Write irresistible email subject lines in just a few steps

Write irresistible email subject lines in just a few steps

Digital marketing is taking over the world, and emails make up a huge part of these digital strategies. With people receiving hundreds of emails a week – the most important (and often difficult) thing to do is to get your emails noticed in a sea of other emails. The goal of email-based marketing is obviously to get great open rates, but looking further down the line you also need to consider that your CTR (click through rates) are the end game, and therefore, your email content has also got to reflect what was promised in the subject line.


  • Database quality: Active users and proper segmentation used to ensure the people being reached are interested in the product,
  • Timing,
  • Brand reputation,
  • Email subject line

As humans, we like to think that we don’t base everything on first impressions, but despite our protestations people do judge a book by its cover and they most certainly judge an email based on its subject line.

In fact, according to a study done by Convince & Convert, a whopping 35% of people will open an email based solely on the email subject line. This stat is pretty scary, and it highlights the absolute necessity of crafting subject lines that are so great that they compel people to open your emails.

So here are five tips to get your emails opened, read and clicked on by using a cleverly crafted email subject line alone:


Not only are people uninterested in long and boring subject lines, but they are also unsuited for mobile opening, as many subject lines with more than 50 characters will get cut off. With nearly half of emails now being read on mobile devices, this becomes a huge problem – as your offer is going to lose its effectiveness pretty much off the bat.

So you need to create an email subject line that is under 50 characters but still gets your message across. For example instead of writing “From subject line and timing to brand reputation: here’s how to get better open rates”, you could only say “4 tips for incredible open rates”. Looks a whole lot better, doesn’t it?


There are a bunch of different ways to personalize an email, but the most efficient are using first names and location. The use of first names (of both the sender and the receiver) in an email subject line immediately creates a relationship with the reader, and there is loads of research that show emails that contain first names are opened a lot more frequently than those without. Rent the Runway went a step over and above this and sent out emails with “Happy birthday Lindsay – Surprise Inside.” The reader’s first name was incorporated, and the email was sent out on their birthday – this campaign had incredible success.

Using the location of a client is also important, and you can use this to send out information to customers that make it most relevant to them. For example, Groupon send emails out to people that offer them the best deals in their immediate areas – making it more likely that they will take up the offer on the product.

Urgency and excitement

An email subject line is similar to that of a CTA, as you are encouraging your customers to take some action, firstly by opening the email and then clicking on the product offer. Therefore, it’s important to use action-oriented verbs in your subject line that send out a sense of urgency and excitement.

For example, an email offering a yacht cruise with celebrities for charity will be more useful with the subject line “Cruise for charity with Lady Gaga”, rather than something less action-orientated like “A boat ride with celebrities for charity”.

Experiment with symbols

We all know that the use of exclamation marks in an email subject line is a big no-no. It is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to get cast off as spam. However, can you use symbols to make your email subject line stand out a bit more? You certainly can.

Experian Marketing Services completed a study that showed email subject lines with symbols had a higher open rate in 56% of the brands that they analysed. The key is to experiment – use an A/B testing campaign to test out different subject lines and you will be able to gauge the effectiveness of using symbols.

Keep your promises and deliver

It’s all well and good to make grand promises in your email subject line (it’s highly efficient) however, your need to keep those promises and deliver the goods. If your email content or final product fails to give the reader what they opened the email for then you have pretty much cooked your goose. Your brand name will go down the drain with them, and they are unlikely to open another email from you.

Make sure that your product or offering of high quality and that it will benefit the reader. This will improve the customer’s experience with you and will start to form brand loyalty – meaning that your emails will be opened over and over again. A healthy relationship with your clients is one of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign.

If your emails aren’t getting opened, your incredible content simply isn’t getting seen. Use these tips to create compelling email subject lines that will have your customers rushing to open them – good email subject lines will undoubtedly help with lead generation.

At Rise and Shine, we work with a variety of companies to create and implement lead nurturing strategies and a custom follow-up of leads that enable businesses to get the best out of their inbound marketing approach. If you would like to know more about lead nurturing and ways to get a better lead conversion rate for your company,download our eBook: 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips Tricks and Ideas.


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