Image - How To Compose A Great Email Subject Line

How To Compose A Great Email Subject Line

While email sounds like an outdated way to communicate—especially in the context of instant messaging, social media, and chatrooms—it’s still an effective marketing tool.

Younger people check their emails more often than you think. Emails are still associated with social media for account verification and updates. It’s used for school, work, and casual communications.

So, yes. Email marketing is very much an effective marketing strategy. Not to mention, millions of businesses still use emails for marketing their brand, products, and events to potential customers. In addition, there are online clients that provide easy email drip automation for businesses that want to start an email list.

That said, this also means that email marketing is highly competitive. In fact, just getting people to open your emails is a challenge.

If you want people to open your emails, you need the interesting subject line to grab their attention. Remember, you’re not only competing with other brands in your niche. You’ll be competing with social media updates, work emails, and other brands from other niches that a subscriber is interested in.

That said, here’s a list of tips to help you write attention-grabbing subject lines that get people clicking.

1. Emphasize Benefits Or Incentives

As I said, there’s a lot of competition in people’s inboxes. So, to get people to click on your email (among the several that are in their inbox), you need to show them the value of your email. In other words, you need to hint at a potential incentive to open your email. Is it a great discount? New knowledge? An interesting headline?

Remember, just because you got people to subscribe to your email drip doesn’t mean they’ll open every single one. Anything that doesn’t sound interesting or valuable is going to get ignored. If all you’re sending are boring content, people might get frustrated and start unsubscribing.

So, how do you know what’s valuable to them? Do marketing research.

Get to know your audience by identifying their current needs and concerns. You can either do a survey, social listening, or general demographic research to understand what kind of content your audience wants to see from you. For example, which headlines interest them the most? What types of products appeal to them? What language, phrasing, and slang is most relatable to your target age demographic?

The simplest way to find the most interesting content that appeals to your audience is to look at the analytics of your blogs. Which posts perform well? Is there a specific theme, product, or blog topic that stands out the most? Then, you can continue to do research and test your email drip as you go on. The more you can appeal to your audience’s preferences, the more likely they’ll find value in the content you send them.

2. Keep Your Subject Lines Short

Since you’re competing for your subscriber’s attention amongst a sea of emails in their inbox, don’t do anything to dilute the message of your subject line. Not to mention, anything that’s too long might get cut off, especially when the reader is on a mobile device.

So, don’t try to cram words into the subject line. Using more words than necessary can dilute your message and reduce its impact on anyone who comes across it in their inbox. Consider these examples:

  • Enjoy 10% Off This Holiday!
  • Get 10% Off When You Shop With Us This Holiday Season!

Notice that both examples basically say the same thing. The first one is straightforward, eye-catching, and easy to understand. The reader doesn’t have to take more than a second to know that you’re offering them discounts for the holidays.

Remember, If you can remove a word without diluting your intended message, you don’t need that extraneous word. In some cases, people might actually stop reading the headline on the third or fourth word, so it’s also a great practice to include the most important details at the start of your subject line.

3. Be Honest

So, let’s talk about clickbait.

Back then, content creators used them all the time. Outrageous titles really do attract some clicks, after all. However, more and more marketers are starting to do away with them. Why?

As I mentioned before, your emails are most effective when people open them. Sure, just seeing your email will remind them of your business name, but that’s about it. For emails to be effective lead generation tools, they should be able to impress, convince, and attract audiences. Unfortunately, it’s pretty rare for someone to be convinced to buy products from just the subject line alone.

So, if your subject line happens to be overblown, the users who open the email are very likely to be disappointed. Sure, you’re getting a lot of clicks, but your bounce rate is going to shoot up, too. More importantly, regular internet users nowadays are very aware of click-bait tactics. Most people either grew up on or know their way around technology and the internet. Getting a misleading email isn’t going to make them trust you.

Remember, you want to hook people with genuine value and deliver. To do that, you need to genuinely put effort into making high-quality content.

4. Personalize Your Emails

These days, people are used to seeing ads. Some people even know that your emails are for marketing purposes and won’t be impressed by the same generic promotional content.

Remember, people likely signed up to your email list because they expect an incentive. After all, how is it different from just looking at your shop or your blog? They’re not there for the same generic material people get from simple Google searches.

So, try to appeal to individuals rather than a general group of customers.

Let’s look at these examples:

  • 5 Curated Articles Just For You!
  • You Might Also Be Interested In These Products!
  • You Have Great Items On Your Cart
  • You Have An Exclusive 25% Discount!

Notice anything about the examples?

Exclusive offers, content, and personalized emails are the kinds of incentives people look forward to when they’re subscribing to your emails. Since they’ve taken some extra steps, they’ll expect to see exclusive content and opportunities.


Email marketing is more competitive than you think. With so many brands that use it for marketing their business, the competition starts with getting people to open your emails. Uninspired, rambly, and generic emails no longer cut it.

Author’s Bio

JC Serrano is the founder of, one of the very few private enterprises certified to process lawyer referrals by the California State Bar. His marketing strategies have continuously evolved since 2005, incorporating ever-changing SEO strategies into