Email subject lines are one of the most important if not the most important element of all email content.  A winning email isn’t just about the great body content, strong CTA, and the right hyperlinks. Sure, these aspects are crucial too. But, what can make or break your email marketing strategy is the subject line. Do you know 35% of customers open an email solely based on the subject line? Therefore, it is quite clear that a good subject line can be critical for your email marketing success.

Your email subject line is like a headline of your marketing email. So, make sure it is compelling enough to grab your customer’s attention. In this context, humanizing your subject line can do the needful for you. Instead of treating your customers formally, treat them as a friend and see how it accelerates your conversion rates and revenues. Here’s how you can do it.

 1. Go the emoji way

If you thought emojis are just for fun, think again. Yes, emojis can literally make your email marketing game top-notch. After all, 56% of brands who use emotive emojis in their email subject lines have witnessed higher open rates. This happens because emojis have a humanized approach with a colorful and appealing visualization. This, in turn, naturally drives the consumer’s attention and entices them to open and click-through your email. In fact, according to best practices including one to four emojis in the subject line can boost your open rates considerably.

Take a look at the screenshot below. The subject lines with emojis certainly catch the attention first:

Email subject lines

2. Personalization is the key

Personalized marketing is the key to success and that goes for email marketing as well.  is one of the most effective strategies for email marketing success. So, work on personalizing your emails to give it a more human touch and ultimately accelerating your conversion rate. You can do this by including the recipient’s first name in the email. Do you know emails, where customer’s first name is mentioned, have higher click-through rates than those which don’t? It’s a great way of giving value to customers. In addition, you can even personalize the subject line by keeping a close track of your customer’s interest, their location, birthdays etc.


3. Remove spam words

There are certain words like “buy, “sale”, “deal” and many more that have been overused by marketers and spammers as well. These words at times can trigger the emotional quotient of people in a negative way. They might associate it with a sense of loss, work or obligation. So, in order to give a more human approach, try not to use such words in the subject line. Replace them with something creative and more fun. After all, it is always better to stand out from the crowd and be a little different from others.

4. Make use of the preheader text

Preheader text gives you the opportunity to grab the customers’ attention by giving them a sneak peek of what you are talking about in the subject line. Therefore, optimizing can help you hit the right chord at the right time. Have a look at the effective preheader text by Butlin’s.

Email subject line


5.  Have a clear and precise approach

Keep your subject line simple, clear and precise. Remember, people have very short attention span these days. Therefore, you should summarize your subject line in 50 characters or less You can say the rest in the preheader text. With 20.9% of people checking their email more than 5 times a day, all you need is an effective subject line to become a customer’s favorite brand. Do it the way Blurb does in just three words. Take a look:

Email subject lines

6. Get mobile-friendly

With 35% of professionals checking their emails on their smartphones, it becomes imperative to optimize your email subject line for mobile devices. Further, any mobile device can only show the first 5-7 words of a subject line. So, make sure you keep this in mind and create a subject line that delivers the exact message and is creative enough to catch a customer’s eyeballs. To put it in other words, it is the first two words of your subject line that should do the needful.


7. Ask enticing questions

People always look for answers. So, tap on that instinct by asking enticing questions in the subject line itself. It wouldn’t only help you create a more humanized personal level of communication with your customer but, would also intrigue them to open and click-through your email to find the answers. See how UncommonGoods does it like a pro:

Email subject lines

8. Highlight the benefits

Instead of featuring the benefits of your products or services in the email copy, highlight it in a short and crisp way through your subject line. It will deliver value to the customers and drive better conversions for your business.  Here’s how Blurb does it in an effective way:

Email subject lines

9. The sense of urgency works

Creating a sense of urgency in your email subject line can help you spark off the “FOMO” or fear of missing out among the subscribers. This, in turn, will help you bring new customers on board while retaining the existing ones. Remember, people love offers and combining it with a sense of urgency will serve as a cherry on the cake. Therefore, make sure your subject lines depict offers with phrases like “limited period offer”, “the deal ends today” etc. See how Gap Factory builds urgency through their subject line.

Final Thoughts

All you need is the right email marketing strategy to extract the most out of the millions of active email users. Start by implementing the above-mentioned tips in your subject lines and see how it triggers the success of your email marketing campaign. To cut the long story short, send out emails that people would love seeing in their inbox. From outstanding subject lines to excellently drafted email copies, the area of email marketing is vast. So, make the most out of it and give a competitive edge to your brand.  

Kevin George is the Head Monk at Email Monks, a leading email design and HTML coding company, offering responsive email/newsletter templates design and email templates HTML coding.


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