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14 Email subject line best practices to get more opens

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Your subject line could make or break your email open charges. Here are 14 best practices to write a superb one.

“Email marketing is still the #1 best way to engage with your audience and convert leads into customers — but if no one is opening your emails, you’ve got a problem.”

Alex Cattoni, Founder of The Copy Posse

Take it from the knowledgeable. Your subject line can single-handedly make or break your whole email marketing campaign.

That’s why we put collectively this listing of best practices to assist you to create attention-grabbing subject traces on your email advertising campaigns.

In truth, 47% of email recipients admit to opening email based mostly on the subject line alone.

An envelope graphic showing 47% of email recipients admit to opening an email based on the subject line.

One of the commonest questions we hear is: “what do I write in the subject line of an email?” Many individuals marvel how to write excellent email subject traces.

That’s why we put collectively this listing of subject line best practices to assist you to create attention-grabbing emails.

Email subject line best practices

  1. Personalize your email subject traces
  2. Use segmentation
  3. Create urgency with FOMO
  4. Avoid spam triggers
  5. Be direct
  6. Ask questions
  7. Use numbers
  8. Try a subject line generator
  9. One phrase subject traces
  10. Super lengthy subject traces
  11. Understand your audiences’ ache factors
  12. Get private
  13. Provoke emotion
  14. AB cut up take a look at your subject line

14 email subject line best practices

1 – Personalize your email subject traces

Do any of those subject traces catch your consideration?

Boring subject line examples using personalization

Not significantly.

Many years in the past when corporations first began utilizing first title personalization, it labored. It grabbed your consideration. But now, variations of “Hello {!firstname_fix}” have develop into the norm in email advertising, not the outlier. Because of that, it’s misplaced its novelty. 

But that’s not the kind of personalised email subject line I’m speaking about. To actually create an email subject line that will get consideration, you want to make the content material distinctive to that particular person subscriber.

You want to go above and past to join with every buyer. You can do that by personalizing your message based mostly on location, previous buy habits, and content material they’ve engaged with. Think of what data you could have in your prospects. Now use that to create a personalised expertise for them.

What if I took the identical email blast subject traces examples above, however made them personalised based mostly on my experiences with these manufacturers?

Exciting subject line examples using personalization

Now that made a distinction.

So what’s the best method to accomplish this? With your subsequent email subject line best follow – segmentation.

2 – Use segmentation

At AWeber, we advocate segmenting your viewers and sending every phase tailor-made messages with distinctive subject traces.

Joanna Wiebe, Founder of Copyhackers, agrees: “The #1 thing we continue to find is that opens skyrocket when your subject line is specific to the segmented list you’re sending to.”

A quote from Joanna Wiebe, the founder of Copyhackers, regarding subject lines

Here are some methods to do exactly that:

  • Ask questions in your enroll kind.
    Then use that data in your email subject traces. For instance, when you write a style weblog, you possibly can ask your subscriber for his or her favourite shade once they enroll to your mailing listing. Then, you possibly can ship them emails based mostly on their shade selection — like “15 gorgeous [color] dresses under $50.”
  • Send location-based emails.
    Traveling to a convention? Speaking at an occasion? Meet up together with your subscribers in numerous cities. “We’re in [city] next week! See you there?”
  • Retarget subscribers.
    Did a subscriber abandon a product in his or her procuring cart? You may ship an email like “Forget something? Here’s a 20% off coupon!” Or did a subscriber not observe by on an motion, like registering on your webinar or workshop? Use that data to tailor their subsequent message. “Only 12 hours to sign up for [event]!”

3 – Create urgency in your subject line with FOMO

Fear of lacking out — or FOMO — is a strong psychological driver of email opens and engagement. Email subject traces that create a way of urgency, shortage, and exclusivity can boast a 22% higher open rate.

This could be carried out by giving your subscribers a deadline to accomplish an motion.

Here are another efficient FOMO email subject line examples:

FOMO email subject line examples

4 – Avoid spam triggers in your subject line

Email spam filters are triggered by particular phrases, phrases, and symbols in your subject line and email content material. 

So what are some phrases, phrases, and symbols which are pink flags to spam filters? There are a ton, however right here’s a number of to offer you an instance:

  • Excessive punctuation like a number of exclamation factors!!!!!!! or ellipses ………
  • Symbols like “$$$” and “*****”
  • Phrases like “cheap,” “cash off,” “incredible deal,” “satisfaction,” “winner”

Also, as many as 69% of email recipients report email as spam based mostly solely on the subject line. Make certain your subject line doesn’t come throughout as spammy to your subscriber, too. This will occur in case your subject line is deceiving in any method, reminiscent of main with “RE:” when it’s not an precise reply to an email.

5 – Be direct in your subject line

Skip the wit, wordplay, humor, rhymes, or puns in your subject traces.

Stick with easy headlines as an alternative. These “boring” subject traces convert extraordinarily properly. That’s as a result of they clarify the worth contained in the email. The readers know precisely what to anticipate from the message and the advantages they’ll obtain from opening it.

Here are some easy email subject line examples:

Examples of direct email subject lines

But there’s one catch: Your messages have to persistently present worth. If your messages fall wanting their promised worth, your subscribers will really feel cheated. Then, good luck getting them to open your messages transferring ahead. 

However, in case your emails are continuously filled with necessary, personalised content material, your viewers will open your emails — it doesn’t matter what the subject line says.

6 – Ask questions to pique curiosity

There’s a cause most tv season finales finish with cliffhangers: Humans crave nice-and-neat endings. So whenever you don’t give it to them, they’re unsettled. They have to know what occurs subsequent, they usually’ll tune within the subsequent season for closure.

Use this craving to your benefit. Fuel your subscribers to open your emails by injecting curiosity into your subject traces. You can ask a query:

  • Jo at Copy Hackers: “Are you missing these 3 copy techniques?”
  • Men’s Health Daily Dose: “Will Creatine Boost Your Gains?”

Or promise a solution inside your message:

  • Jessica Stansberry: “You should be going live ___ times per month! [open for the answer]”
  • Sophie Gray: “This is the ONLY Reason You Should Workout”

Or tease a shock, giveaway, or reward:

Or make readers say “huh?!”

  • Chubbies: “Sincerely, future Dwight”
  • Really Good Emails: “Emails could be tasty

7 – Use numbers

Using numbers in your subject line is an effective way to seize your reader’s consideration. Plus numbers add authority and lend weight to your subject line. See for your self, which of those subject traces would you open:

The key to writing nice subject traces


10 keys to writing nice subject traces

Adding the quantity to the subject line leads your buyer to assume they are going to study more out of your email.

The proof is within the knowledge. Yesware analyzed over 100 million emails and located these with numbers received a higher open.

Chart showing open rates with numbers in the subject line compared to no numbers in the subject line

8 – Try a subject line generator

A subject line generator is a software program that creates a subject line for you. These turbines use synthetic intelligence (or AI) to create subject traces based mostly on solutions you present from a number of easy questions reminiscent of: “What’s your email about?” and “What tone would you like to achieve?”

You’d be amazed on the high quality of subject traces these AI-powered software program can present.

I like to recommend testing an AI-generated subject line versus one you create and see which one will get the next open price.

Related: 8 best email subject line turbines

9 – Use one phrase subject traces

Another piece of recommendation from Copyhackers’ Wiebe? Try one phrase subject traces.

Why? One phrase subject traces could be intriguing.

Here at AWeber, we’ve despatched one phrase subject traces that wind up having the next open price than common.

10 – Or tremendous lengthy subject traces

Wait, didn’t you simply say strive one phrase subject traces? Yes, sure I did.

But the fact is each actually quick and actually lengthy subject traces can work properly. Ultimately, it’s all about standing out and discovering what works on your viewers.

In truth, solely 18% of individuals embody more than 60 characters of their subject traces. So why not give it a go?

Chart showing the average characters in email subject lines

11 – Understand your audiences’ ache factors

Wiebe advises, “Put your audiences’ pain points, fears or amazing outcomes in quotation marks and use the first person.”

This components may assist your viewers see themselves in your subject line. Because they really feel aligned to the copy, they’ll be more probably to open it to see what you could have to say.

Again, this all goes again to figuring out your viewers. When you perceive your viewers — their hopes, desires, fears, challenges and more — you possibly can create copy that resonates with them and drives them to motion. You have to embody a price proposition that appeals to them.

As Wiebe says: “Because, of course, the copy in your subject line is only one small part of the equation when it comes to getting opens.”

12 – Get private

Alex Cattoni shares “The 3 P’s” as a guide to write better subject lines. They are: personalization, provoke emotion, and getting private.

Quote from Alex Cattoni regarding email subject lines

Let’s speak in regards to the latter.

“Get personal with a story-based subject line or a quick friendly greeting (i.e. I can’t believe I just said that).”

– Alex Cattoni, Founder of The Copy Posse

Humans are drawn to tales. There’s a cause so many childhood tales embody life classes — tales are how we bear in mind necessary issues and go data on. So in order for you to encourage your viewers, trace on the story readers will discover in your email by your subject line.

Plus, an intriguing subject line just like the one Cattoni mentions above couldn’t harm get more opens.

13 – Provoke emotion, motion or curiosity

Cattoni provides this instance as a subject line to provoke emotion, motion or curiosity: Is this freakishly correct for you, too?

Would you open this email?


Because not solely am I interested by what the writer is experiencing, I would like to know if it’s one thing I’m additionally encountering. I would like to discover out if we’ve got shared experiences.

This subject line provokes curiosity and a want for connection.

When writing a subject line like this, first take into consideration what you need your reader to really feel. Then, brainstorm questions to ask that will provoke that feeling.

Once you could have a subject line written, get one other opinion. Ask somebody to learn what you’ve written and let you know the way it made them really feel.

14 – AB take a look at your subject traces

Subject traces are essential as a result of they’re the very very first thing individuals see of their inbox. If your subject line isn’t fascinating or related, your subscribers might by no means open your emails.

That’s why cut up testing your subject traces is so necessary. With a easy cut up take a look at, you’ll find out how to write more participating subject traces that get opened.

There are plenty of issues you possibly can cut up take a look at in your subject line:


Short subject line vs. lengthy subject line? In normal, you need to use the least variety of characters potential whereas nonetheless getting your level throughout. 

Sometimes chances are you’ll discover that it’s more necessary to get your level throughout, and that requires an extended subject line.


Should you employ subscribers’ names or different private data within the subject? There are blended evaluations on personalization. It’s up to you to learn how your subscribers really feel about it.


Should you embody emojis in your subject line? Only a technique to discover out – take a look at it. 


How you say what you want to say is necessary. 

For instance, do subscribers like “% off” or “$ off?” Do they reply to psychological set off phrases like “secrets?” 

You can take a look at these in your subject line to discover what wording you ought to be utilizing, and it will possibly even assist you to with writing the remainder of your messages.


Your capitalization and punctuation may affect subscribers. You don’t need your subject line to appear to be spam, however on the similar time you need it to pop. What you suppose appears to be like good and what your subscribers suppose appears to be like good could be totally different, so that you want to take a look at!

What email subject line best practices be just right for you?

Has one thing labored for you that we didn’t share on this publish? Comment under! We’d love to hear what works for you.

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