Anatomy of a Great Email Subject Line

Subject lines are arguably the most important part of your email. If a recipient sees an unappealing subject line, they won't open it. But if they see an attention-grabbing one that intrigues them, they'll click through without skipping a beat. That's why it's so crucial to have a great subject line when you're sending out emails. In this post, we will discuss how to create awesome ones!

The subject line is the first thing a recipient will see when your email is delivered. If your subject line isn't dialed in, then they may never open your email at all.

Subject lines are usually limited to 50 characters in length which means you have only 25 letters with spaces for punctuation marks like question marks and exclamation points.

Most people use action words to encourage the recipient to open their email. Words like "check this out" or "click for more info" are great ways of getting someone's attention and making them click through. Avoid spammy subject lines that include misleading information, all caps, exclamation points, unnecessary punctuation marks, etc. You want your subject line to be concise and grab as much attention as possible without landing you in the spam folder.

Your subject line should be to the point. You have a limited amount of room to say everything you need to say to elicit an open. This means using power words and action verbs to make the recipient open your email. Make the recipient intrigued so they want to open the email to learn more.

Some examples of power words you can use are:

  • stop what you're doing
  • this is important
  • read this now.

Some examples of action verbs are:

  • get
  • click,
  • check
  • find out

Your subject line should also tell the recipient what to expect when they open your email. For example: "read this article for more info" tells them that there will be an article to read when they open the email. "check out this exclusive" tells them that there is something inside the email only available for a limited time or quantity.

People receive crazy amounts of emails every day. It's important that you stand out in their inbox and catch their attention. This is why creativity is such a vital part of the copywriting process. You need to be creative with your subject lines so that you're not just another sender in their inbox.

Some examples of creative subject lines are:

  • "Let's get this party started"
  • "Check out this article!"
  • "Do you like what I sent?"
  • "Don't miss this!"

Human nature makes people want to know what they are missing out on. Use this to your advantage when writing your subject lines.

When you break it down, great subject lines generally possess these core characteristics.

Urgency - Great email subject lines will convey a sense of urgency to the recipient, making them feel they need to open the message now.

Personalization - Put the recipient's name in the subject line. If they have a title, include that too: "Jane Smith, Chief Operating Officer."

Action words - Get your recipient to do something with their email by using phrases like "here is," "read this" or "check out my website". Avoid passive voice and don't use words like "to" or "from."

Specificity - Great email subject lines are specific with what they offer. This could be a list of benefits, an explanation of something that is not fully explained in the body content, or just simply telling recipients what your message has for them.

Creativity - Creativity makes you stand out from other senders in their inbox and catch their attention.

Emotional Connection - Great email subject lines invoke an emotional connection with recipients. This could be through humor, empathy, or simply providing them something they need and want to read.

It's not always easy to tell if your subject lines will be effective.

Here are some examples of subject lines that miss the mark.

  • "Watch this video" - This is ambiguous. Why would I even want to watch the video?
  • "This is a newsletter." - Duh.
  • "Save money on ..." - Don't make me open it to see what you're trying to sell me!
  • "Hello, friend." - I don't know you!

The best way to create a great email subject line is by doing your research! Do you know what the recipient wants? Are there any news items relevant to them? What are their goals? Do they want to save time, make more money, or accomplish something else that you know how to do?

Nail your email subject lines and you'll see your email campaign performance skyrocket. Think about it - you can't get a customer to make a purchase or visit a link if they don't even open your emails!

It is important to have a concise subject line that will catch the reader's attention and tell them what they can expect from your email. This isn't always easy but it becomes easier when you know who your recipient is, their goals or emotions may be, and current events in their life. When writing an email subject line make sure there are no unnecessary punctuation, capital letters, or exclamation points. Be creative and intriguing with your subject line to make the recipient want to open your email over all of the others in their inbox. Remember, you only have about 500ms to catch their attention so make it count!


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