• How to Write Effective Email Subject Lines

You already know that email marketing is important. Perhaps you have an email list and send out newsletters. But many people struggle with writing subject lines. We’ve provided you with some of the best email subject lines around, but at some point it’s going to be time to write your own. Here are some simple tips for you to keep in mind the next time you’re writing an email.


Know your audience

When crafting email subject lines, it’s important to have a firm grasp of who’s on your email list. Who are you writing to and what do they want to read and open? For more information on how to write for your target audience, check out this post.

Make it clear

Your email’s subject line should tell the recipient of the email exactly what’s inside of the email. Make your subject line clear as to the content of the email.

  • Is the email is promoting a sale? Use the word “sale” in the subject line
  • Promoting an event? Use the word “invitation” or “event”
  • Monthly newsletter? Mention monthly specials and events
  • New products or services?  Use “new” or “now offering” in the subject line

Related: 45 Email Subject Lines for Sales

Personalize your email subject lines

Make your readers feel like you’re writing to them personally. Make your sales email subject lines more friendly than sales-y. One way to personalize emails is to segment your email list into smaller ones based on type (customer vs. non-customers), activity (loyal customer or occasional), or participation or interest in services. Segmenting email lists for an email blast or newsletter enables you to send more customized messages to certain groups of people in your email list.

Related: 100+ Best Email Subject Lines

Keep it short

Research has shown that email subject lines that are less than 50 characters have the highest open rates. Too short and the reader won’t know enough to open the email and too long can overwhelm the reader. Aim to create subject lines that are as close to 50 characters as possible.

Use humor when appropriate

Using puns and humor that your audience will appreciate is another way to increase your email open rates. Appropriate humor can contribute quite a bit to solidifying your brand identity and help increase your business’s name recognition in your target market.

Add urgency

Let’s face it, everyone procrastinates and gets things done at the last minute. Creating a sense of urgency in your subject line is a surefire way to entice someone to take action. Whether you’re having an open house, sale, or special event let your readers know that the offer is for a limited time only. This includes follow up emails for last ditch efforts like day-of event RSVPs.

Related: Email Marketing for Business Owners

Use numbers

Use numbers to break up your subject line and catch the reader’s attention. Having a sale or hosting an event?  Quantify the sale, event, or whatever the email is about with number like:

  • 25% Discount on Personal Training Sessions
  • You’re Invited: May 3rd Grand Opening at 2pm
  • Sale: 3 Days Only!
  • 7 Ways to Burgler-Proof Your Home

Capitalize ONLY when necessary

A guaranteed way to get your email deleted, unsubscribed, or marked as spam is to write your subject line in all frau from austin powerscapital letters. In writing, capital letters are used as a way of making an emphatic point and often perceived by the reader as yelling.

Remember Dr. Evil’s Henchwoman, Frau Farbissina, from Austin Powers? This woman who yelled, “SCOTT!” and “BRING IN THE GUARDS!” is the personification of what reading capital letters in a subject line is like. 

Capital letters stand out and should only be used when necessary to draw attention to something. Make sure you’re using capital letters sparingly; no one likes to be yelled at. Good uses of capital letters in an email subject line are:

  • 30% off ALL yoga mats
  • Don’t Miss Our Winter Sale + FREE Shipping
  • 7 Secret Tax Deductions [FREE GUIDE]

Write the subject line last

When writing your email newsletters or eblasts, write the subject line last. Many times, what you want to write in the email changes once you sit down to actually write it out. It’s good to start writing your email with a subject line in mind, but you should make sure that your subject line matches the content of the email after it’s written out. By writing the subject line last, you’ll ensure that the first thing the recipient sees is an accurate representation of what’s written in the email inside.

If you need more help with email subject lines, check out these free guides on Email Marketing for Business Owners and 100+ Best Email Subject Lines for your business.

ThriveHive combines easy-to-use tools and expert guidance to help businesses stand out and get found online. Learn more about our guided marketing and advertising solutions here.

1 Comment

  1. Jordan says:

    Excellent tips here. Subject lines are what people first see with an email – it has to be attention-grabbing and interesting while also stating the point of the email. Thanks for sharing this advice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *