How to Write the Perfect Email Subject Line

  • Home
  • Blog
  • How to Write the Perfect Email Subject Line

A strong email subject line should convey an email's message, offer a compelling reason to open it and include an accurate description of what will be in the email. Whether the purpose is to pique the interest of the reader, promote a special offer, promote a product, provide the key to unlocking an email or encourage them to take some form of action, there are several factors that will help create the ideal subject line. These tips can also help you create subject lines that get you the most clicks and opens:

1. Write For Your Audience:

Email subscribers generally don't mind if you send them a variety of different types of emails, including those that promote your products or services. However, your subject lines should be tailored to your subscriber base. You want to have a mix of subject lines, as there is no one that is going to capture the interest of everyone. The data may be a little old (from 2011), but you get the point:

2. Interested or Curiosity-Based:

You can pique your reader's interest by trying to attract their curiosity with certain words and phrases. "Last Chance" and "Only For a Limited Time" tend to draw the attention of customers.

3. Start with the Most Important Information:

The subject line shouldn't be overly complicated; keep it simple. Try to use action-oriented words like "Request," "Respond," "Download," "Register" and "Vote." Include who the message is from in the subject line, so that the reader has a sense of what the email is about. Think of the subject line as the title of a news article, since your email will be competing with all of the other messages they receive. Your title needs to be eye-catching, with enough interesting information to get a reader to click through and learn more.

4. Include a Call to Action:

Encourage your readers to do something or take action. The goal is to let the reader know exactly what to expect in the body of your email.

5. The Magic Number:

Many studies have been done on what makes a good subject line. Since there are so many factors, it's hard to find a magic number that is going to work every time.

A rule of thumb for subject lines, in general, is to keep them to fewer than 10 words. Longer lines might make your email look spammy.

6. Get to the Point:

Make your subject line concise and give a sense of what the email contains. A subject line should be more interesting and engaging than a simple announcement of a topic.

7. Credibility is Key:

Use numbers in your subject line if your subscriber is interested in the topic at hand. For example, "7 Tips for Increasing Website Traffic" is going to be more interesting to a reader than, "How to Increase Website Traffic."

One way to get more customers is to get them on your email list. You can send regular newsletters and other announcements to keep them informed and updated. And if you're using the right software, you can quickly manage your newsletters and send them out at the optimum times. If your newsletter isn't getting as many clicks as you'd like, then you need to consider these email marketing tips.

8. Lead with Benefits, Not Features:

Your subject line should answer the question: "What's in it for me?" Customers aren't interested in the features and benefits of your products or services. Instead, they want to know how it's going to help them. For example, "How to Lose 10 Pounds in a Week" is more compelling than "Dr. Smith's Diet Plan."

9. Overcome Email "Filter Fatigue":

You need to write subject lines that are compelling to get through email "filter fatigue." You should include the name of your business or brand so that the email is recognized as legitimate. What's more, your subject lines should avoid all capital letters and attachments. And keep it relevant to what the reader has signed up for.

10. Test, Test, Test:

Email marketing success starts with a good subject line. But you need to know what works, too. Always test a few subject lines to see what's more popular.

All the elements of a successful email campaign are there for your taking. You've written the content, designed your template and selected the perfect software. Now, you just need to master your craft and write subject lines that get noticed. You want to have a mix of subject lines, as there is no one that is going to capture the interest of everyone. Test different times of day and days of the week for your email marketing campaigns. You can send them on a schedule, once or twice a week, or even once or twice a month. You should send out your emails during times that your customers are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Generally, it's better to send them out on the days when they're less likely to be bombarded by so many emails.


With the right email marketing software, the right subject line and the right technology, you can accomplish the ultimate goal: Reach your ideal customer, and sell more.

Need help writing your next headline?

Get access to high converting headlines. Headlime generates hundreds of headlines for you, simply by answering a few questions.

Try Headlime for free