How to Write Email Subject Lines That Get Opened

How to Write Email Subject Lines That Get Opened

Great subject lines are the key to successful email marketing.

If the subject line doesn’t do its job & move a subscriber to open your email, all the valuable information you shared inside it will be for nothing! 

Winning subject lines are to email what great hooks are to social media content. 

Both are intended to grab an audience’s attention & increase the chances of them reading your message & taking the next desired action – for example, clicking a link, booking a call, etc

According to Hubspot research “The most effective email subject lines engage curiosity, include promotional offers, and are personalized to each recipient's interests.” 

Here are 6 tips for writing email subject lines that get opened… 

1| Keep Your Subject Lines Short & Sweet

Subject lines that are too long or difficult to read can be easily overlooked in someone’s overflowing inbox.

Longer subject lines may be OK for viewing on desktop, but lengthy sentences will be cut off when opening on a mobile. Keep these experiences in mind when finalizing your email. 


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2 | Ask Your Subscriber a Question

Asking a question in your email subject line works so well because it makes the recipient curious, which can lead to a higher open rate. Posing the right questions will create a sense of personalization & relevance – making the recipient feel compelled to open & find out more. 

For example, some of our best performing subject lines happen to be in question form:

  • “Are these 5 things in your contract?” (curiosity would lead a reader to make sure they aren’t missing anything important in their contract)

  • “Frustrated by slow growth & lack of leads?” (the relevance of a reader currently in this situation would encourage them to seek a solution)

  • “How much should you charge for your services?” (using the subject line to ask a popular question that our target audience constantly asks themselves guarantees more opens)

3 | Use Emojis

Using emojis thoughtfully in your subject lines can help them stand out in a sea of messages. Considering how many marketing emails people get, try using a few strategically placed emojis to add visual interest and convey the emotion of your message. Just be careful not to overdo it! 

4 | Make it Personal 

Personalizing your subject lines by including a recipient’s name, location or other relevant information will make them more likely to open.

Personalized subject lines can create a sense of familiarity, trust, and rapport, making the recipient feel valued and more likely to engage with the content of the email. This can also make the email feel less like a mass marketing message and more like a one-on-one conversation, increasing the chances that the recipient will take the desired action, such as making a purchase or clicking a link.

5 | Stoke Curiosity 

If a subject line piques the recipient's interest enough to wonder what the email is about, they’re more likely to open it to find out. Making them curious can be achieved through the use of intriguing questions (as covered previously), by making surprising or provocative statements, or by being a bit controversial. 

Some examples of this as subject lines are: 

  • "You won't believe what happened next!"

  • "The secret to [Insert topic]"

  • "I can't believe they said this to me!"

  • "The one thing you're doing wrong with your social media marketing.”

  • "Guess what I found in my DMs?!"

  • "Introducing the [insert buzzword] of social media marketing"

Of course, you never want subscribers to think your emails are click bait, so be sure to make good on your promise & provide incredible value or something entertaining inside! 

6 | Test Your Subject Lines

A/B Testing your email subject lines helps determine the most effective option for your target audience. By sending two slightly different versions of the same email to a small portion of your mailing list and comparing the open rates, you can determine which subject line resonates better with your audience.

Testing helps you understand the preferences and behavior of your target audience, leading to more optimized subject lines & overall, more effective email marketing strategies!