What’s in a good subject line?

Our recent webinar on emails covered this topic, but it’s a very common question that’s debated a lot when it comes to what makes a ‘good’ email.

Before thinking of the words - remember your audience. Who exactly are they? What might be a fantastic subject line for one audience will not work for another. There is no silver bullet here unfortunately! If you have a young social media savvy audience, you might be inspired to use slightly different language than if your list is predominantly retirees.

It’s also absolutely worth taking risks. At worst it doesn’t work and you’re collecting information on what resonates with your audience. Over time this can become very useful. Also be very careful with setting expectations - fantastic if your subject line inspires an open but if it’s misleading then you’ll likely irritate the reader and they might be put off future emails! Even if you’re being playful, do try to keep it relevant to what the contents actually are!

All this said, what are some tips you might look to follow?

  1. Keep your subject line short (4-6 words is ideal)
  2. Use ‘you’, not ‘we’ - talk about the recipient’s wants not your own!
  3. Use numbers - our brains are wired to be interested by them!
  4. Try posing questions - this can provoke interest from the recipient
  5. Use the recipients name - using merge tags, this can increase opens by 26%!
  6. Use attractive words - ‘help’, ‘free’, ‘save’, ‘how’ & more inspire opens!
  7. Use emojis - don’t overdo it but these can be a point of difference in an inbox
  8. Don’t overthink it! - at the end of the day, sometimes being direct is the best solution if you’re struggling for a clever alternative!
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