5 Tips to Help You Write a Great Subject Line

By: Irangi Gamage

How often have you received emails that you immediately deleted? The subject line is your reader’s first impression and has the ability to persuade them to open the email. Consider the following tips to help you write a great subject line.

When deciding on a subject line, it is important to know your audience and the tone you want to convey. This will aid you in coming up with a great subject line that is as specific as possible, which in turn will increase both open and click through rates.

Having a great title for your content is crucial. However, when the content is being sent via email, a great subject line might be even more important than the title.

1. Personalization

A more personalized subject line could encourage the reader to open the email since they are being addressed directly. Including the addressee's name on the subject line for certain types of communications can work well as part of your strategy. Even having a simple “you” will make the email more personal.

Some examples:

  • John, look what we found for you!
  • Your personal promotion code ends this Saturday!

2. Short and Simple

It’s usually a good idea to keep your subject line as concise as possible.

Let the reader know what the article or communication is about. Create some curiosity, while keeping it brief. A subject line should typically be no more than 50 characters. These 50 characters should be simple, descriptive, and straightforward. This will avoid the frustration faced by readers who come across emails with long non-descriptive subject lines (Wordstream).

Short and simple subject lines:

  • (Company name): Our next steps
  • Monthly News and Events
  • Your order has been received (which sounds a lot better than: 'order number 5379580138470238 has been received and is being processed’)

3. Clever and Clear

Sometimes when trying to be clever, the message loses clarity. A case study by AWeber Communications in 2011 found that a clear subject line gets 541% more clicks than a clever one. This is because not all clever lines are relevant to everyone, and the meaning is lost on some readers.

Clever subject lines:

  • Don’t open this email
  • It’s finally here!

A great subject line needs to be something that would give the reader a clear understanding of the contents of the email. At times, being as simple as possible will lead to positive results (Aabaco Small Business).

Clear subject lines:

  • Please review us on Google
  • 3 new products we are giving away!
  • Grow your client list faster

4. Timing and Urgency

If your timing is right, then you have done half of your marketing right. Readers usually only read about things they are in need of at that moment.

Perfectly timed subject lines:

  • Uh oh! Your subscription just ended
  • Where to drink beer right now (sent at 6:30 pm on a Friday evening)

Creating a sense of urgency is extremely important, as this will encourage readers to read the contents when they receive the email. If there’s an offer time period or a limited supply, this will create a sense of urgency with customers (Hubspot).

Creating a sense of urgency:

  • Save 50% if you purchase by tonight
  • Buy one and get one free: limited supply

5. Words to Omit

There are certain words that should be avoided when writing a subject line, as certain words might place your email directly in the spam folder.

Omit words similar to these:

- Reminder - Help - Earn $ - Buy - Cash - Urgent - Free
- Claim - Clearance - Prescriptions - Biz - Income - Millions - Collect

UpOnline Examples

Here are some great subject lines we have used in our UpOnline newsletters in the past:

  • Are your patients satisfied?
  • What are your business goals for 2016?
  • Looking to increase practice reviews and referrals?
  • We want to hear from you!

Take these into consideration when writing a subject line for your emails to increase the appeal of your emails to your clients. It is also extremely important that the content within the email is relevant and is consistent with the subject line. Finally, having a call to action in the email is equally important as this will encourage customers to take action right away!

For example: You can subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with everything you need to know about improving your business’s marketing.