Email subject lines can make all the difference in getting people to open your email. To write a catchy opening line that builds anticipation, you must know how your audience is going to respond. From subject lines to the tone of the email, there are several things that are just as important as the subject matter itself.

All your marketing campaign efforts could fail if you don’t have a strong subject line. But don’t worry — you’re at the right place.

In this article, you’ll learn what a subject line is, best practices, and tips for writing effective subject lines.

What Is the Subject in an Email?

The subject in an email is the first line of text when recipients open your email. This one line of content usually determines whether the reader will open an email or send it directly to the trash. Make sure to optimize the subject line for your audience.

Why Is an Email Subject Line so Important?

Email inboxes get hundreds of emails every day. So, it is imperative to write catchy and concise email subject lines that draw the attention of the recipient.

When the email addressee initially opens your email in their inbox, the very first thing they notice is the subject line and preheader. And you must not take this one line of text lightly. This is the text that frequently impacts whether an email is opened, deleted, or classified as spam.

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Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Best Practices for Writing Email Subject Lines

You must craft an email marketing campaign with the intent to target your audience and have the best response rate possible. Today, email subject lines are more important than ever, demonstrating your email to be sophisticated and professional.

Here are some best practices for writing good subject lines that gain attention.

Test Your Subject Lines

Before sending emails, test your subject lines to find out what resonates with your intended audience. This will tell you what not to do when email marketing. You can try writing a few subject lines for every email and choose the one that works best using A/B testing.

Keep It Short & Simple

Emails with short subject lines are more likely to be appreciated, opened, and read. It’s easy to get caught in the jumble of emails, so make it compelling for your audience and use your subject line wisely. Don’t waste valuable seconds using a long, arduous subject line to convey your information in a brief write-up.

Stay Away From Spammy Words

Don’t start your email with spam words, terms, and abbreviations. Also, Steer clear of spam trigger words like ‘earn extra money,’ ‘free gifts,’ ‘make more $,’ and other clickbait phrases. Instead, use standard spacing, minimal capitalization, and regular typefaces. If a word or phrase is not part of the word’s meaning, it does not provide value to the reader. The recipient could also consider it spam.

Pose Open-Ended Questions

While a subject line is not a post, it is an opportunity to get back to the person reading the email. A subject line is the first impression the person has of your email. It is the opportunity to convince them to open your email by asking open-ended questions.

Mention a Deadline

Would you rather write a work email subject line that doesn’t connect with what’s inside the email? Or would you rather send emails with subject lines that whip their recipients into action? The email you send with a deadline is more likely to be opened and acted upon.

Personalize Your Subject Line

Writing effective email subject lines is one of the best ways to improve email open rates. By tossing in a personal touch and targeting a particular area, you can improve the odds of them opening your email.

Employ Preheader Text

The preheader text of your email helps establish the initial tone and purpose of your email and helps the reader determine what to expect. Preheader text can help your email subject line visually stand to deliver a more effective marketing message. Consider tailoring your preheader text to the recipient’s company to create an email subject line with a more relevant tone.

Tips to Write Engaging Email Subject Lines

Subject lines are the first impression your email makes on the recipient. Email subject lines must be short, clear, and concise. This should describe what is in your email, why the recipient should be interested, and properly frame an appropriate benefit. Follow the tips below to write great subject lines for your email.

Hook the Recipient Immediately

Your email should catch the reader’s attention when they open it. To capture the reader’s attention right away, use intriguing language, a compelling statistic, a relatable phrase, or highlight the importance of the message.

Write Conversationally

One of the most important things to do when writing an email subject is to write your email in a conversational tone. Don’t write like it’s only your email. Instead, talk about the person, who’s email it is, or what you might do together if you were going to meet.

Call Readers to Action

Embed a compelling call to action that convincingly states your desired outcome. The call to action of your email should allow readers to quickly understand what you want them to do. It should focus on why that decision is important for them to make.

Create a Sense of Urgency

People are more likely to read an email message if the subject line gives off a sense of time urgency. You can craft your subject lines strategically to achieve a similar effect. Mention a special sale or promotion they can get within a specific window of time. This is an efficient way to get people to take action.

Be Specific

An effective subject line is specific and should pinpoint the exact subject matter of the email. Great subject lines are short, direct, and to the point. If you want to incorporate an element of suspense in the content, make sure to give the reader some hint of what to anticipate.

Ways to Improve Open Rates of Your Email

Are you struggling with email open rates despite having an excellent subject line? There could be other elements that need to be considered.

Is your email viewable? If your email doesn’t display well on the user’s device, they won’t even bother trying to read your email.

Check the time of sending it.  Most people won’t be available much during the weekends to check their emails. Make sure to send emails when they are back at work.

Are you annoying people? If you’ve been emailing them daily, they might be sick of hearing from you. They won’t be as inclined to open your emails if you have been bothering them.

Is your email list of good quality? Are you sending an accurate, focused email list? Your open rates might be affected if your list isn’t of good quality.

Is the email from a person or company? Make sure the ‘from’ field on your email is a person. An email coming from a genuine person in a company would feel more friendly and reliable than just sending it under a company name.

Wrapping Up

Email marketing campaigns are crucial in today’s digital world, whether you are marketing your blog, starting a business, or asking for monetary support. The success of any email marketing campaign ultimately rests on the recipient’s desire to open and read the email. The subject line of the email has the power to start a conversation, gain credibility, and provide clarity.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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