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  • Lindsay Penaranda

Dos and Don’ts for Creating Subject Lines That Will Get Your Emails Read

The first step to a successful campaign is to increase your email open rates. This can be achieved when you consider your subject line. How, you ask? Because it’s the subject line on which 47 percent of recipients base their decision to open an email.

Follow these dos and don’ts to craft a killer subject line, and you may watch your open rates skyrocket.

Don’t Leave Off the Recipient’s Name

Don’t forget to add the recipient’s first name to your email subject line, and you could give your open rates a 3 percent boost.

Don’t Use “FW:” in the Subject

Seeing those letters “FW:” to indicate an email has been forwarded calls to mind bad jokes forwarded from your dad, and the digital version of chain letters. Maybe that’s why open rates drop 17 percent when recipients see “FW:” in the subject line.

Do Use the Right Number of Words in Your Subject Line

Email subject lines using six to 10 words are opened 21 percent of the time. That’s probably because they are easy to scan, digest quickly, and fit neatly on one line. Using fewer than six words can cause your open rates to drop a few percentage points. Using more than 21 words is the kiss of death; you could see your open rates plummet to just 9 percent.

Do Choose a Proven Marketing Tactic for your Email

Consumers respond to tried-and-true marketing techniques when they hit their inbox. Prey on people’s “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) by creating a sense of urgency. Using words like “now,” “today only,” and “urgent” in the subject line make people wonder what it could cost them if they don’t click.

You can also use humor to pique people’s curiosity. If your subject line is funny, readers will assume the email will be, too.

Do Test, and Test Again

Test your campaigns by segmenting your mailing list and then sending out the same email with different subject lines. You’ll be surprised how a few small tweaks can make a big difference in your open rates.




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