7 Top Tips to writing a compelling email marketing subject line

email marketing

Aside from the sender’s name, the subject line of an email marketing campaign is going to be the very first piece of text that your target audience reads. Inevitably, this can make the difference between whether your prospect is going to open the email or click the delete button. This is irrespective of the quality of information contained inside. With this in mind, here are 7 top tips to consider when writing a compelling email marketing subject line.


email marketing columnTip 1 – What’s in it for me?

The idea behind an engaging subject line is to try and make a connection with your audience right away. Most of us are bombarded with email marketing from all angles on a regular basis and as such, yours needs to stand out. A good way to connect with your audience is to put yourself in their shoes and ask ‘What’s in it for me’. If your subject line can answer that question, then you stand a better chance of your reader opening it.


Tip 2 – Don’t fall foul of spam triggers

Whilst it’s understandable that you’re trying to keep your title snappy and catchy, you have to be careful that you don’t fall foul of spam triggers. Every Internet Service Provider has spam filters that are triggered by certain words or phrases. For instance, stay away from TOTAL CAPS in your subject line and stay clear of excess exclamation marks!!!!! Other words that might be triggered are

Call-to-action phrases such as call now, click here, act now and order now

So-called money words such as money, cash, sale discount and cheap (Free is another spam trigger word but it’s known that people still respond to it. Just be careful not to use it at the very start of your subject line)

If you are unsure, you can always run your newsletter or email marketing campaign through a spam checker


Tip 3 – Do use motivational language

As you only have around 40 characters to play with, you should choose words which are likely to motivate your audience into doing something (to take action). Verbiage such as focus, boost, discover, improve and enhance are powerful words that (when used in the right way) can really boost your email marketing campaign.


Tip 4 – Make it urgent!

By conveying a sense of urgency your audience is far more likely to open your email. Without any form of urgency, your reader will probably pass it by and move on to the next one. Phrases such as ‘Only 5 days left’ ‘Today is the last day to act’ or ‘Response needed by…’ are all ways in which you can portray a sense of urgency.


Tip 5 – It’s all about the numbers

Another good way to open up a subject line is to include numbers. They work because they quantify exactly what’s in the email. A prime example is this post. ’7 top tips to writing a compelling email marketing subject line’. The reader knows straight away that before they read on, that’s exactly what they’re going to get. In addition, numbers take up very little character space and are quick and easy to read.


Tip 6 – Enticement

By teasing and enticing your audience, you’ll stand a far better chance of getting your email opened. Phrases such as ‘learn the secrets to…’ or ‘discover how…’ or ‘want to know how to…’ are all really effective ways of teasing your audience into seeing what’s beyond the title or your email marketing.


Tip 7 – Test out your email marketing subject line

The only way to see if a subject line really works is to test it out. Before you launch your entire email marketing campaign, test subject lines out on a cross-section of your audience. Monitor the results and go with the one which works best.

So there you have it, 7 top tips to writing effective email marketing subject lines…get it right and you could have great success, get it wrong and your email marketing campaign will be finished before it’s even gotten off the ground.

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About Author

Gillian Brennan

Gillian Brennan

Gillian Brennan is a Certified Internet Marketing Specialist and has been very successful in creating and maintaining strong relationships with her clients. With a Computing background from Cork Institute of Technology, Gillian has over 20 years experience in the IT sector. Working in both Technology and Customer Service capacities, Gillian’s roles included IT Support, Network and Systems Engineering, Computer Retail Management and Training in companies such as Summit Tecnology Inc, BG Turnkey Ltd and Compu B Ltd. Gillian’s technical ability in the IT area, along with a long history of customer service allow her to understand her clients’ needs and offer both practical and effective online solutions to fit their budget.

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