Email Marketing

The key to getting your audience opening and reading your emails is composing an effective subject line to act as the face of the message. It is one of the first things recipients look at in their inbox; therefore you need to strategize and devote enough thought into what message will get your target’s attention.

Consider the following four email subject line writing tips that will influence, and ultimately increase, your marketing campaign’s open rates.

  1. Make it relevant – The subject line you choose should relate to the content of your message, giving your audience a small glimpse of what’s inside. This helps them easily determine if the material matches their interests, and if it’s worth opening. You should be sending out targeted content to your audience, therefore also add relevance to the subject line by including the “what’s in it for me”
  1. Keep it short and sweet – Having a subject line that is simple with a hint of obvious makes an excellent recipe for success. Try to keep your subject lines to no more than fifty characters. In offering this snippet, your recipient can see what your email is about as they quickly skim through their inbox.
  1. Personalizing the subject line increases open rates –“A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Dale Carnegie
    When a message includes the name of the person whom the email is being directed to, it instantly captures the attention of this individual and adds significance to the messages. Appealing to the emotions of your audience through this strategy not only engages them, but it also increases the probability of the content inside from getting read.
  1. Bypass anti-spam filters – When coming up with your subject line, you want to be thinking of ways to dodge getting labeled as spam. Avoid negative affiliations that will take you directly to the junk folder. This includes steering clear from using words like “free”, “win”, “now”, “prices”, “buy”, “cash”, among others. Always look for synonyms or better alternatives, minimizing the use of these words, or using them only if need be. You want to stay far away from using punctuation marks and special characters. Some of these include: “*”, “$”, “<”,”>”. Despite the “%” sign being a component of one of the most common offer phrases (“% off”), it does not guarantee a spot in the inbox folder, especially if it gets wrongfully combined with another trigger word. Additionally, subject lines with this sign are also often deemed as spam by readers and receive low open rates too. Lastly having an ALL CAPS subject line is almost a guarantee to getting marked as spam. This format shouts to anti- spam filters to direct your message to the junk box.

In addition to these tips – be sure to A/B test your subject lines. An A/B test can help improve your overall open rate.

Got other suggestions? We’d love to hear what you think makes a good subject line. Let us know what subject line writing tips have worked for you.


Celeste Alfaro
Celeste Alfaro
Social Media Marketing Coordinator
Mystique Brand Communications

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