How to create awesome email subject lines that get results

We all know the importance of making a great first impression.

Within seconds of meeting someone we are evaluated and opinions are formed about us based on our appearance, body language, demeanor, etc.

These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse, making them extremely important, as they set the tone for all future interactions.

In the same way, our email subject lines afford us the opportunity to make a great first impression. Sometimes it’s the only impression we get.

Your audience will judge an email by its subject line, even though it's the smallest part.

With that in mind, before you hit send on your next email, here are some things to consider when writing your subject line:

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#1 Keep it short

Readers will typically scan subject lines to determine whether or not it’s contents are valuable enough to open and read.

Try limiting your subject lines to around 25-30 characters. This will ensure that during the scanning process more of your actual message will be read.


Subject lines written in all capital letters, use multiple exclamation points (!!), contain the word(s) FREE or Buy Now, makes you seem desperate.

Your prospective customers will in turn feel as though you're shouting the message “WE NEED MORE CLIENTS AND HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD GIVE US MONEY!!!!

Your prospects are smart enough to know when they are being sold, don’t make this your first impression.

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#3 Ask Questions

Asking questions in your email subject lines gives your prospects the opportunity to respond, to become engaged immediately.

You want readers to in turn ask themselves questions like, “How does this apply to my life?” or “How can this help me in my current situation?”

It is this second set of questions, the ones asked by the reader, which generate a higher open rate as your email may hold the answer.

#4 Call to Action

Simply put, in 5 words you need to encourage the customer to open your email.

If you subject line does not motivate the user to take action and open the email, it will motivate them to take action and delete it.

It is important to remember that the call to action must pertain to the information provided in the email.

If the motivator has nothing to do with the content, you will get an open, but it will be followed by an immediate delete.

#5 Deadlines/Time Frames

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Deadlines and time frames create a sense of urgency. Urgence demands action.

Phrases like, time is running out or just one day left, force readers to open your email and see what they could potentially be missing out on.

This sense of urgency coupled with a sense of curiosity can drastically transform your open rate.

#6 Personalize

Personalized emails make the reader feel as if this email is about them or has something to do with their life or interests.

Personalized emails also come across less cold, sterile and robotic than non personalized emails.

Again this is a case of engaging and interacting with your readers on a human-to-human level.

Test, Test, Test

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to email marketing.

Crafting subject lines that increase open rates and customer conversions take time, research and lots of adjusting.

If you find that a particular subject line doesn’t work, then re-evaluate it, adjust it or throw it out all together.

If you find one that works, make some adjustments to see if you can make it work even better.

This process takes time and quite a bit of effort, but will reward you in the end with higher open rates, more interactions and greater conversions rates.

What would you add to our list of do’s and don’ts? What has worked for you in the past? Let us know in the comments below!