How To Create The Perfect Subject Line

How do you create the perfect subject line?

How do you create the perfect subject line?

When it comes to increasing the open rate of your emails, there is one area that is often forgotten about: the subject line. The subject line is often the first impression you will make with your audience and can therefore make a huge impact on whether your email campaign is successful or not.

So what makes a great subject line and how can you use this within your own campaigns?

1. Directly Speaking To The Audience

If there is one element that is constantly missed it is the mail merge function in email marketing software. You have the ability to address each audience member by name in every email in the subject line. This is perfect for email marketing because it personalises each message going out and ensures you grab the audience’s attention, by making it seem the message was written just for them.

If you want an even better open rate and are a local business, try including a town name or region. Research has shown that this can increase the open rate of emails even better than a name.

2. Change The Subject Line

If you use the same subject line every week or message, then you aren’t going to grab the attention of your audience. They will think it is the same or similar message and therefore switch off from your brand.

One example of this is with People Per Hour. They used to use one message that was broadcasted every single day. Then they adopted a different message to be broadcasted every day and it helped their business triple in size.

3. Promise Something Valuable

Your audience’s time is valuable. Therefore, don’t assume that they will just want to read what you’ve written; you’ve got to offer them something for their time in reading your piece, for example a free offer, a valuable secret (always a winner) or something else you think people will appreciate.

However, you must live up to your promises. Not keeping your word can damage your reputation and harm the success of future campaigns.

4. Avoid Overused And Spammy Words

Most people know that you should avoid words like ‘free’ and ‘voucher’ in email subject lines. These tend to trigger spam filters and messages won’t even be received let alone opened and read. However, you should also avoid other words that are associated with sales and spam such as:

  • Help
  • Percent off
  • Reminder
  • Offer

While some of these might not trigger a spam filter, readers are likely to ignore emails with these words in the subject line.

5. Shorter The Better

We’ve already stated that people are short of time and you’ve got to respect this. This is why you have to keep email copy short for better returns. The same applies with your subject line; try to keep it below 50 characters for the best results. If this can’t be managed, just ensure that it is as short as possible.

6. Ask A Question

Want to know what really works as an email subject line? A question. Even asking a question such as ‘Do you know the best email subject lines?’ and then discussing them, is likely to get a better response than: ‘Here are the best email subject lines’.


Your email subject lines need to be optimised if you are looking to get the best results from your email marketing campaigns. Many of the best practices are easy to implement and don’t cost money. Just carefully choose your subject line to succeed.

What was your last email marketing subject line? Have you got any more tips for our audience?

Let us know in the comments below.

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