13 Tips for Eye Catching Email Subject Lines

Kapil Vaishnani
by Kapil Vaishnani  |  9th Apr, 2018 in Digital Marketing

An email subject line is more or less like a gatekeeper. Not chosen wisely it might stop you from reaching out to your recipient, blocking your prospect from opening your email. So what is that makes for great email subject lines?

Best email subject lines are usually creative, informative and interest-provoking enough to lure the recipients into opening the emails.

Here are a few email subject line best practices that you can adopt to increase the opening rate of your sales emails and thereby enhance your conversions:

  1. Keep in Mind, Your Audience and Your GoalThe subject lines that you choose for your emails depend a lot on your target audience and the action that you want them to take.Unless you know what they want and tell them what’s in it for them, they are not going to open your emails. So if you are offering them a promotion or giving them a discount voucher, say it in your subject line.

    Creating effective email subject lines is all about being clear about the value the email provides to your subscribers.

  2. Personalize Your Subject LinesEmails with personalized subject lines have 22.2% better chances of being opened by their recipients. It is therefore that many marketers tend to include the recipient’s names to create email subject lines that work.Personalize Email Subject Line

    You could also think of ways to tailor your subject line to the tastes and preferences of your recipients. Knowing what ticks them always works.

  3. Make Them Relevant and TrendyIf your email subject line doesn’t seem relevant to your recipient, the chances are that the email will never get opened. In case you are looking for some good subject lines for email marketing, try some timely headlines and trending topics. Not only will you be improving the opening rate of your emails, you will also be establishing yourself as an authority in the industry.
  4. Keep It Short and SweetMore than 67% emails are opened on mobile devices and mobile devices show a maximum of only 4 to 7 words.Email Subject Line: Keep it short and clean

    If your subject line is longer than that you will lose your chances of your email being opened by your recipient, especially if he belongs to this group.

    Best email marketing subject lines are always those that are short and sweet – fewer than 50 characters.

  5. Always Segment Your ListsEmail marketing software programs let you blast out emails to an entire list of recipients at one go. However, not all those recipients might find your emails helpful and relevant. In fact some may even get annoyed, frustrated and confused.The best way to avoid such issues is to segment your lists based on your audience preferences and your goals.
  6. Time It RightEmail subject lines that work are always those that are sent at the right time.For instance, imagine a food publication sending an email at 6:45 P.M, Wednesday evening, with the subject line, “Where to Drink Beer Right Now.”

    It is just before the start of the happy hour – the perfect time to open the right email. It is just what your audience wants. It could do wonders to your open and click-through rates.

  7. Use Data and NumbersOne of the email subject line best practices is to use data and numbers. They set the right expectations and make your emails seem genuine.For instance, if you are giving a 25% discount on your product, your subject line could be something like “25% off on.”

    It is not just with blog titles; numbers work in email subject lines too. You could also think of including a list just as you would do in your blog title.

  8. Bring in a Sense of UrgencyGood email subject lines that convey a sense of urgency have 22% more chances of being opened (Source: Email Institute). It is tried and tested tactic in sales.It is phrases such as “Last few hours left,” or “one day sale,” in email subject lines that make the readers act right away.

    See in below image:

    Email Subject Line Having Sense of Urgency

    They have to feel that they will miss out on something important if they do not open the email immediately.

  9. Make Them CuriousAs they say, curiosity kills the cat. Open-ended email subject lines will sure make readers open the emails.Give them a preview instead of a punch line.

    Try and spark their interest so that they are hooked. This is exactly why movie trailers have a better effect on people when compared to commercials.

  10. Understand the Red Flags to Spam FiltersThe last thing you would want is for your email to end up in the dreaded SPAM folder. If you want to avoid the essence of SPAM you may want to steer clear of using words such as “Offer,” “Free,” “Credit,” or “Act Now,” in your email subject lines. Also, make sure you don’t use your ‘Caps lock’ while writing your email subject line.
  11. Make Sure You Deliver Your PromisesEver bought a giant bag of chips to find out it was only half-full? It sure would have been very disappointing. That’s exactly how your readers would feel if your email did not deliver the promise that you included in your subject line.If you have promised something in your email subject line, make sure you deliver it.
  12. Use Engaging Preview TextEngaging Preview Text along with Email Subject LineEver seen that piece of text that appears next to your email subject line on your iPhone mail app, Outlook, or Gmail? That’s called the preview text. It gives a peek into the content that the email contains.

    When not set, the email client might end up pulling this preview text from the body of your email, which might make it look messy and irrelevant.

    Should you make this engaging, it will not only enhance the effect of your email subject line, it will also improve the chances of your email getting opened and read.

  13. Use A/B Testing to Test Your Subject LinesWhen it comes to writing email subject lines, there is no one best practice that works for all. A lot depends on your audience and their preferences.Recently we happened to test out an email subject line for one of our clients. The open rate of the winning line was 3.6% more than the other. Here is a snapshot of the results:

    Subject Lines A/B Testing Example

    A/B testing is the best way to figure out what best email subject lines will make your audience open and read your emails – short or long, statements or questions, or with numbers or without them. You can always tweak the wordings based on the results of these tests.

Professional email subject lines always seem eye-catching to the recipients. Their objective is to make sure the emails get opened and read. The above email subject line best practices should help. However, a lot depends on what the readers do after opening and reading the emails. This is where you have to work your magic.

Kapil Vaishnani

Founder, Litmus Branding
Who am I?
The name that was given to me and a few designations after that.

But here’s how I define this ‘who’:

-The one who is still unsuccessful in breaking the myth, “truth is only that which I have understood”.

-The one who finds joy in coming across the perfect ideas through बातचीत.

-The one who struggles to improve his net game on the tennis court.

-And the one who wants to ‘Just Be’.

-Just be present with full absence & be absent with full presence.

That’s who I am.


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