7 Ways to Craft a Stellar Email Subject Line

One might say what was once the ad tagline is now the email subject line. But subject lines are even more important—its a 3 seconds that either makes it or breaks it when it comes to getting your email read.

Here, we’ve provided seven keys to crafting a stellar subject line, even if you’re not a copywriter.

1. Get personal.
Ask yourself: How would you write an email to a friend? You’d probably use the word ‘you’ or add in an interest of theirs. With all the mail we get nowadays, people only open emails that are specific and relevant to their needs. Geographical location, past buying behavior, and specific industries can be included when you have the right targeting and technology.

2. Be concise and clear about your message.
Tools such as are an excellent way to gauge if your subject line adheres to best practices. Keep characters under 35 words, write no more than one sentence with one message, and don’t add too many complex characters. The simpler, the better. Bottom line: Get to the point and make it sound enticing. (This is also a plus for mobile browsing).

3. Try A/B testing.
With most email marketing automators, an A/B testing option is available. This allows you to test two subject lines against two small groups, and once the winner is clear, the program will automatically send the winning subject line to everyone else. This is a great way to get insights about what works and what doesn’t with your customers.

4. Avoid spam words.
Certain spam or tigger words can result in you email getting tossed or thrown into the spam pile. When you see “#1”, “100%” ”as seen in,” do you automatically cringe? Use this list of 455 words NOT to use if you want to show in inboxes.

5. Convey a sense of urgency.
Your email is concise, personal and gets to the point — great. Now, what else is going to make people open your email? Create a sense of urgency. For example: Are you holding a limited time sale? Lead with a tantalizing offer or piece of advice that cannot be missed.

6. Keep the sender name personal.
Make sure the sender name is personal. It’s better to have an individual’s name that’s personal rather than a convoluted name that seems to have come from a robot. This goes back to our point about keeping things personal.

7. Only use numbers for special characters.
Avoid emojis in your subject line, but do include numbers, like 50% off, or 7 facts to know about… . This gives specifics that people will want to learn more about.

Subject line writing is both an art and a science. Use the above seven tips along with your creativity in your subject line, and you should have a winning formula!

VMA Sponsors:

VMA Partners:

Learn how we support your business