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How to write email subject lines that get clicked

3 min read
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We begin with three statistics to establish just how important subject lines are.

  • 35% of recipients open emails based on subject lines alone
  • 69% report email as spam based on subject lines
  • 43% click the spam button based on the ‘from’ name or the email address

Are most of your emails are not eliciting a response? Are your email campaigns not bringing you any tangible benefits?

If your answer to either of the above is Yes, this post will definitely help you!

It’s clear that emails aren’t going anywhere and remains a powerful strategy for professionals trying to build relations and marketers driving consumer engagement.

When reaching out to your target audience, focus on polishing your email subject lines – it’s the first thing they will see in their inbox.

Here are 10 tips to help you write attention-grabbing subject lines that get clicked.

1. Target it

Nothing works better than personalization. Use a city name to make the message resonate with your target – for instance: “Attention New Yorkers, New Book Coming Out!”.

Another way of personalizing your subject line and improving open rates is adding the recipient’s first or last name.

Personalizing your subject line

Targeted subject lines work because they’re about the reader and people simply like to read about themselves.

2. Include action verbs

Action often prompts people to respond with action.

If you’re trying to drive customers to a store opening, a message like “Join Us At The Store Opening!” is much more effective than “Upcoming Store Opening”.

Best subject line words email marketing

3. Never re-use your subject lines

Make sure to keep your content fresh and avoid repeating the same subject line for every campaign.

Just because it worked the last time, it doesn’t mean it will be effective now. Besides, recipients will feel as if you were wasting their time – they’ll think that you’re resending them the same email and that could easily become annoying.

A few ways to keep your subject line fresh:

  • Take advantage of holidays
  • Use trending hashtags
  • Bring up a hot button topic

4. Surprise your audience with a stat

Consumers love data. It just attracts their attention.

Add a surprising stat to your subject line to make it more compelling. Just make sure to present it in a clear way that isn’t misleading.

Statistics

5. Keep it short

Consumers quickly scan subject lines to decide whether to open or ignore the message.

Don’t expect them to stick around and dig through your subject line to figure out what you mean. Keep it short and sweet – 50 characters or fewer is just right.

Retention science email open rate subject line

6. Rethink your ‘from’ name

The ‘from’ name is key to your messaging. Your subscribers aren’t likely to open emails from people they don’t know.

The name should make it clear who you are – and keep it consistent over time! It’s a good idea to use a real human name – it will make your messages sound more genuine and help subscribers to connect with the sender.

Things to keep in mind when choosing a ‘from’ address:

  • No free webmail address
  • No no-reply address
  • No invalid email address

7. Grab attention with questions

The linguistic structure of a question prompts readers to pause and respond. It’s just how our brains are wired. Use this feature and write question subject lines that are short and inspire the recipient to find out the answer. You don’t need to try that hard – even if they think they know the answer, they’ll still check it out to fulfill their need for affirmation.

Use this feature and write question subject lines that are short and inspire the recipient to find out the answer. You don’t need to try that hard – even if they think they know the answer, they’ll still check it out to fulfill their need for affirmation.

You don’t need to try that hard – even if they think they know the answer, they’ll still check it out to fulfill their need for affirmation.

8. Polish your writing skills

Even if it’s really short, the subject line requires solid writing skills to make it truly enticing. When creating the subject line for your next newsletter, try to be on point and provide a succinct summary. It’s a good idea to communicate a sense of urgency as well by suggesting why the reader should open your email right now.

Make sure that the subject line is connected to the rest of your content – if consumers spot any discrepancies, they’ll become annoyed and might unsubscribe from your mailing list. Communicate a clear benefit to them – they need to be motivated to open your message. If you’re stuck, just consult with a professional copywriter – they usually list their services on

Communicate a clear benefit to them – they need to be motivated to open your message. If you’re stuck, just consult with a professional copywriter – they usually list their services on job boards like Gumtree and have all it takes to make your message stand out.

9. Test it

How to find out what works for your audience? By A/B testing, of course! If you use it well and work with your analytics insights, testing can become a really powerful tool for boosting your email subject lines.

Come up with two different versions of one subject line and monitor which one performs better. Experiment with different lengths, styles, and stylistic features like capitalization. Among the key performance metrics you should track there are not only open

Among the key performance metrics you should track there are not only open rates but also the number of clicked links and generated sales.

10. Just be human

Email is essentially a conversational medium. People use it to talk to other people – and you should too. Don’t make your subscribers feel like one of the many names on your mailing list, automatically targeted and fed optimized content without a soul.

Add small personal touches like “us” or “you” to make your message warmer. Don’t become a robot – try language which people use to talk to each other. Instead of writing something like “Your Help Is Required”, consider a genuine request like “Could you help us out?”.

Follow these tips and you can be sure that your subject lines motivate your target audience to click on your messages, opening up the road towards better engagement and higher conversion rates from your email campaigns.

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Author
Hannah Dickins
Hannah Dickins is part of the team behind DirectorStats.co.uk. With a huge interest in writing and content marketing, she works as a Community Manager. She’s keen on new helpful online tools and productivity hacks.