Email Marketing Subject Line Best Practices

Email Marketing Subject Line Best Practices

Email marketing is one of the best ways to attract and engage your customers. However, more than 280 billion emails are received and sent each day, according to Statista, making it difficult for customers to read every email that appears in their inbox – including yours!

So what’s the best way to make your email stand out from the rest?

It all starts with your email’s subject line. A brief, well-crafted and compelling subject line will grab users’ attention in a crowded inbox and prompt them to click “open.” According to a recent study, 35% of all email recipients open an  email based on the subject alone, as reported by HubSpot. This is a large number considering that the total number of email users worldwide is expected to hit 2.9 billion in 2019.

Email subject lines may seem like a small part of your overall message, but they are one of the crucial first impressions you make to an email recipient. The words you use and the way you structure it determines your email open rates. Here are a few best practices you can employ in creating subject lines that will boost your open rates.

1. Keep It Short And Sweet

With hundreds of emails in their inbox, most email readers today will overlook long and seemingly boring subject lines. A good email subject line should be short, enticing and scannable at a glance. It should only be a few words long, with a reader being able to understand the message with a single look.

When creating subject lines, you must also keep mobile devices in mind. According to the The Email Client Experience report, 55% of emails are opened on mobile devices. As a best practice, you should aim to have subject lines with less than 50 characters both on mobile and desktop to ensure readers can read the entire message.

2. Make it Personal

It is human nature to want recognition, no matter how small. Today, customers are demanding more personalized brand interactions, with most of them preferring to buy from or subscribe to companies that seem to know them by name or interact with them at a personal level.

Personalizing subject lines is one great way to connect with your customers. Emails that include the first name of a recipient in their subject line have higher click-through rates than those that don’t. For example, a subject line that reads, “Hey Brad, Ready for Super Bowl?” is more likely to be opened compared to one that doesn’t include the user’s name.

Using personalization tokens and segmenting your email list is also crucial. Your email subscribers have different needs and wants, and therefore your emails should offer targeted information that correlates with a specific group’s interests. This will also increase the odds of them opening your email.

3. Use a Familiar Sender Name

Using a familiar sender name can have a huge impact on whether or not an email recipient proceeds to read the subject line and open the message. It is very imperative to use a sender name that email recipients know and recognize. If they don’t recognize the “from” name, they’re more likely to move on to the next email, or worse, throw your email into the junk folder.

It’s advisable that you make your sender name as human as possible. For example, using a name like seems more friendly and familiar than It will create an impression that the recipient is interacting with an individual and not the whole business. Plus, if you’ve already met the recipients in the past, using a name they know will ensure they recognize the email is coming from you.

4. Avoid Spam Filters

The last thing you want as an email marketer is for your emails to end up in your recipient’s spam folder. There are several spam trigger words that you should avoid using in your subject lines if you want to be on the safe side, including “free,” “exclusive deal” and “order now.” 

5. Keep it Simple

All in all, subject lines don’t need to be overly creative or clever. They just need to be concise and straightforward about what’s in the email without making a hard sell. A short, direct-to-the-point and well-targeted subject line will do the bidding for you without much strain.

After employing the above best practices in creating your email subject lines, make sure you test them to determine which ones best resonate with a particular set of your subscribers.  Here are some free test tools that you can rely on to determine which lines are effective at increasing open rates and which ones need improving. Crafting subject lines that work can increase conversions and produce measurable results for your business.

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