender of the email.

Now, as most of the readers access their mailboxes on their smartphones and other devices, only half of the content is on display. It is best that you cut short the subject line to a couple of characters only.

Apple email, Outlook, and Gmail are some of the most important email clients that people use for. Here, you can optimise the second subject line or add a preview text, thereby increasing the chances of the email getting noticed.Second Subject Line

Good Email Subject Lines Can Make a Powerful Impact on the Reader

Definitely! A good, attractive email subject line immediately catches the eye of the readers and makes a solid impact on them.

Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways of reaching out to the customers and generating leads that would eventually result in more sales and profit for the company.

The kind of words you choose for your subject line of the content influences the fate of the email. Ensure that the subject line is concise, competent and catchy enough to get the reader hooked so that your hard work pays off and you get the best returns out of it.

Designing a successful email campaign involves a lot more than just simply sending out bulk emails to all your subscribers and spams to potential customers. No, there is a lot more work involved than that.

Spending a little extra time on the subject line can really enhance the email open rates and ensure that it reaches the right people.

Listed below are some of the top features of a good email subject line:

  • Compact, concise and captivating
  • Informative and not salesy
  • Begin with a question
  • Include a deadline
  • Add lists and instructions
  • Creative, unique, funny and innovative

Good VS not good email subject lines

Can a Catchy Email Line Really Boost Open-Rates?

When it comes to responding to customer grievances or reaching out to more subscribers, nothing works better than the old school email.

Emails are among the easiest and most cost-effective marketing options that help you expand the reach and appeal of your business globally.

What’s more is you can customise the content of the email accordingly and boost its appeal tenfold. A good email subject line assists you in achieving just that. With a catchy email subject line, you not only reach out to more people but also have a greater chance of being noticed and eventually subscribed.

Keeping a clutter-free email list and having a catchy subject line not only lowers the bounce rates but also helps you in sending out emails to the right people at the right time. This way you can boost the average open-rate of the emails without having to waste your time.

However, it is important that you test the email and preview it before you hit the send button. Add the important keywords and phrases in the subject line so as to give the reader an idea about the content of the email.

Email open rate subject line

Words Not to Use in an Email Subject Line

The kind of words and phrases you use in the subject line makes a great impact on the user.

The body of the email, the main content might be flawless and perfect to the T, but it all goes down the drain if the subject line doesn’t match up to it and compels the reader to open the email.

Using the right words and including the key phrases can make a world of difference to the reach and appeal of the email.

Avoid words such as “Buy” or “Order now” or anything that is very in-your-face and aggressively advertising the brand.

Be subtle, aim for an emotional connection instead. Design the subject line in a way that is relatable and trending with the current generation. Here are some rules that you should keep in mind when designing an email subject line:

  • Don’t Include Salesy Words
  • Don’t Brag
  • Avoid Negative Content
  • Aim for An Emotional Connect
  • Use Trending Phrases


How to Come Up with a Good Email Subject Line?

Formulating the perfect email subject line is one of the simplest yet the most complicated things you’ll have to do. We have listed a few important points that every web developer and email marketer must keep in mind before designing the perfect email subject line:

The Content

The main content or the body of the email plays a major role in determining how you present the subject line.

The subject is an introduction, a teaser of what’s to follow. It is a compact, concise way of putting forth the crux of the email so enhance the credibility of the content.

The message contained in the subject line has to match with what you have written in the email. Don’t mislead the reader into believing something and offering something that is completely opposite of what you promised.

In the subject line, you can explain the purpose of the email in a nut shell; it is short and simple but descriptive.

The Purpose

Before you decide upon the subject, you have to have a clear idea about what you want from the consumer.

People send emails all the time, not all of them have to be for business or commercial purposes. Sometimes the emails are personal or informative or simply a promotional campaign.

All these emails have different subject lines depending on the purpose it serves.

The subject line highlights the main theme of the email, it presents the crux of the content briefly giving the reader a good idea of what the email contains.

Subject lines also compel the reader to act, be it checking out a new website, subscribing to a blog or buying a product, the subject line conveys it all.

The Appeal

Now that we have covered the content and purpose of the subject line, let’s move on to the creative aspect of it. The subject line must have some appeal, some value that keeps the reader hooked and encourages him to open the email.

You have created the email campaigns and newsletters for a specific set of the audience; make sure that it reaches them. Speak to them in a language they’d find relatable, incorporate an informal, personalized tone that they can understand better.

Adopt a direct but light-hearted approach, don’t suffocate them with aggressive marketing campaigns. Promote your company subtly.

Eight Ways to Write Better Email Subject Lines

A successful email campaign or marketing plan starts with a well-formulated email and the subject line is a big part of it. You cannot afford to screw it up. But first, you need to know how to write a good email subject line.

Localize and Personalise

Localizing the email subject line adds on to the reliability and credibility of the content. The reader will be able to relate to the email better if he realizes it is specifically addressed to his geographical location.

Also, refrain from adding a lot of formal phrases and complicated language. Keep it personal, simple and sweet. A personalized subject line gets the attention of the reader instantly.

There are more chances that he would then open the email, check out your website and even subscribe to your services.

Test the Keywords and Phrases

You can test certain key words and phrases just to see how the audience responds to them. When it comes to marketing campaigns, innovation and experimentation is the key to success.

You can two sets of subject lines and send it to two separate group of viewers simultaneously. Then compare and analyze the results so as to check how one group responds to the email. You can even insert graphics, GIF files, and images to the subject line and check if that gets a better response from the reader. The possibilities are endless!

Short, Sweet, Simple

The subject line of the email must be short and simple enough to understand. Leave all the complications or the main content for the body of the email. The subject line explains the crux of the email in the simplest terms possible.

There are many devices that show only the first couple of words of the subject and not even the preview text or second line. Keeping the subject concise ensures that none of the information is left out and that the reader can view it all at a glance.

Offer Value

E-marketers use emails to usually convey some new information or tell their subscribers about a recent deal or discount that they can avail. The email subject line must also present this message effectively.

What’s the point of sending an email to your customer is you don’t want to convey a message or encourage him to do something right? The subject line is the trailer, the teaser where the reader gets a sneak-peek of the email before viewing the entire content.

Convey a Sense of Urgency

Email subject lines must convey a sense of urgency that would compel the reader to act quickly. Adding words such as “limited offer” or “hurry” shows the need for quick action. The urgency of the message must be clearly put forth in the subject line.

The less time the consumer takes to make a decision, the faster he will act the way you want him to. You can even add a time limit such as “one day sale” or a “24-hour offer” to further encourage the viewer for quick actions, else they will miss out on a lucrative offer or deal.

Have Clear Instructions

Opening an email with a subject line that informs the reader about the next course of action is actually a smart option. This way you can promote the brand and encourage the reader to check out your product and maybe buy it.

Most of the subject lines are merely attractive and flowery, completely ignoring the fact that it is supposed to serve some purpose. Having a call to action plan stating clear instructions tells the audience that there is something that he has to do.

Otherwise, he would simply skim over the email and delete it.

Include Questions

Asking the reader a question is a good way to engage them and get a response. Interrogative statements appeal to the customers as they feel a connection with the content. Starting an email with a question also piques their interest as they feel it’s more of a conversation and less of a business email.

It doesn’t have to be a witty or an extremely complicated question; something simple yet straightforward usually does the trick. For instance, “why are you not losing weight?” or “need help? We are here!” are some good examples of subject lines that start with questions.

Be Specific

The most important aspect of email subject lines it is to the point. Don’t beat around the bush, you have the entire email to do that (though we won’t suggest that either).

Nothing irritates the reader more than having to browse through the unnecessary fluff and not finding any relevant and relatable quality content that actually provides value.

When people read your subject line, they should clearly be able to understand the purpose and actual content of the email at a glance. Being vague or leaving the readers guessing as to what the email is all about would only end up with your email being deleted.

Real Subject Line Examples from Your Actual Inbox

We have included some of the most effective email subject lines that we use in our emails. You can use them if you want to boost your sales and expand the audience base:

  • “Content Marketing World + topic clusters + social media reporting and more”
  • “The Best Social Media Report Template to Show Your Results”
  • “What Are Topic Clusters (And How Can They Boost Your Traffic)?”
  • “be a 10X content creator + master B2B lead gen + more awesome stuff this week”
  • “How To Build The Best LinkedIn Marketing Strategy For Your Business”
  • “[free course] plan your #SocialMedia strategy in 2 weeks”
  • “1 idea + multiple pieces = more results w/ less effort 🙌”
  • “become a brand + social media + workflow expert”
  • “The Most Massive SEO Copywriting Guide That Will Make Your Traffic Soar”
  • “The Complete 16-Step Marketing Project Management Process That Will Get You Organized”
  • “Weekly Roundup: Write better social posts, improve your editing process, and more”
  • “The Most Complete Content Editing Process to Avoid Copy Disasters”
  • “The 30 Best Content Research Tips That Will Make You More Influential”
  • “1 #SocialMedia strategy + 2 weeks + 365 days of organization = 3,150% BIGGER results”
  • “Create content people want to click on”
  • “[NEW] you can’t improve what you don’t measure…”
  • “Are last-minute projects making you less productive?”
  • “You + Writing better social media posts on every network = Rock star”

Real Subject Line Examples from Your Actual Inbox

Get More Open Rates by A/B Testing Email Subject Lines

Designing an email is a tough task, from the main content to the subject line, everything has to be constructed in a way so as to grab the attention of the reader and keep him hooked.

The whole purpose of sending them an email is to encourage some sort of a response or action from their parts such as more sales or subscriptions. Do you have two or more subject lines and cannot decide which one to use? Do some A/B testing!

Measure Your Results

For this create two sets of reader groups based on their location, preferences or other details (you can segregate them however you want to). Then send one group an email having A subject line and the other with B as their subject line.

Send the two A and B prototypes to senders who use different devices so as to check the readability and visibility of the email. Analyse and compare the results so as to check which group responds better to A/B email types. Send the best option to the rest of your subscribers.

Conclusion – We All Get Too Many Emails, But We Read Many, Too!

First impressions are everything when it comes to designing the perfect email subject line. For, the subject is the first thing that the receiver sees on his inbox when he gets a new email.

A well-written subject line encourages the viewer to open the email while a poorly constructed one can land your email in the junk folder. Moreover, your email is one amongst the hundreds that an average user receives every day.

This reduces the chances of your email getting noticed all the more. The bottom line is- the subject line can boost your visibility and credibility immensely only if you do it right.

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