Ten Tips to Write Email Subject

9 replies
The subject of an email is the first impression of the content that your mail contains; and first impression is the last impression, right?

Now, not everyone likes to go through their overflowing mailbox and reading every mail to find out if they really need this email in their inbox or not. Sometimes, even the sender's name and details are not striking enough to trigger a recipient to open the mail. What catches most attention of the receiver is the subject of the email. Yes, the subject can easily be thought of as the 'representative' of your email.

If you are a marketer or run an e-store, the subject of the bulk of emails you send every day to cater your swelling clients' needs and to beat your competitors becomes absolutely important. The subject of your email to your latest subscriber or an old client needs to act as a stimulus for them to check the mails you send them.

Want to make the subjects of your email more inviting? Here are a few do's and do not's from professionals:
1. Say no to 'noreply@company.com'
How annoying would it be to talk to a robot when all you wanted was to get in touch with a real person to assist you? Yes, similar frustrations can be caused by using the classic 'noreply@company.com' as your email address. The recipient might not even bother for looking at the subject; the mail remains a far flung idea. To make the emails look more personal and inviting, avoid all such practices.

2. Keep it brief
No one wants to read a story as the subject of your email. Professionals recommend the subject of the emails you send to be no more than 50 characters. The wisdom behind this is pretty obvious: the shorter and the more captivating the subject, the more curiosity it arises.

There is no doubt in the fact that quality always surpasses quantity in importance. The same rule applies to coming up with the subject of your emails. Keep it very brief and choose just the right words to leave an ever lasting impression on your recipient.

3. Get more 'personal'
Personalising the subject is one of the best ways to compel the recipient to have a look at the mail you sent. Most successful businesses and marketing campaigns choose to address their clients by their names to spark their customer's interest in the mail. This technique has greatly increased the number of openings of the mails sent.

4. Simplicity is actual beauty
Keep the language used as the subject of the email simple. Recipients may or may not always have a dictionary around with them and might also add your email address to the block list, in case that the subject lines of your emails are over-done, and have language that is rather informal. Use simple and easily comprehend able language to prevent the distortion of the message you are trying to convey to your receiver.

5. Don't deviate from real
Not everyone likes surprises and not everyone is always in the mood for someone playing pranks on them in their mailbox. The subject of the emails you send, especially as a marketer, should be in-line with the content that follows it in the email. Do not start with attractive prospects which have nothing to do with the mail and which you cannot fulfill. Staying honest is the key to a marketing campaign that is bound for success.

6. Get to the point
As a marketer or a businessman, if you deliver your services and products via email, subject lines become all the more crucial to your success. In this case, it is better to let the subject line be direct to enthral the recipient by informing him about what the mail has in keeps; it could be an e-book that your business distributes or a music album that someone ordered. As stated time and again, let your subject line speak for your email.

7. Express the due emergency
If you are mailing about a promotion that your business is offering to your clientele, make the subject line your alarm. Instead of beating the bush about the limited time offer, directly start with the deadline of an offer that your recipients have always been waiting for. This tactic results in abrupt opening. Here again, you should be completely honest about what the offer is in the subject line. Nobody appreciates faux urgency!

8. Being the interrogator
The main function of the subject line of your emails should be to engage interest in a way that makes the receiver open the mail and go through it. Asking questions in the subject line is to-date one of the most effective means of triggering interest. The question should be witty yet not puzzling and should at once make the recipient reflect upon it. For instance, if you run a proofreading business, the subject line of your email could be "Did you know about the five things that most professional proof readers were doing wrong?"

9. Go easy on the upper case
Using upper case letters throughout your subject line are not a means of coercing your recipient to pay attention to your detail. Use capital letters only when needed. Excessive use of capitals can actually do the exact opposite of what you want your subject line to do: make the recipient make your mail spam.

10. Make use of numbers
Quantify the details in your subject lines and watch the number of openings soar higher! For instance, instead of plainly stating that availing your service will increase the number of sales of your product, add a cautiously worked out estimate, like: "Increase your sales by 50 per cent, today!" This makes the services you offer clearer and also attracts more attention to your email.
#email #subject #ten #tips #writing
  • Profile picture of the author TomAndrews
    Good post.

    Definitely agree with the fact people tend to overdo it with the capitals.

    When your email pops up in your prospect's inbox, you wanna make it appear as though it could have been sent by a friend. And if you were emailing a friend, you wouldn't capitalize the first letter of every word.

    I would also add that "mixing up" the types of subject lines you use is a great way of increasing your opens.

    For example, one email you might use a "straight benefit" subject line, the next a "curiosity based" one, the next a number-based one, and the next you might even write a longer one than normal.

    That's an example, but you get the idea.


    Let's connect on Facebook because it's always good to meet fellow marketers. Send me a friend request: https://www.facebook.com/tom.andrews.7927

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  • Profile picture of the author trobo
    #3 is not set in stone.

    Many folks have gotten wise to the fact that a lot of marketers are using names in emails.

    This may have worked in the past, and still may work for a few niches. But in the MMO niche, it has lost its effectiveness for the most part.

    I'll admit that it sounds like good advice on the surface. After all, what sounds more personal than a first name?

    But many times, what sounds good on the surface doesn't translate to the real world - especially in marketing.

    As cliche as it may sound, many times the only real way to know for sure is to test it.
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  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    A very informative post, thank you! The subject of our emails is the first impression we are giving to our prospective customers so we do have to get them right! I think keeping them short, personal and exciting to the client is the way to go.

    I am interested in hearing what your thoughts are on asking a question in the subject to get the attention of the recipients? Do you think this may add to any success? I have also been recommended to put a giveaway or competition in the subject of my email to attract the attention of the recipient. Would this have any effect on the success of making contact with a new business lead? Or do you think this looks a little spamy?

    Over all, some good ideas. Agreed about #3, the personalisation question is up in the air... I have been reading lots on the forum and also online about whether that is actually a good way to go, only time will tell I guess. A/B testing would certainly help to figure this out.

    Thanks again.
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  • Profile picture of the author wordsandthebees
    This is a great post, it's always good to have a refresher to make us aware of any bad habits that we might have fallen into.

    I agree entirely with point number 9, I'd never open an email that was written in capitals!

    I'd like to add something. It's always good to check before sending that your subject line is optimized for mobile, there's nothing worse than crafting the perfect subject only to have half of it cut off as you'll lose the impact. I use Mailchimp for my emails and you can preview mobile view on there.

    Thanks for sharing your insight!
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  • Profile picture of the author HayleyS
    What an informative post! I found it useful for to read a list of tips you shared here. Hope to read more interesting posts from you.
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  • Profile picture of the author topcoder
    It will be really cool if you posted examples emails, highlighting each one of your points
    Test Your Email - Send an email to mailtest@unlocktheinbox.com - Results in minutes.
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  • Profile picture of the author D3x
    Great post. But I would appreciate it even better if you give real-world examples or links to winning emails
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  • Profile picture of the author prabh
    A really informative post. Currently I am doing email marketing for www.sitecraft.net.au. I was looking for some informative article for subject line and this forum came in handy for informative and useful tips. definitely gonna use in my next email out.
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  • Profile picture of the author ASOtop1
    Helpful tips.

    In addition, the email content also needs promotion. If you can share more tips here, it would be highly appreciated by us.

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