How to Write an Engaging Email Subject Line

How many times have you deleted emails from your inbox without even stopping to read them? Newsletters you signed up for long ago, special offers from websites you once made a purchase from – we all receive so many emails every day that an email has to stand out from the crowd to even have a hope of attracting our attention. So how do you make your email the one that gets noticed? It’s all in the subject line…

Keep it short and sweet

We read differently on a computer (or smartphone) than we do in print, scanning for information. Most of us scan email subject lines to decide if we’ll open an email or send it straight to our electronic trash can. Keeping your subject line short and sweet (30-50 chars) is recommended. This ensures it’s easy to read quickly!

Get some Tweetspiration

Twitter is a great source of inspiration for email subject lines. Tweets you’ve used in the past – or engaging Tweets from your followers – can help you to come up with an email subject that will capture the attention of recipients. Don’t be afraid to be creative and take some time to create a subject line that will stand out amongst a sea of other emails. We love this example from an e-marketing site: “Virus, Worms, Trojan Horses, Oh My!” You get the idea. Using humour always works too – just don’t be too OTT.

Summarise the contents

Email subject lines are a bit like newspaper headlines – their job is to briefly summarise the content that comes next. They also need to grab the attention of the reader, making them want to read the article – or in this case, open the email. Use as few words as possible and take the time to create a short, snappy headline that demands attention.

Use compelling keywords

Use words which engage recipients from the second they see your email’s subject line in their inbox. Words such as “Don’t miss”, “News”, “Flash Sale” and “Update” all help your email to stand out – there are plenty of other words that work just as well!

Ask questions

An email subject line that asks a question is a good email subject line. “Want to increase conversion rates?” speaks directly to the recipient and if they’re as curious as the average person, they’re going to want to open your email to get the answer.

It can take some time to master the art of writing engaging email subject lines – yes, there’s a bit of science to creating a winning subject, but ultimately it’s an art. If you have a copywriter or content writer working for you, this might be something you want to delegate to them – after all, the subject line is the deciding factor when it comes to your emails being read or moved straight to the trash! Writing great subject lines makes it more likely that your email marketing will be successful, getting you the results you want.