The importance of your emails subject line

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Although we hate to admit it, not all successful marketing tricks are the most exciting. More times than most, some of the most effective marketing tactics are the ones we tend to rush or skim over. However, nonetheless, they are just as important. We’ve been taught from a young age that first impressions count, so why should it be any different when it comes to marketing? For example, when sending an email, you need to ensure you have the recipients trust and attention from the get-go.

It’s been found that the average person will receive around 90 emails per day, with the majority going straight in the trash or on the blacklist.


If you want your email to stand out and actually get replied to, you need to make it count. In order to achieve this, you need to start with a subject line which will entice the reader. Follow these tips and watch your next email marketing campaign soar thanks to its amazing subject line!

The basics of email subject lines

First off, we’ll start with some basics of email marketing. The following pointers are things that you should consider in both the emails subject line and the body of content itself. If you’re looking to lay a solid foundation down, then remember:


Before you send out your email to your whole contact list, think as to whether the contents will be of any relevance to them. Have they subscribed to you for a particular piece of information? Will they benefit from your email, or are you going in completely cold? In order to increase open and reply rates, you’ll need to ensure that your email will have relevance to your audience.

Once you’ve established your contact list, make sure that your subject line is relevant to the content in the email. It’s important not to make this appear too much like clickbait, but it’s worth incorporating your subject line with relevant industry news to increase your authority. This will persuade people to open and have a read. Of course, they’ll jump straight back off if your subject line has no relevance to the email, so always keep this in mind.



No one likes to be pressured into buying something, so avoid incorporating unnecessary deadlines in capitals within your subject line. There is, however, a tactical way to spark urgency in your subject line without coming across as too needy or demanding. Your email will likely get ignored if it comes across bleak, so use some persuasive language in your subject line to convince your recipient that they can’t afford to miss out. There’s a fine line when it comes to urgency, but if you tread carefully and have the right balance, you’ll reap the benefits.



The golden rule of successful marketing is always personalisation. If your recipient can tell within seconds that you’ve sent the same message to hundreds of people, they will feel less valued and less inclined to reply. So, although it may be timely, add some hints of personalisation into your subject line. This can be done through email marketing platforms by simply adding [recipients name] to the subject line and letting the automation magic do its work.

If you want to go a bit further than adding in their name (which we highly recommend), take the time into researching your recipients latest movements online. Have they recently posted a blog which you liked? How about a project they’re working on? By proving that you’ve taken the time to get to know your recipient, the chances of a response rate will be far higher.



Everyone loves a discount, and if the purpose of your email marketing campaign is to promote one, include it in your subject line. The second that your recipient sees that you have a decent discount up for grabs, they’ll be itching to know more. We’re all swamped with tonnes of emails each week promoting discounts but can’t deny that they catch our eyes more than other emails do. Let’s be real, you can’t really complain when free things land in your inbox.


How to add appeal factor to your subject line

With the basics of subject lines under your belt, it’s time to cover some more tricks which will give your email campaign a unique and beneficial flare.

Length matters

Email subject lines are short, and if on mobile, even shorter. This is why it’s so important to get your message across in as few characters as possible! A general rule to follow is to keep your email subject line under 50 characters, as this will target the skimmers. The shorter your subject line is, the more that they will digest it.

Your email content will give you the chance to expand and explain, so get straight to the point in your subject line, using keywords which are relevant and gripping. Avoid long numbers and too many sentences.

Timing is everything

Chances are, that if you’re sending out a stat-heavy guide at 5pm on a Friday, your email will remain unread for a very long time. Just like any other marketing campaign, timing is key, so pay attention to what days and times you are sending your email out. If a certain event is coming up and your email is in relevance to it, time your sending accordingly, giving the recipient enough time to act on it. If you’re sending out a Christmas gift guide in March, for example, you won’t get a very high conversion rate.

The more emails you send, the more you’ll get to grips with nailing timing, so ironically, be patient with this. Once you’ve understood your recipient’s behaviour, you’ll have far more success when it comes to emails.

Think about how you come across

It’s astonishing to see just how many emails are sent out with spelling errors in the subject line. This immediately suggests that the email was rushed and will create a negative perception of the type of worker you are very quickly. A subject line doesn’t consist of many words, so there really is no excuse for poor grammar.

As well as focusing on correct spellings, avoid over-using punctuation. More times than not, emails are used formally, meaning ‘!!’ or ‘?!’ will just look very rude and immature.

Lastly, in our top tips for coming across positively, don’t prove yourself to be a timewaster. Use concise language in your email subject line, and throw in a piece of data you’ve collected when possible. This’ll get people interested and links right back to our point of relevance.

Split test

Email marketing campaigns have a lot of variables, and the most successful techniques will depend entirely on the industry you are in. In order to establish what works and what doesn’t, it’s worth running some A/B testing on various subject lines. Take two of your most favoured subject lines and run them side by side to see which email achieves the highest open rate. From here, you will be able to tweak and establish what features in a subject line work best.


If you’re more of a visual learner, then don’t worry – we have you covered. The following examples were taken from Hubspot’s amazing guide ‘100 email subject lines that we actually clicked’. We recommend downloading the guide for further inspiration.

Subject lines to enhance fear of missing out

Subject lines to prompt curiosity and action

Comedic subject lines

Subject lines for the emoji lovers

Put your new knowledge into action

We’re sorry if we’ve bored you to death with email subject line talk, however it was all very important nonetheless! Put these tricks into practice and see how your email marketing campaign improves. Good luck! 📩

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