How to Choose a Subject Line in Email Marketing?

22/02/2024 | E-mail Marketing

Email marketing is a cornerstone of digital marketing strategies, and one of the key elements in creating an effective email marketing campaign is the subject line. The success of an email campaign often hinges on whether the subject line is effective or not. Why? Because the subject line plays a critical role in the recipient’s decision to open the email.


What is the importance of the subject line in email marketing?

A good subject line arouses the recipient’s curiosity, promises a solution or benefit, creates a sense of urgency, or presents an exciting offer. However, since every target audience is different, determining the most effective subject lines may involve a trial-and-error approach.


Email marketers should also ensure that subject lines are concise, optimized for easy reading even on mobile devices, as each target audience varies. Additionally, factors such as the right choice of words, the use of emotional triggers, and personalization can enhance the impact of the subject line.


In conclusion, the subject line in email marketing is a critical element that significantly influences the success of a campaign. A compelling subject line captures the recipient’s attention, prompting them to open the email, which can ultimately increase conversion rates. Therefore, email marketers should make an effort to create attention-grabbing and engaging subject lines for each campaign. However, due to evolving customer expectations over the years, businesses are increasingly finding it challenging to connect with potential customers through email. According to recent research, 67% of email marketing experts consider interaction a top priority, but 50% practicalize that it is a significant challenge.


How to Choose a Subject Line in Email Marketing?

When selecting a subject line, it is beneficial to pay attention to several factors. For instance, your subject line should be short and concise. The most effective subject lines are typically only 6 to 10 words long. While the ideal length for your email subject line may vary based on your target audience, it should not exceed 20 words. Given that many emails are accessed via mobile devices, keeping your subject lines brief is crucial. Long email subject lines may get truncated when read on a smartphone, meaning that your audience won’t see the entire content. Additionally, consider incorporating numbers in your subject line. Numbers can help clearly showcase the benefits you offer and make the content more quickly readable. For example, ‘By 2023, 80% of businesses will use artificial intelligence.’

No one likes the idea of missing out on something. Therefore, if you can create a sense of urgency, your audience will be inclined to visit your website immediately to see what you are offering. However, to be effective, you must genuinely deliver on your promises. In other words, ensure that your subject line is a true reflection of the content. Readers don’t want to feel deceived after opening an email. For instance, ‘Week’s Deal: Buy 1 Get 1 Free.’

In some cases, you may need to write your email newsletter’s content in a way that reads like a story. However, the key here is to find a subject line that reveals the plot without giving everything away. Including a surprise in your email subject line is the most effective way to increase your open rate. By offering guides, templates, checklists, or infographics, you provide subscribers with a compelling reason to open your email.

Your subscribers want to know if you genuinely care about their interests. The easiest way to do this is by adding location-specific information. To achieve this, segment your subscribers into smaller groups using factors such as gender, age, location, occupation, and hobbies, and use segmented email campaigns. Even creating a subject line using the subscriber’s name can serve as an incentive for them to open the email. When a subscriber sees their name in the subject line, it sparks curiosity, increasing the likelihood of opening the email. You can then create targeted subject lines for segmented groups to generate personalized emails. Adding the subscriber’s name to these emails can enhance their appeal, as people are more likely to open an email when they see their name in the subject line.

Timing is crucial when sending emails. If you provide your subscribers with the information they need at the right time, you can significantly increase the open rate. Sending a newsletter during the holiday season, for example, is an excellent time to share gift ideas and special offers. If you want to share valuable content like case studies or reports that will be read like a story, you can emphasize this in your subject line using parentheses. Content placed within parentheses is often associated with a type of bonus. For maximum impact, place this parentheses at the beginning or end of your subject line.

You may have noticed that square brackets are preferred over round brackets. Since square brackets are not commonly used in written language, they can effectively frame your exclusive content and make it more attention-grabbing. While special characters often trigger spam filters, the use of emojis can draw attention and add more context. According to a report by Experian, adding an emoji to your subject line can increase the open rate by up to 45%. When using emojis, the key is to choose easily recognizable, relevant, and professional emojis. Considering you’ll likely have a limited list, adding no more than two emojis may not be a significant disadvantage. Questions provide a reason for your subscribers to read your emails more thoroughly and offer an instant dialogue that increases the likelihood of your email being opened.



How does the subject line affect people in email marketing?

The subject line is the first thing the reader sees and often forms the initial impression about the content of the email. A good subject line prompts the reader to decide to open the email. Captivating headlines lead to more clicks on your emails, which can help your campaigns attract more visitors, potential customers, and sales. Subject lines also impact the open rates of emails. A compelling subject line increases the likelihood of the email being opened, while a dull or meaningless one can result in the email being deleted.


What are the most common mistakes when choosing a subject line in email marketing?

Errors in selecting a subject line in email marketing can significantly affect the effectiveness of the campaign and negatively influence recipients’ decisions to open emails.

  • If the subject line does not provide a value proposition to recipients or does not interest them, the open rate of emails may decrease. Subject headings that don’t offer value or are irrelevant can reduce recipients’ motivation to open the email.
  • While recipients often quickly check their emails, long and complex subject headings can be distracting or boring. Therefore, short, concise and clear subject headings should be preferred.
  • Subject headings that are too bold or exaggerated can cause you to lose recipients’ trust and lead to your emails being marked as spam. Additionally, headlines containing click-hunting phrases such as “buy”, “click now” etc. can undermine buyers’ trust.
  • While personalized emails can be effective, subject lines that are inaccurately personalized or contain irrelevant personal information can annoy recipients and avoid opening emails.
  • It is important that the subject headings are clear and concise. Vague or equivocal headlines fail to meet recipients’ expectations and make them less likely to open the email.
  • Manipulative headlines that exploit buyers’ emotions damage your brand image and can cause you to lose buyers’ trust.

To avoid these mistakes, you must carefully consider your subject headings and design them to attract buyers’ attention and offer value. It’s also important to take the time to identify the most effective topics using A/B tests.



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