Tips for Writing Better Email Subject Lines

Increasing open rates of your emails is a goal of nearly every email marketer, right? And what’s the biggest key to getting more people to open your email? The subject line! So what makes a successful subject line? Here are a few quick hints that might help.

Note: Don’t forget to test! Try sending the same email with a different subject line and see if you get a better (or worse) open rate. Each audience is different, so it’s important to test to know what works for your readers.

Email Subject Line Hints

  • Keep the length to fewer than 35 characters for mobile optimization (Ideal, but not always realistic), and fewer than 70 characters for desktop optimization
    * Caveat: if you have a highly targeted subscriber base, they may appreciate a longer subject line
  • Use words smaller than 8 characters
  • Include sense of urgency (Limited Time, Today, Now, Ends Sunday, etc.)
  • Stay away from words like ‘free’ or ‘help’
  • Don’t use exclamation points or other punctuation
  • Don’t include a percentage off, dollar amount
  • Try framingĀ  your subject line as a question
  • Clearly state what’s actually in your email – tell, don’t sell
  • Include a location if it makes sense – a city name, for example
  • Don’t use Re: or Fwd: – this is a good way to irritate readers


Don’t Forget:

Also, don’t forget about what’s called the “pre-header” – this is the text that many times says “Can’t view this email? View it in a browser” or something similar to that. While I understand the usefulness of this, this text is also the first thing people see when scanning their email to see what they want to open.

You can see in the image here that many of the marketing emails use that pre-header to tell you more about what’s in the email, therefore increasing the open rate.


Do you have other tips you can share with our readers? If you’ve found particular tips that help increase your open rate, please share!

If you have questions about email marketing, or want to start an email marketing program, give us a shout!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>