Subject Matters: How to Craft a Winning Email Subject Line

computer vector with open envelope
Have this post read to you in a natural voice:

“I never get emails from companies!” said no one ever.

The average person receives 121 emails every day – personal and professional correspondence, promotional emails and spam. With that in mind, crafting an email subject line that captures the attention of your audience and inspires them to open it is more important than ever.

That’s why we’re here with tips to help you write a subject line that inspires your audience to open and read your email.

Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is a crucial part of any marketing strategy, and especially for email campaigns. Emails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened than emails with generic subject lines.

Write subject lines that speak to your audience’s preferences, history, location and name. Segment your list for even greater personalization based on demographics, interests and where they are in the marketing funnel.

know your audience subject lines

Get Straight to the Point

Be direct. Let the audience know what’s inside the email and give them a reason to open it. What’s in it for them? Tell them, and do it succinctly – email open rates are highest when they contain between one and five words.

Allbirds is one brand that is particularly skilled at this. As pictured below, they’re able to deliver concise, catchy subject lines in 5 words or less every time, and you always know what you’re getting.

get to the point email subject lines

Customize Your Business Photo and Name

Your business name serves as a recognizable identifier, and your photo provides a visual cue, enhancing your recognizability and sometimes your credibility as the sender. This customization is crucial for your email campaign, as they are the first touch points that engage your users, helping to establish a trusted and memorable brand identity right from the inbox.

Spark Curiosity

The obvious way to spark curiosity is in the form of a question. The implication of course, is that the answer is provided when the user opens the email. But that’s not the only way.

Etsy’s emails are a perfect example of using the subject line to generate curiosity. Their subject lines often generate a question in the minds of the users. For example, in the graphic below, one of their subject lines is “⭐ Meet the STARS of social ⭐”. Naturally, the user thinks, “Who are the stars of social?”, and the only way to find out is to open the email and see.

curiosity inducing email subject lines

Generate Urgency and FOMO

This one almost goes without saying. We’ve all seen this in our inbox in many forms – “Ends tonight,” “Last Day,” “Not for long” – and the reason we see this technique used so often is because it works.

No one likes to miss out on something, least of all a sale or exclusive offer. That’s why they call it “FOMO” (short for “fear of missing out”) instead of “FWMO” (short for “fine with missing out”).

email subject lines that generate urgency

Ready to Help Your Customers Open Up?

Creating an email subject line that captures a user’s attention is both an art and a science. Start implementing these techniques and watch your open rates soar. If you’re ready to elevate your email game, let’s connect. We’d love to create an unforgettable email marketing campaign together!