A successful email begins with a subject line that catches your recipients' attention. The subject line is the first thing readers see, and it determines if they'll engage with the email. A subject line can to personal or descriptive, but the purpose is to give people a reason to check out your content. Place yourself in the reader's shoes and create a subject line that answers these three questions:

  • Who is the email from?

  • What's in this email for me?

  • What is the offer?

Check out these tips to create an email subject line to increase your open rates.

Short + Sweet

When creating your subject line, the space is limited. Most email providers cut off subject lines greater than 60 characters; it's recommended you have no more than 4-7 words or 40 characters for your subject line. Your subject line should be readable at a glance for quick communication on exactly what the email is about. Readers, especially those on mobile devices, want to scan their inboxes quickly. TELL your users what's inside to stand out amongst other messages and increase engagement.

Personalization

There are many ways to personalize your emails; speaking to targeted individuals improves your conversions. Use your subject line to show what you know about your recipients and their interest. Leveraging the human touch is more likely to engage your recipient because they view it as a personal email and not a big promotional brand email.

Don't overuse caps (avoid shouting)

While all caps typically draw attention, all caps can get your emails flagged or marked as spam in an email. In addition, using all caps is the equivalent of shouting at the recipient(s). Instead, use dashes or colons to separate and avoid special characters like exclamation points.

Curiosity

Asking your recipients a question is one of the best ways to get a response. A question in the subject encourages your reader to open it because it piques their curiosity and compels them to want to find out the answer.

Spammy Words

Avoid using phrases that sound too salesy or make promises you can't keep. Email providers have spam detectors which consist of a list of words that can trigger the software. Certain words or symbols are bound to send your emails to spam. In addition, readers are aware of clickbait and can be less inclined to open your email.

When In doubt (use subject line checker)

To ensure you are creating a click-worthy subject line, email subject line testers are tools that help you quickly write the best headliners. This tool analyzes and improves your subject line by offering suggestions, checking for spam triggers, and using emotional words.

Urgency

Create a sense of urgency behind your email campaigns to grab your recipient's attention. Consider creating a deadline for your proposition. Ways of creating urgency include—"respond now," register today," and "limited space available; reply soon."

Name Recognition

You have to know who you are sending your emails to so that they can acknowledge the email's relevancy and subject. When you incorporate the recipient's name into the subject line, you build a feeling rapport.

Highlight the value (focus on benefit)

By offering your recipients something helpful to them, you are taking advantage of the opportunity to pique their interest. Whether a—speaking opportunity, a discount, or free services, use your subject line to clarify what's in it for them.

Use all available real estate (Pre-header)

The pre-header can be a little longer than your subject line. Take advantage of this by explaining or highlighting something you introduced in the subject line. You can also include something that the subject line did not allude to. Your subject line and pre-header work together to inform the reader and answer their questions at-a-glance.

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