Get expert advice on every topic you need as a small business owner, from the ideation stage to your eventual exit. Our articles, quick tips, infographics and how-to guides can offer entrepreneurs the most up-to-date information they need to flourish.

Subscribe to our blog

How to write a compelling subject line to boost your email open rate

Posted by Shivali Anand

September 16, 2021    |     3-minute read (598 words)

Approximately 28% of the average person's workday is spent reading and responding to emails. Most of us discard dozens of emails every day without reading them, usually because they lack a compelling headline, call to action or emotional pull. 

In fact, around 70% of email recipients will report or mark an email as spam based on its subject line alone, according to Optinmonster. To get your email noticed in the recipient’s bursting inbox, you should put as much attention in your email's subject line as you do to the body of the email.

You will see a boost in your open rate and likely in sales too if you use these five recommendations for subject lines when creating your next email campaign.

  1. Be direct, not vague.

Readers are turned off by subject lines that are deceptive or unclear. Using creative email subject lines makes it more likely your message will be ignored. A simple, clear subject line is the best method to maintain a high open rate, particularly if you already have a large readership and even more so if it's a paid membership.

  1. Use emojis for personal appeal.

Most emails are opened on a mobile phone, where the subject line’s content may be chopped off due to size constraints. An eye-catching emoji in your subject line might be just the thing to help your email stand out. While emojis should be used with caution, they may be a robust email subject line tool that many organizations underuse. An emoji in your subject line, according to Experian, may increase your open rate by 45%. Which emojis are most effective? The face, heart, sun and airplane with a smile.

  1. Add a personal touch.

Many email systems, such as MailChimp, ActiveCampaign and HubSpot, allow you to automatically personalize emails using the subscriber’s name, company and other information. Including the name of your recipient in your subject line can make it feel more personal and familiar.

Consider customizing your email topic by stating something informal and conversational that makes your reader feel like you're speaking directly to them. Starting your email with a question, such as "Are you coming?" or "What do you think about this?" piques their interest.

  1. Find a solution to their dilemma.

If you've spent any time working on your marketing, you're undoubtedly aware of the significant issues that your primary clients are dealing with. You also understand how your product or service may help to address the problem. You have a great email subject line if you can quickly remind your consumer of their situation, the simple solution you offer, or why life would be better with your product or service in it. For example, a company that provides bookkeeping services may use a subject line like "Accounting is difficult, let us do it for you" or "You could have so much more free time."

  1. Have a sense of humor.

To ensure that your joke is well-received, this advice may require some advanced teamwork. Avoid inside jokes or poking fun at your own product, as this could potentially confuse consumers who are unfamiliar with your brand. Consider centering your humor around well-known movie quotes or pop-culture allusions that your target audience will recognize.

These subject-line suggestions aren't for spam

Remember that the better your emails are, the more likely your readers will open subsequent emails from you. Your subscribers will rapidly unsubscribe if you produce the most refined email subject lines in the world but don't provide compelling content. However, if you apply these suggestions wisely, your open and click-through rates will likely improve.

Learn how we can put more time back in your day.