Some Powerful Tips For The Best Email Subject Lines


Finding a way to engage your audience with your email marketing content is a tough task. But even if your email has the most valuable content, what good would it be if it never gets opened? So, an email is as good as the subject line. Recipients spend less than 5 seconds to decide whether to open or delete an email. 35% open emails based only on their subject line -- and 69% report the email as SPAM based on the subject line. So, your subject has to have an edge to get your message opened but be non-spammy also.

Here are a few handy tips to make your subject lines irresistible and help you increase your open rate.

Go For Clarity Rather Than Cleverness

Brand recognition and marketing are all about being memorable, standing out from the crowd, and catchy phrases. But email subject lines are not the place to experiment with cleverness. The subject line should inform the recipients what they can expect from the email. They are not looking for surprises or entertainment and they don't want their time to get wasted. Readers gauge whether your email is worthwhile by its subject line.

Clear subject lines get 541% more clicks compared to clever ones. You read right, 541%. Over 5 x more prospective customers will open your message if you give it an understandable subject line.

When there's no room for ambiguity and people know what the email is about, they are more inclined to open it. So, instead of clever but vague lines, use ones that give specific information.

Content Of The Subject Line And Words To Omit At All Costs

But the only thing that's worse than your email going to 'Trash' is not even making it to their inbox. Some words can send your messages to the SPAM folder. Here are a few of these words that you should omit at all costs:

  • Reminder
  • Percent off
  • Make $
  • Earn
  • Earn $
  • Buy
  • Help
  • You're a winner!
  • From home
  • Claim
  • Cash
  • Amazing
  • Collect
  • Income
  • Increase your
  • Prescriptions
  • Free
  • Urgent
  • Millions
  • Dear

    But words such as "Bulletin" or "News", "New", "Sales" and "Video" can boost the clickthrough and open rates of your emails. The same is true for words like "Daily" or "Weekly" -- but "Monthly" can have the opposite effect.

  • See also: 5 Ways to Ensure that Your Email Marketing Campaign Doesn't Look Like Spam

    How Long Should The Subject Line Be?

    Studies show emails with subjects shorter than 50 characters or 10 words are over 50% more likely to be opened. If the subject line is longer, you run the risk of its end being cut off.

    Create A Sense Of Urgency

    Choose your words wisely to create a feeling in your recipients that they have to open the email as quickly as possible. But do not use specific dates and days, as this may make your emails sound outdated in a short time if the users don't see them right away. Try to excite them and entice them. Here are a few examples:

  • Today Only - Get One T-Shirt and We Will Give You One More
  • 4 Tips on Doubling Your Savings - If You Start Now
  • Only 12 Hours Left of the Ultimate Holiday Sale
  • Personalize the Subject Line

    We all have to battle with information overload daily. One way we use to filter out the marketing emails is by sending the ones that seem too canned and generic to 'Trash'. If you don't want that to happen to your messages, try personalizing them - it could be as simple as adding the word "you" to them. Only do so if it is appropriate for your email list segment or industry.

    If your email goes to a specific audience, try naming them in the subject line, for instance "Email Marketers - See How You Can Double Your Clickthrough Rates". This clicks with the recipients who identify with the particular segment. It shows them they are the right person for the email.


    Perhaps the best tip for optimizing your email subject lines is to try and put yourself in the shoes of the recipients. Consider what subjects make you discard an email without a second thought; avoid those at all costs. Your goal is to engage the recipients with clear, understandable subject lines that communicate valuable information.

    Next Step:

    Image by Joshua Berman

  • About the Author: Lyuben Georgiev

    Lyuben Georgiev works for one of best search marketing agencies in Bulgaria; SEO PAL. He also loves to write in many popular SEO blogs such as Daily SEO Tip and Search Engine Journal

    The SEO PAL Blog

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