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15 Tips for Creating a Powerful email Subject Line

15 Tips for Creating a Powerful email Subject Line

Originally published June 2017; Updated May 2024.

Did you know that, every day throughout the world, over 306 billion emails are sent and received?? And by 2025, estimates increase that number to 376 billion emails. 🤯 So, how in the world do you make your email stand out in your prospect’s overflowing inbox? Enter: the email subject line.

Often treated as an afterthought, your email subject line is ripe with potential. Leverage it to your advantage and increase your open rates overnight!

How To Create a Powerful Email Subject Line

Email Marketing metrics

Here are 15 tips to consider when creating a powerful email subject line:

1. Incorporate “you, your, or you’re” 

Keep your email subject lines customer-centric to draw in prospects immediately.

2. Imply a sense of urgency

(Ex. “Get yours in time for summer!”)

3. Create a sense of scarcity or of missing out

No one wants to miss a good opportunity! (Ex. “While supplies last…”)

4. Double-check spelling and grammar

Nothing will send your email to the trash can quicker than sloppy oversights.

5. Ask a question to pique curiosity

This is an effective approach because it sends your recipient into the email to search for the answer.

6. Use numbers in your subject line

We love lists and easy ways to categorize and digest information. (Ex. “3 easy steps…”)

7. Avoid communicating like a used-car salesperson

Refrain from typing words in all caps, use discretion when it comes to implementing exclamation marks, and avoid words that spam filters pick up on, or your email won’t even make it into your recipient’s inbox.

Tip: Take time to research spam filter trigger words!

8. Make it personal

This is the opposite of the used-car salesperson approach. You want to appeal to your email recipient on a personal level. You want them to know that you sought them out instead of blasting a generic email to a wide swath of prospects.

a. Top marketing expert Jay Schwedelson recommends placing your target audience in the subject line. (Ex. “Attention plumbers!” or “Hot tips for project managers!”)

If you mention the job function or the title of the audience that you’re actually marketing to, the open rate goes up exponentially.

b. Put the company name you’re sending the email to in the subject line. This helps differentiate your email from spam email. 

9. Get to know your audience

Who is your audience, and what motivates them? What needs do they have that your business can meet? Which of their pain points can you help alleviate?

10. Offer value and expertise

How can you convey the value of the product or service you provide in a few short words? Think of your subject line as the appetizer and the content of your email as the main course. If the appetizer is satisfying, then your customer will stick around and delve into more of what you have to offer.

11. Put the most important words in the first 25 characters of your subject line

Because of truncation, it’s likely the rest of your subject line will be cut off, so capitalize on what your prospect will read in its entirety.

12. Make sure your subject line introduces your preheader text

This consistency will make your email more compelling.

13. Format your subject line 

Format your subject line with tools like cloudHQ, a Google Chrome extension. Bold it, italicize it, or change the font. Then, even at a glance, your prospect’s eyes will be drawn to your email in a sea of emails.

14. Use a subject line tester 

We recommend!

15. Add an emoji

Subject line emojis increase open rate by 21%. 🥳

If you want to get your prospect’s attention, be sure to take extra time to create a powerful email subject line. Then, track your results and make any necessary adjustments! Putting in this extra effort upfront will pay dividends down the road and help you market your business more effectively. 

Email marketing isn’t everyone’s superpower. If you think your business could benefit from consistent, targeted email marketing, we’d love to discuss how we can partner with you. Schedule a free 15-minute exploratory call to learn more!


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