How To Write Subject Lines That Increase Your Email Open Rate


Do you remember the last email you opened from a brand or company compared to one you automatically deleted? More than likely, it was the subject line that was the difference. In today’s digital age, effective subject lines are essential for writing the perfect marketing email

Why Effective Subject Lines Are Important for Email Marketing

Here are a few reasons why your email subject lines matter more than ever: 

1. Your audience is flooded with emails every day.  The average person sends and receives 121 business emails every day. The emails you send have significant competition when it comes to earning the attention of your audience.

2. Your subject line is the primary driver of email openings. According to research, 64% of readers make the decision to open an email based on the subject line alone.

3. Bad subject lines could impact your deliverability rates.  69% of email recipients report emails as spam after reading the subject line. If your subject line could potentially be considered spam, your deliverability for all other emails moving forward could suffer. Spam traps can cause your domain or IP address to be denied, affecting your email deliverability rates and sender reputation.

4. Emails are still the most effective way to stay top-of-mind. While it has become increasingly difficult to stand out in your audiences’ email inbox, email is still the primary way you can stay top-of-mind for potential customers. In fact, 99% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking 20 times a day. Of those people, 58% of consumers check their email first thing in the morning. Your email could be the first thing they see when they wake up.

5 Types of Subject Lines You Can Use

Now that we’ve outlined the importance of crafting the right subject line for your email, let’s talk about some various tactics you can try. Here are a few different types of subject lines we’ve used with our clients over the years:  1. Listed Subject Lines  There’s a reason lists have grown so common in content marketing: they work. Lists provide content in a short, simple, and skimmable format. As human brains are naturally drawn to digits, lists are an easy way to pique a reader’s attention. 2. Scarcity Subject Lines Humans have a deep fear of missing out—on anything. Email subject lines that mention scarcity tend to perform well because they create a sense of urgency for your audience to open the email. 3. Personal or Local Subject Lines People are looking for content that is most relevant to them. This is why crafting email subject lines with unique and specific information can create a sense of personalization. 4. Clever & Witty Subject Lines A witty subject line can stand out among the scores of boring ones around it. If you know your audience well, a clever joke can get your email opened and shared. 5. Emoji Subject Lines Recent studies show that emails with an emoji in the subject line show a 56% increase in open rates. Using emojis can help your subject line stand out, as long as you don’t overdo it.

5 Keys to Craft the Perfect Subject Line for Your Marketing Emails

We’ve identified a few different directions you could take with your subject lines. But how do you know what will work best for your audience? Here are a few best practices to craft subject lines that will stand out and elevate your email marketing campaigns

1. Take Time to A/B Test Your Subject Lines Effective marketing is all about experimentation. This includes the subject lines you use in emails. Constantly experimenting and analyzing your subject line strategy through A/B testing is a great way to optimize your email campaigns. Compare open rates, and try to understand why some subject lines are more effective than others.

2. Use Segmentation and Personalization As we highlighted above, personalized subject lines can be a great way to stand out. This is where segmenting your audience based on location, preferences, or interest can be a great way to add personalization to your subject lines. According to Campaign Monitor, using the recipient’s first name in the subject line increased the chance of the email being opened by nearly 15%.

3. Make It Short and Sweet (and Mobile-Optimized) Most people’s attention spans are very short—so generally it’s a good idea to keep your subject lines brief and to the point. The most effective subject lines are typically no more than five or six words. It’s also important to remember that people are most likely checking email on their phones. Brevity is especially important since most screens only display 30-40 characters in a subject line.

4. Start with Action-Oriented Language Actionable subject lines can often inspire people to click on your email by instilling urgency and excitement. For example, in an email inviting people to an open house at your new office, the email subject line might read, “Enjoy free drinks at our new office!” rather than a more generic (and less actionable) “You’re Invited to our Open House.”

5. Tell Your Audience What’s Inside the Email If you want people to take action, it’s important they know what to expect if they open your email. Make it clear what’s waiting inside the email. This is something your audience wants to know, and it can be the difference between an email that is opened and one that isn’t.

Email Marketing Strategies That Stick

At Green Apple, we’re constantly working alongside our clients to stay updated on the latest email marketing trends as they evolve and change. By using some of our tips, we hope you can come up with creative and engaging subject lines of your own. Reach out today if you need a reimagined and effective email marketing strategy.