Email Marketing

Subject Line



This post was originally published on June 21, 2017 and updated on October 5, 2020.

I think we would all agree that it doesn’t matter how informative, inspiring and all-around incredible your email content is if no one opens your email, right? If that’s the case then the big question is – how can you maximize the potential of the email subject line to create the desired effect – an opened email?

When email marketing, you only have one opportunity to hit the bullseye with each email you send out. The value of a powerful subject line cannot be underestimated. The subject line is a critical component of any keen marketing strategy!

What goes into creating that powerful subject line?

Email Opens

Here is a list of 10 key components to consider:

  1. Keep it short. 5-7 words, 40 characters max. It is important to be aware that the subject line on a mobile screen is cut shorter than that of its desktop counterpart and typically can only contain 35 characters or fewer to appear in its entirety.
  2. Imply a sense of urgency. (Ex. “This week only…”)
  3. Create a sense of scarcity or of missing out. No one wants to miss a good opportunity!
  4. Ensure proper spelling or grammar. Nothing will send your email to the trash can quicker than sloppy oversights.
  5. Consider asking a question to pique curiosity. This is another great way to ensure that “click” because it will send your email recipient into the email in search of the answer.
  6. Consider using 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 salesman. Refrain from typing words in all caps, use discretion when it comes to implementing exclamation marks and be sure to avoid words that spam filters pick up on or your email won’t even make it into your recipient’s inbox.
    Hot tip: Take time to research spam filter trigger words!
  8. Make it personal. This is the opposite of the used-car salesman approach. You want to appeal to your email recipient on a personal level in much the same way you would communicate with a friend. No one wants to feel like a face in the crowd.
  9. Get to know your audience. Who is your audience and what motivates them? What needs do they have that your business can help 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.

Next time your company formulates that important email, be sure to take extra time to compose a powerful and compelling subject line. Then, track your results to ensure that your efforts are increasing your open rates and make any necessary adjustments!

Putting in this extra effort up front will pay dividends down the road and help you market your business more effectively. If you’re struggling with your email marketing, we can help! Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency. Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand. Contact us on our website or set up a complimentary 30-minute strategy session here!

Email Content



Of all the online marketing options that have become available over the years, email marketing remains one of the most effective. Inexpensive and in a format most people access daily, email marketing allows you to get your business in front of thousands of people with just the click of a button. Well, the click of a button and some great content! After all, to be an effective marketing tool your emails first need to convince recipients to open them. Writing emails people will actually open takes skill – it requires you to know your audience and craft your emails based on that knowledge. Here are a few of our best tips for writing great emails.

Don’t Send Emails Just to Send Emails
sending emails

In other words, don’t send an email just to stick to a marketing schedule. Make sure you actually have something of value to offer your readers. The average person receives 96 emails a day, so if your emails don’t give them something useful, they’re just noise. You need to offer fresh, relevant information that gives your readers something valuable in exchange for their time. Don’t be too salesy either – nothing makes a person delete an email more quickly than a sales pitch. If your audience knows your emails always offer useful information, they will be more likely to open and read them.

Use an Attention-Grabbing Subject Line
Stand Out Subject Lines

Your subject line is the first thing readers will see, so it needs to convince them to open your email. It should be short, descriptive and make them want to read more. Your subject line should answer the question “what’s in it for me?”. The first 2-4 words are the most important and should make readers immediately understand that your email contains information that will be valuable to them. Try personalizing your subject line if you can by including the recipient’s name, city, or other relevant personal information. Avoid using words that trigger spam filters like “buy”, “click for more”, or “act now!” (check out this hubspot article for a full list of words to avoid). 

And you know the text that appears after the subject line – the one that typically defaults to “Can’t view this email? Click here”? That’s the pre-header text. Make the most of this important bit of text by customizing it to give your readers a preview of what they’ll find inside.

Use Well-Written and Concise Copy
well written copy

Spellcheck people! No one wants to read a poorly written email. Copy that has spelling or grammar mistakes can make you look unprofessional or even lazy – the opposite of what you want to communicate. Wordy and unfocused writing will turn people off as well. When creating your emails, use clear, concise statements – less is definitely more here. Also, address your content to a person, not a group. You want your reader to feel like you are speaking directly to them, not just throwing information out into the crowd. 

Keep it Simple

Pick one topic and stick to it. You don’t want your emails to be so cluttered with content that readers have to work to figure out if any of it is relevant to them or not. Make your topic clear. If you have more than one idea you want to communicate, pick one as your main topic, using the bulk of the email to discuss it. Then briefly mention the others at the end or in a P.S. Make the most of your email signature as well by adding links to upcoming events. That way you can include them without having to take up space in the body of the email. 

Great Design Speaks Volumes

Part of getting and keeping your audience’s attention is design. When a reader opens your email, you only have a few seconds to draw them in. Even if you have compelling topics and well-written content, you’ll quickly lose people if your email doesn’t look the part. Make use of graphics to ensure your email is eye-catching and not too text-heavy. If you don’t have a graphic designer in-house, try using a tool like Canva to build enticing graphics for your emails.

Include a Clear Call to Action (Just One!)

Every email you send should have a clear call to action (CTA), giving your audience next steps that are relevant to your main topic. Be concise yet creative with your wording, and avoid using vague phrases like “click here”. Each email should only have one call to action – resist the temptation to include more, as multiple CTAs will distract readers and result in lower engagement. 

Update Your Address List Often
email list

This is the boring part of email marketing, but it’s just as important as great content. Regularly update your address list to avoid sending to old or incorrect email addresses. Even though this kind of marketing is inexpensive, sending those extra emails is wasted money. Marketing to bad email addresses can also increase your bounce rate (i.e., emails that don’t go through), making you a target for spam filters.

When your audience knows your emails will be full of engaging, valuable content, they’ll be more likely to keep opening them. Looking for more great ways to connect with customers through email? Check out our recent post for some outside-the-box email ideas.

We know these tips will help you write better emails, but if you find you don’t have the time to tackle them yourself Wild Fig can help. Contact us to talk about outsourcing your email newsletters to our figgy team!

Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency! Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand. 



You want to make a good impression and motivate action with every email you send to your prospects, right? If it’s important to you to stand out with your prospects among the sheer influx of competitor email solicitation, it’s time to get off the lame just-swap-out-the-recipient-name-and-hit-send email wagon. Need some fresh and fun ideas? We’ve got you covered!


We can go back and forth about how to pronounce them (Does GIF start with a hard “G” or a soft “G”?) but if you have a pulse, we think you’ll agree that a well-placed GIF is worth a thousand words. Add one of these puppies to your email and increase your response rate. At Wild Fig, we’ve had great success with these friendly little files. Plus, they make sending prospect emails a whole lot of fun!


Fuel your email marketing by connecting with your prospect on social media first. It’s a great way to loosen them up and communicate with them on a more personal level so when they receive your email they’re already at least somewhat familiar with you and what you have to offer.


Stand Out Subject LinesMake a standout first impression with a memorable subject line that sets your email apart from all the inbox noise. Want to pack an even bigger punch? Mention the name of your prospect’s company in the subject line and experience a 65% open rate! Learn more about creating subject lines from one of our previous blogs here!


Do you ever include a “P.S.” at the end of your marketing emails? If you don’t, don’t tell us about it or we’ll cry ourselves to sleep for a week over all your missed opportunities. Fortunately, it’s never too late to start leveraging this little tool for some sweet success. Ideas? Include a “P.S.” at the end of your email and tell your prospect about your current go-to podcast or share your favorite quote. These are great ways to put some personality behind your message and make a personal connection.


A study by Martech Advisor reveals that including video content in your email can increase click rates by a whopping 300%! Not taking advantage of this enormous asset, at least periodically, is shortsighted at best. And don’t overcomplicate things. It can be a simple video taken on your smartphone. Show your product “in the field” so your prospect can easily envision how it can work for them. Be sure to include the word “video” in your subject line and include a thumbnail of the video in your email so it captures the attention it deserves!


Humor can help you get past the gate with your prospect and drive results!


When was the last time you received a sales email that actually made you laugh out loud? Let’s be honest. The vast majority of sales emails are lackluster at best…and tacky at worst. Clearly, this is an area where every company can stand to improve. Next time you compose an email to one of your prospects, leverage the “boring norm” to your advantage and poke fun at sales emails. A witty approach will certainly jar your prospect out of their sales-email-induced-coma and will leave them with a distinctive impression of your business. Maybe this company isn’t like every other company. Maybe they have something truly unique to offer.


If you’ve ever been stood up, you know how much it stinks  – personally or professionally. But does being stood up professionally spell the end to a prospective business relationship? Not if you know how to make lemonade out of lemons.

Enter humor, stage left. (Thanks, HubSpot, for this spot-on idea!) 

Instead of evading the subject, address it head on:

Remember when Rachel stood Ross up on prom night? I feel like we have the same awkward thing going on. In all seriousness though, I’d love to get our appointment back on my calendar…!

Add a Ross Geller GIF (see #1) for extra impact.


It can be tricky to know how to navigate communication with a prospect who ghosted you. You want to build a bridge but you don’t want to come on too strong. There couldn’t be a better time to pull some humor out of your back pocket. We’re probably all familiar with the hit song “Hello” by Adele. Why not start your email with these lyrics?

Hello from the other side. I must have called (emailed) a thousand times…

And don’t forget to add that Adele GIF to drive the humor home! (Nailed it again, HubSpot!)

The sky is truly the limit here. What other pop culture or historical references can you tap into to elicit some laughs and prompt a response?

We recently created an email around a funny Jim Carrey GIF for a prospect who seemed truly interested in our services and then dropped off the face of the earth. We got a call from him within 5 minutes!

Yep! Email marketing is still alive and well. Now go have fun and get creative with your email marketing! Need help? That’s what we’re here for and we’d be happy to connect. Book a 15-minute consultation with us to learn more!

Dealing with email list unsubscribes? For tips on keeping subscribers from unsubscribing, learn more here!

ABC’s (and the DEFG’s) of Email Marketing

ABC’s (and the DEFG’s) of Email Marketing 900 600 Kari Switala

In honor of back 2 school quickly approaching, I thought we’d go back 2 the basics and focus on the ABC’s (and the DEFG’s) of effective email marketing!

  • Audience: Know your audience and tailor your message to speak specifically to them!
  • Be Yourself: Incorporating your personality and a personalized message will help you build rapport and strengthen your relationships with your contacts.
  • Content: Provide interesting and relevant content that your IDEAL client wants and they will continue to open your emails, month after month.
  • Deliverability: Typically Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days of the week to send e-newsletters. However, it’s always a good idea to test different times and different days to see which one gets the best results. Marketing to CEO’s? Sundays between 3-7 PM tends to be the best time to send emails to CEO’s.
  • Evaluate: Don’t just send your emails and assume they are effective. Evaluate your open and click through rates to see who’s reading it and what they are clicking on!
  • Frequency: Determining your frequency is important. Typically sending one e-newsletter per month is an acceptable frequency for most businesses. However, you can also refer to your buying cycle. For example, if you own a restaurant you could easily send one email per week to your customers. Whereas, if you own a mortgage company, where the buying cycle is on average 7 years, one email per month or quarter would be more fitting.
  • Goal: Make sure that you’ve identified a goal or purpose for your email. Don’t just create and send a newsletter because it’s September and time for your next newsletter. Identify a goal for the newsletter and incorporate a call to action (to accomplish that goal) in your email.

Ever wonder what kind of grade your online marketing would receive? Well, now you can with our Content Marketing Analysis Tool. With this tool, a member of our team personally goes through your website, blog and newsletter content to find out if your online presence is attracting or repelling your IDEAL clients! Want to learn more? Click HERE!

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