That’s why subject lines deserve more careful consideration than many businesses give them. Luckily, that importance means email marketers have done a lot of research on what makes for an effective subject line. Here are our tips:

Before-the-open elements that matter

Focusing solely on the body of a marketing email is a common mistake. The content of your email is important, but before any of your subscribers see it, you have to convince them to open your email in the first place.

Getting subscribers to open your email comes down to three big things:

  1. What you write in the subject line and preheader text
  2. When your email hits their inbox
  3. How you segment your subscriber list to send relevant emails to the right people

Subject lines that get opened

The subject line of your email has an important job to do. It’s perhaps the single most significant factor in deciding whether a subscriber opens your email. If the subject line doesn’t compel people to action, even the best email in the world will become buried in your subscribers’ inboxes.

  • Be clear before being clever: Your subject line should tell subscribers what they’ll find in the email and not rely too heavily on vague, opaque copy (although a little intrigue is OK). There shouldn’t be any room for misunderstanding.
  • Keep it short: Mobile email services begin cutting off subject lines after 55-70 characters, so ensure your message isn’t getting lost by staying roughly under that maximum character count.
  • Clickable, not clickbait: You want a lot of people to open, so it’s easy to fall into the trap of overselling your email’s content. But open rates are only as useful as they lead subscribers toward your call-to-action, not mislead them into unsubscribing.
  • Ask questions: Studies have shown that subject lines phrased as a question tend to engage subscribers.
  • A/B test: When in doubt, test. By running A/B tests on your subject lines, you can better understand what actually works for your audience.