Why is it so important to create the best email subject line? Well, did you know that 33% of email recipients open emails based on subject line alone?

What are you doing to create attention-grabbing, irresistible email subject lines?

If the answer is ‘not a whole lot, actually’, we’ve created a handy list of points to help you when you’re mapping out subject line ideas for your email marketing campaigns. And because we’re nice, we’ve included 10 basic examples of how to implement them in your business.

1. Keep it personal

Emails that feature the recipient’s first name in their subject line are thought to have higher open and click-through rates than emails than don’t. And customers are more likely to open your email if they see it comes from a sender they recognise and trust. Otherwise, straight to the spam folder you will go. Send your emails from a real email address that’s clearly linked to your company. Emails from generic addresses like auto@company.com or noreply@company.com aren’t going to perform particularly well if customers think you’re just a bunch of mindless robots.

Example 1: Happy birthday, Liping! We have a surprise for you

Example 2: Hey Liping, your $10 off ends soon

2. Keep it short and sweet

A large proportion of emails reach consumers on mobile devices. It doesn’t matter how informative or funny your subject line is – if the core information or punchline is cut off, your customer won’t really understand what you’re trying to say when they first glance at it. Try and keep your email subject lines under 50 characters to ensure all of the content is seen.

Example 3: Meet your new best friend

Example 4: Uh oh, your membership is expiring

3. Keep it real

There’s no point using words like ‘free surprise!’ in your email subject line if you’re not actually offering a free surprise. You might get more clicks, but customers will just be dissatisfied when they open the email expecting a freebie and get nothing. It’s a surefire way to drive business away.

Instead, keep it real. Tell customers exactly what to expect inside your email. Are you sharing industry secrets? Offering a discount code? If you state your purpose straight off, only the customers who are really interested will click.

Example 5: 7 simple steps to a million-dollar business

If you’d prefer to pique your customers’ curiosity, try a mystery subject line that hints at the contents of your email but doesn’t give the entire game away…

Example 6: Don’t open this email

4. Keep it relevant

Don’t send emails to customers if you know a particular offer doesn’t apply to them. Use the information in your database to send targeted email campaigns that connect with specific segments of your target audience. If you’re a foodie website, for example, you’re only going to want to send out restaurant offers or recommendations to customers that live near enough to visit.

Example 7: The 10 best microbreweries in your area

Example 8: Where to eat a delicious burger right now

5. Keep it unique

OK, here’s the real deal with email subject lines. The (fairly traditional) advice above is all very well and good. But the most important factor of all is your creative licence.

If you can come up with a really funny, punny subject line that is related to your industry and makes your whole office laugh, chances are your customers will find it pretty funny, too. And if it brightens their day enough, they might just go ahead and click open.

Example 9: Everybody yurts… sometimes

Example 10: Shall I prepare thee for a summer’s day?

Really not sure what will work for your email marketing campaigns? Don’t just stick to one subject line! Do some systematic A/B testing over the course of your campaign to find out the types of subject line your particular target audience responds to best.


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Ange Dove

About Ange Dove

Master copywriter and content marketer Ange Dove, AKA Your Business Transformation Fairy Godmother, founded Proof Perfect in 2003 to improve business communication and marketing, one business at a time.

Ange and her Proof Perfect team focus on providing compelling copy backed by powerful visuals to make clients’ content stand out both online and offline.

She is adept at planning strategies for her clients and using the best of today’s technologies to automate their marketing so they can Get Ready, Get Seen, Get Business.

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