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How to Write Email Subjects That Get Opened

A successfully written email subject line acts as the gateway to capturing your audience’s attention. Applying best practices for email open rates will simplify the process and improve your results. Learn what separates a good subject line from a bad one.

An email subject line is a brief, concise phrase or sentence that previews the content within an email. It serves as the first impression for the recipient, offering insight into the email’s purpose or key message, and often influences whether the recipient opens the email.

The Basics of a Well-Written Email Subject

Crafting a subject line goes beyond summarizing the content of the email. The words should:

Provide Value: A subject line should offer more than a teaser; it should provide immediate value, leaving readers eager to explore further.

Connect with the Reader’s Interests: Develop a connection by addressing the audience directly. A personalized touch in a subject line resonates with a readers pain point or interests.

Stay Concise: In a world saturated with information, conciseness is critical. A brief and powerful subject line cuts through the noise, capturing attention without overwhelming it.

Show Authenticity: Authenticity builds trust. Ensure a subject line works well with the content inside the newsletter, avoiding clickbait or false promises.

Steer Clear of Pitfall Phrases: Specific phrases can hinder a subject line’s effectiveness. Avoid generic language and discount-centric expressions like “bad credit” or the word “you,” focusing instead on words that emphasize use, rewards, or benefits.

EnticeReaders: Pose thought-provoking questions that stimulate curiosity and desire. A well-crafted question in a subject line sparks readers’ interest.

Power Words That Boost Open Rates

Improving your email subject lines is as easy as using powerful action and descriptive words  – it’s about strategic choices that influence open rates. Here is a list of handy words to use in your next subject line: 

Urgency & Scarcity:

  • Limited: “Limited offer! Download your free guide now.”
  • Last chance: “Last chance to save 50% before this offer disappears.”
  • Now: “It’s happening now! Join our live webinar.”

Curiosity & Intrigue:

  • Secret: “The secret to [desired outcome] is finally revealed.”
  • Mystery: “What’s inside? Open to unlock your mystery discount.”
  • Uncover: “Uncover the hidden truth about [industry topic].”
  • Unexpected: “You won’t believe what happened when…”

Benefit & Value:

  • Free: “Get your free [valuable resource] today.”
  • New: “Introducing the new [product/service]”
  • Boost: “Boost your [desired metric] by 200% with this simple tip.”
  • Simplify: “Simplify your life with this one easy trick.”

Personalization & Exclusivity:

  • [Name]: “Just for you: [personalized offer].”
  • Exclusive: “You’re invited to our exclusive members-only event.”
  • Insider: “Get insider tips before anyone else.”
  • Community: “Join the [community name] and connect with others.”

Action & Response:

  • Ask: “Can I help you with [pain point]?”
  • Time to: “Time to finally achieve your [goal].”
  • Get started: “Get started with your free trial today.”
  • Let’s chat: “Schedule a call to discuss your needs.”

Get creative when pairing these power words with the message of your subject line. The options are endless.

Can I use emojis in email subject lines? 

Yes! Using emojis in email headlines is like using them for social media captions: they draw the eye. OptinMonster’s survey found a staggering 70% increase in marketing effectiveness when emojis are included in subject lines. Diving deeper into the statistics, companies leveraging emojis in subject lines experience a 56% higher open rate than their emoji-free counterparts! 

Here are a few emojis to try out:

  1. Engagement and Attention-Grabbing: 💥 💡
  2. Exclusive Offers and Discounts: 🎁 🕒
  3. Urgency and Limited Availability: ⏰ ⚡️
  4. Celebrations and Announcements: 🎉 🥳
  5. Personalized Recommendations: 🌟🛍️
  6. Curiosity and Teasers: 🤔 🚀
  7. Gratitude and Thank You: 🙌 🎊
  8. Event Invitations: 📅 🎟️
  9. Feedback and Surveys: 📋 🤓
  10. Travel and Adventure Themes: 🌍 🗺️
business email marketing writing

The Big Picture of Subject Line Writing

Subject lines serve as the first touchpoint between your message and your audience. With these email open rate tips in your arsenal, the content you worked hard on can reach its intended audience. As you continue to fine-tune your titles, as long as the subject lines resonate, captivate, and leave a memorable mark, your audience will grow more connected to your brand. 

Need more help? Contact Success City Online for results-driven marketing. 

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