Face it, despite all your efforts on establishing a well-structured email marketing strategy, it won’t get noticed at all if you don’t have a witty email subject line once you start launching it. That is a solid fact, as according to researchers, 47% of recipients are judging on whether or not to open an email based solely on its subject line. That’s the reason why it is absolutely crucial that we create compelling and attractive email subject lines that will urge people to click through.  

You might take your subject lines for granted given the fact that it may seem like a minor portion of your entire message, however, keep in mind that they also serve as the very first impression that you provide your email recipients. Having a compelling subject line just means that you have a one-way ticket to standing out in anyone’s congested inbox.

As a marketer, you always want your email to be opened, read, and clicked. However, to make that happen, it should all start with how you compose your subject line. Here are 10 tips to spice them up and boost your overall email engagement.

10 Tips On How to Write Catchy Email Subject Lines


Tip #1: Keep it Short and Pleasant.

According to Digital Marketing & Technology new website, Marketing Land, 67% of email opens are taking place on mobile. They also mentioned that with this being the case, emails having long subject lines would most likely get cut off. For that reason, we highly recommend that your subject lines contain fewer than 50 characters. Doing this ensures that your recipients will be able to read your entire subject line.

Having trouble?

If you are finding it hard to maintain a short subject line, prioritize more about the words that matter less so you can remove this unnecessary detail. For example, consider order confirmations being sent by online shopping sites like Amazon and eBay. Their email subject line would most likely say, “Your order is being processed.” Wonder why? Because it looks a lot better than “Order #10987654321 is being processed.”

This scenario also applies to regular business emails. Don’t include obvious words like “newsletter” or “update” – it’s completely pointless, and will only make your subject line appear longer and less attractive. In fact, a study from email marketing software provider, Adestra, found that emails that include the word “newsletter” in the subject line saw a decrease in open rates by up to 18.7%.

Tip #2: Utilize a Familiar Sender Name.

Makes sense, right?

As said by Copy Hacker’s Joanna Wiebe, “If the “from” name doesn’t come from someone your recipients want to hear from, then most of the time your subject line won’t really matter that much.” A majority of people are now hesitant to open emails from unfamiliar senders, thanks to the vast amount of spam emails that they’ve been receiving nowadays.

Everyone hates talking to a robot. Just think about it; when someone calls a company and can’t connect to an actual person, it’s nothing less of frustrating for them. This scenario also applies to emails. Also, never, EVER, use “noreply@company.com.” This is a warning. It not only makes your email look attractive, but it also negates your email from being added to their address book.

Tip #3: Start Segmenting your Lists.

Email blasts going out to your entire email list can be helpful to some people, however, not most of the time. A portion of your list might find your email blasts as irrelevant and could potentially result in confusion and dissatisfaction. Just think about the ironies that your email blasts can produce: Why is this flood-blogging website sending me a list of the most affordable prawn houses when I’m allergic to shrimp? Why is this company sending me offers right away when I just signed up like minutes ago?

Instead, personalize your list’s overall experience by taking advantage of the information coming from the actions that they have already made. This can range from the following:

  • The forms they’ve filled out
  • Their respective industries
  • Their personal preferences

You can personalize your email recipients’ experience by utilizing a component of email marketing called list segmentation. How you’re going to segment your lists will depend on your business goals. List segmentation will allow you to send the ideal content to the right people, at the most convenient time. This way you can guarantee that you are not sending inappropriate emails to your list.

Tip #4: Make Use of Concise Language

Just like scanning a website for relevant information, people tend to scan their inboxes very swiftly. You need to consider this, as you are looking to get your email noticed. So what you need to do is to create clearer and more concise subject lines. Being concise with your language is usually a lot better than using complex ones – that is unless you are looking to persuade your recipients with a mysterious subject tone.

If you choose to use a concise subject line, you should first think about just how your email will benefit its recipients. Once you determine what it is, make that benefit very clear on your subject line. For example, “Boost your conversion rates by 50% today” is a lot more appealing than a dull “How to boost conversion rates.

Tips #5: Avoid making False Promises.

Keep this in the back of your mind at all times: your subject line is not just a mere first-impression provider that will help attract your recipients to open your email; it is also making a promise to your readers. This promise is about what you are going to deliver in your message if they open it.

Just make sure that you deliver this promise. Do not fall into the abyss of fooling your recipients by making false promises. Once they open it and see that what you promised was actually a lie, they will get annoyed and will instantly lose trust in you and what you have to offer. This will result in lower open rates and a sudden increase in unsubscribe rate.

Tip #6: Send It At The Right Time

Sending your emails at the most ideal moment and with the right subject line will definitely make a world of difference in your open and click-through rate. For example, sending an email notice about your customer’s subscription expiring by next week will definitely result in your recipients clicking on your email more likely than not.

Another example would be food publication company, Eater, sending out emails at precisely 6:50 P.M. on a Wednesday evening, with the subject line, “Where to Drink Beer Right Now.” If you’re an avid drinker, you might notice that it is just in time for happy hour.

See? Nailed it, right?

By sending an email at the right time, you can increase the chances of your emails getting opened.

Tip #7: Try Starting With Action Verbs.

You should also treat your subject lines the same way as a call-to-action button. What you want is your language to inspire people to click and open your email. Comparing your subject line with effective CTAs would mean using action verbs at the very beginning tend to be a lot more attractive, increase your email click rate.

Subject lines with action-oriented verbs will encourage clicks on your email by instilling a sense of urgency and enthusiasm. For example, an email inviting people to participate in the chance to have dinner with a basketball legend, an ideal email subject line would read “Dine with Celtics legend Larry Bird,” rather than a bland and less actionable “Boston Celtics Legend Meal.” As you can see, the former uses the action word “Dine” to motivate the reader and imagine them at a dinner table with the said sports legend.

Tip #8: Make Your Recipients feel Important.

Consider the Psychology of Exclusivity as a powerful tool to utilize in your email marketing efforts. When you make people feel close and welcome, it will give them a sense of belongingness, leading to the formation of a strong relationship between you and your recipient. It would also urge them to commit towards converting on your emails a lot better.

Utilizing the right phrase can make your recipients feel important and special. Here are a few ideas of phrasing that you can use:

You’re invited.

For our beloved fans & followers.

An exclusive offer for you.

I’ve got something special for you.


By over exaggerate, we mean using all caps and too much exclamation points on your email subject line. Having either both or either the two combined will not look pleasant nor welcoming to your recipients. So having a subject line that says, “AVAIL OUR FREE TRIAL NOW” or, “50% discount on all our products this week only!!!!!!!!” isn’t going to get you any email opens. In fact, it can even get your email ignored, or worse, reported.

So why avoid using all caps and a multitude of exclamation points?

It’s just simple Psychology.

People hate being yelled at, and using all caps and/or a lot of exclamation points can give them that impression. It’s okay to use capitals and exclamations points, but just don’t overdo it to the point that it will annoy people. Remember, anything that is too much is always a bad thing. According to a recent study by the Radicati Group, roughly 85% of their gather email respondents claim to prefer all-lowercase subject lines as opposed to all caps ones.

Some marketers use these tactics in their emails to stand out in their recipient’s inboxes. However, these tactics will only look disruptive and spammy and will result in a low email open rate. Instead of using all caps and too many exclamation points on your email subject lines, try to personalize your emails, establish a sense of relevancy, and use compelling and delightfully witty language to catch people’s attention.

Tip #10: Always Conduct A/B Testing

The last tip, but certainly not the least, is A/B Testing your subject lines to see which works the best for your emails. Despite everything that has been said, it still goes down to figuring out what works best for you and your target audience. Just like composing a blog, just because you like what you’re writing, doesn’t mean others are going to like it as well. You need other people’s feedback, which is where A/B Testing comes in.

You should always consider A/B testing your highest-stakes subject lines first rather than letting your intuition decide. Make the necessary changes and alter the wording accordingly.

Your A/B Test should answer what works best for your audience, like:

Should you be using long or short subject lines?

Include numbers or not?

Should your subject line be in question form or statement form?


Your Email’s First Impression Can Go A Long Way

The bottom line of this discussion is, your email has something to say to your recipients; something special that you’ve prepared for them. However, if they’re not getting opened, then what’s inside it isn’t  getting seen. You know you have some really great content to share, but to get it out in the open, you have to create a first impression that will trigger people’s emotions and inspire them to open your email. Your subject line is going to be that first impression, so make it count.

Best of luck!


How’s your email marketing going? Got other amazing tips to share about email subject lines? Share them with us now by sending us a message at contact@silveredgemediaservices.com.

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