Tips on creating catchy email subject lines

Published Sep 18, 2017 | Written by Jeremy Knight

I don't know about you, but I receive so many emails in my inbox every day. 

All of them are fighting for my attention in their own little way, be it ALL CAPS, lots of !!!!! or emojis of some kind. The more they are trying, the less likely I'll open them.

You've probably been told many times before to 'not judge a book by its cover'. Email subject lines tend to prove the opposite. 

According to statistics, 33% of your recipients will open your email solely based on the subject line. It's the first impression they get before deciding to take the next step or not.

There is something mysterious about them. There's almost a science involved in creating an eye-catching piece of art that everyone is immediately intrigued by. As a digital marketeer, it's important to get it right. 

DOWNLOAD: 12 Steps to a Five-Star Email

At the end of the day, we all want to boost our open rates, right?

In this post, Amanda Zantal-Wiener @HubSpot gathered 16 examples of well-crafted subject lines that will inspire you.

I also love the tips she presents on what makes a great subject line. Here are my favourites:

1.  Size matters

Long subject lines get truncated by some of the email clients. Keeping them short and to the point (50 characters including spaces) will help solve the problem. 

2. Personalisation tokens are your friend

Adding the recipients first name or location specific offers can increase open rates.

3. Create a sense of urgency

Using action verbs inspire your readers and compels them to act - in our case to click on the email. Notice the difference between: "Our latest Digital Marketing eBook" or "Download your guide to Digital Marketing".  Which one would you click?

4. Maintain curiosity

Don't offer the dessert right after the entry course. Maintaining a a natural curiosity and interest triggers recipients to actually open it to find out more...


So what makes you want to take that extra step to actually open an email? Often, it's the subject line. After all, it's your very first impression of the email -- and from it, you'll do your best to judge the content on the inside.


Published by Jeremy Knight September 18, 2017
Jeremy Knight