Insider Secrets on How to Write an Effective Email Subject Line

What if nobody was actually reading all of those emails you send out?

Using consistent email marketing is a great way to increase web traffic, boost sales, and establish a relationship with your customers. But this will only work if they bother to open the emails you send!

What’s the difference between an email they ignore and one they open right away? It all comes down to the email subject line. Keep reading to discover insider secrets on how to write the most effective subject lines!

Short and Sweet

Sometimes, the best advice is also the simplest advice. So what’s our best advice about writing an email subject line? Keep things short and simple!

Customers are turned off by long subject lines. And even if a customer doesn’t mind a long subject line, their phone (which is where they are likely browsing the internet) may cut off anything more than 30 or so characters.

This is a major part of why writing an effective subject line is so difficult. You must be informative and persuasive, and you must find a way to do so in just a handful of words.

Invoke Urgency

Why do you think so many customers ignore emails from various companies? One reason is that the subject line doesn’t really do anything to make the message sound very important.

You can fix this by adding urgency to your subject lines. For example, you may urge customers to “Act now while this offers lasts!” Alternatively, you might ask them “Check out our major discounts (this weekend only)!”

Obviously, you can’t make every email sound breathless and urgent, so you should only use this strategy for special occasions. Done right, this strategy helps you make your customers more excited to receive each new message.

Effective Humor

Not every email subject line needs to sound urgent. What’s another approach you can try? Humor, of course!

Humor is very subjective, but you can utilize knowledge of your demographic to craft funny lines. This helps to showcase how well you understand the demographic and their culture, giving you a chance to build customer loyalty.

At the end of the day, this strategy works so well because the internet is largely-driven by humor. Think about how many funny memes and videos your friends send you each week. Once your customers know that your e-mail may amuse them and brighten their day, they are much likelier to open it up.

Asking Open-Ended Questions

Email subject lines and “hooks” in writing share a lot of DNA. In each case, you’re trying to get someone to respond to your message with curiosity and an open mind. And what better way to get a response than ask a question?

Asking questions is one of the best strategies for creating a solid email subject line. However, not just any question will do. That’s why our go-to move is to ask an open-ended question.

For instance, your subject line might be, “What are the best ways to start saving money today?” This makes the customer curious about the question while also implying that you’ll be providing some great strategies.

If nothing else, customers are likely to open the e-mail and compare your ideas to their own. And this gives you a great opportunity to guide them towards your CTA.

Prioritize the First Words

Earlier, we talked about how the entire subject line should be short and sweet. On top of that, you need to pay careful attention to the very first words for each subject line.

For example, maybe you want to advertise a Black Friday sale. It may be tempting to use a subject line like “Pass the Stuffing and Gravy: Check Out Our Black Friday Sale!”

The problem with such an approach is that some customers read the first few words and immediately scroll past. They’ll ignore or delete the email without even realizing you’re having a sale.

That’s why a sale email should always mention the sale in the first few words. This will pique the interest of most customers because let’s face it: who doesn’t love a sale? 

Numbers and Lists

Remember the old advice that “it’s not always what you say, it’s how you say it?” Believe it or not, that advice is very literal when it comes to writing email subject lines.

To know what customers find interesting, look no further than popular internet content. What do you see people sharing? Very often, it’s “listicles” with titles like “10 Most Shocking Celebrity Secrets (You Better Sit Down for Number 9).”

What can we conclude from this? Generally speaking, customers like titles and subject lines that feature numbers and lists. But not just any topic will do. For maximum results, you should organize subject lines by topics relevant to both customer interests and your own marketplace niche.

Remember, it’s fine to craft emails about related topics so long as it is useful and relevant for customers. Not every email from a furniture store needs to be about selling furniture. Customers are far likelier to respond positively to headlines like “10 Glamorous Decorating Tips To Transform Your House” because it provides information they can use right away!

Throw In a Deadline

We tend to think of deadlines as scary things. But what is it that drives that fear? Simple: our lives are filled with deadlines, and bad things usually happen if you miss a deadline.

Interestingly, you can use this to create additional urgency with your email subject lines. For example, your subject line may read, “Our Biggest Sale of the Year, Only On November 21st!”

Putting info about the sale in the first three words helps get their attention. And mentioning the date for this one-day-only sale makes customers likelier to open the message right away.

An Effective Email Subject Line: What Comes Next?

Now you know how to improve each email subject line. But what if you could easily improve the rest of the message, too?

At Email Preview Services, we help you test each email to gauge its overall effectiveness. To get started for free, simply sign up today!

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