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Tips on Writing Catchy Email Subject Lines

Writing catchy email subject lines will help your email opening rate

Many of us who use email know what it looks like when you open it up in the morning – offers, ads, occasional dentist appointment reminder. Of course there are even built in functions in most emails that automatically categorize your incoming emails into spam folders.

If you are relying on email marketing, you may need to get a bit creative with your headlines. After all, you want to stand out from all that noise that’s found within your average email account. Not to mention the need to avoid getting flagged by the spam filter.

How do we go about creating an effective email subject headline? What can you do to make yourself noticeable? Let’s have a look at how you can create a more effective email subject line and have your email marketing campaign be that much more effective.

What Creates a Great Email Subject Line

Think hard before committing to a subject line.


Urgent messages and situations help compel the individual to act quick. If you incorporate a sense of urgency in your email headlines, the user will be more inclined to press on your email to continue to read rather than miss out on something vital.


Headlines that create interest in the subject matter are another great way to boost email open rates. Humans are naturally curious beings, take advantage of that.

Being Personal

Getting personal with your audience is great for building trust and enhance engagement. Create headlines that speak to the specific individual rather than the masses.


If you have done your research of your target demographic, you can include titles, and names that the recipient can relate to or is familiar with. This will increase the chances of them opening up and reading your emails.

Offers or Promotions

Email is one way to introduce your consumer to various sales, and other opportunities you are offering. This is a great way to persuade the reader not only to click on the email but to take advantage of the great offer and do business with you.


Anything that is of relevance to your reader will have a higher chance of being opened.

Keep It Short and Simple

Your email subject line is a summary, not a book. Whatever you do, don’t make the subject too long. At a certain length, they have a chance of being cut-off, losing a lot of it’s value. This is especially important for email readers who use mobile devices. In fact, most emails that are opened, are done on a mobile device.

The subject line shouldn’t ever be longer than 50 characters. Anymore than that and you risk having additional information disappear from the view. Not to mention that the open rates on emails with subject lines that had 49 or fewer characters were 12.5% higher than those containing 50 or more characters.

Name In Your Email Address

Names in the email address from which something is being sent is incredibly important. Anything with a bunch of numbers before @ symbol or “[email protected]” just looks unprofessional and smells of a bot.

Move away from generic emails. If you end up sending anything to your consumers, try and use an email that has your name in it. It’s a lot more personable and doesn’t look like spam when the receiver scrolls through their mailbox.

Avoid Promises You Can’t Keep

Within your subject line, there is a sneak peak of what’s lying within the rest of the email. If you can’t deliver what your subject line promises in the content of your text, then perhaps you should amend something.

Commit to your email subject, and deliver on those promises. If you create subject headlines purely to get the user to click on your email, and don’t deliver, well you’re losing credibility. Fool them once, shame on you.

In a long run, creating “click-baity” emails will make your credibility deteriorate and your reader engagement plummet.

Inform Them of What’s Inside

Some of you may offer various email sign-ups to your users. Ebooks, newsletters, etc that can be delivered to your user through whatever email they have provided you. If that’s the case, inform them of what will be waiting for them once they open the email.

Regardless of what you’re sending them, make sure that the reader knows about the contents of the email from reading the subject line.

Use Simple Language

Write in a clear and simple manner.

Many people tend to scan through their emails quickly. Any email user, and I am sure there are a lot of us, tend to get quite a lot of random emails daily.

Whenever writing a subject line, commit to only using simple and concise language. This will help the recipient easily understand what the email is about and what it contains as he or she is scanning through their list.

Make The Receiver Feel Special

We all like when someone improves our day and makes us feel special, even if it’s just for a short while. You have that ability, the ability to make an individual feel special and appreciated by the way you formulate your email subject lines.

Choose some phrases that help create the feeling of exclusivity for the person you are addressing. Exclusivity is something that can really drive you audience to make those crucial decisions you want them to – i.e. make the purchase, visit your web page and sign up.

If you know the individuals name, you can include that within the title for a more personal touch. It will go a long way.

Possible phrases you could include within your subject line –

  • “Just for you”;
  • “Exclusively for you, John Smith”;
  • “You have been selected!”;
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A/B Test

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to subject lines for your emails. You may need to go through some trials and see what works best for your target consumer. This is where A/B testing comes into play.

Try out incorporating different tactics you think can spur engagement and see what gets people to click. Compare user engagement with the subject lines you have used preciously.

Numbers Help

Including numbers within your subject line can be advantageous to you in garnering the right attention from your potential client. You can incorporate numbers in a variety of ways – number of pages in the eBook within the email, number of users who have signed up for your offer, amount of attendees to your webinar, etc.

Depending on how you utilize numbers, it can help trigger the herd mentality within your audience if it relates to the amount of people who have taken action to your email.

DON’T Use All Caps

Don't use all caps when writing your subject line.

No one likes a person who types in all caps, this includes people who write email subject lines. Capitalization should be reserved for the beginning of a sentence or to use for a name of an individual or a company.

Using lot’s of CAPS or exclamation marks will actually work against you. In writing terms, that is equivalent to being yelled at. You don’t ever want to yell at people even if it’s through the use of capital letters or !!!!!!!!!!!’s. That of course will not look good from the recipients perspective.

In a lot of cases, all capital letters also trigger spam filters on many email accounts, throwing your email in directly with the other bots and advertisers.

Time to Make Your Email Stand Out

As you can already tell, writing an effective email subject line isn’t as easy as it looks. There is a lot that goes into it to make it as effective as possible. See how you can apply this fountain of knowledge I have provided you with to improve your emails and increase reader engagement.


James is one of EvergreenFeed's content wizards. He enjoys a real 16oz cup of coffee with his social media and content news in the morning.

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