Top Tips for a Successful Email Subject Line

Top Tips for a Successful Email Subject Line

“Email marketing is just 5 years away from being half a century old and yet is still changing and evolving as much as any millennial.”

In 2020, email is still one of the best performing strategies within marketing efforts and has kept growing and succeeding over time. In fact, 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months (Hubspot).

With more and more data at their fingertips from their email subscribers, marketers are able to target customers with engaging content through carefully segmented messages based on online behavior.

However, to encourage customers to open your email in the first place, well-crafted email marketing subject lines is still as important as it’s ever been. Here are our top tips for getting your subject line just right, along with great examples of some of our favorite effective email subject lines. 

1. Solve a problem

If you target your customers with an effective segmentation strategy, you will be able to easily tailor the offers in your subject lines to each customer’s needs and wants. People always have needs, you just have to find what it is… whether it’s saving money, finding a place to stay or how to look fashionable, the options are endless.

See a few successful subject lines from real-world examples:

  • Pizza Hut: “Feed your guests without breaking the bank”
  • IKEA: “Get more kitchen space with these easy fixes”
  • HP: “Stop wasting money on ink”
  • Sephora: “Your beauty issues, solved”
  • Uber: “Since we can’t all win the lottery…”
  • Guess: “Wanted: Cute and affordable fashions”

2. Be creative and relevant in a unique way

Ryanair: “Splash the Cash”

Everyone knows the last Friday of the month is payday. Ryanair uses this to their advantage and sends payday-orientated funny email subject lines such as this one. Smart twist of words!


Opodo: “Travel Oscars: top destinations from £19!”

Following popular events worldwide, and more specifically the Hollywood Oscars, Opodo made their own “Travel Oscars” for offering cheap flight tickets – a simple subject line that catches the reader’s attention.


Livestrong: “12 Insanely Good Avocado Recipes You’ve Probably Never Tried”

This is an educational and descriptive subject line with a number in it that is especially eye-catching besides the intense words such as “insanely”.


3. Personalize the location too

So you live in NY but are receiving all sorts of ads and offers for other locations…happens all the time, right?

Don’t wait until the customer gets to this point. The best subject lines offers are targeted to the right location, as then there is a much higher chance that your email will be opened, and better yet, might end up increasing sales!

Learn more: 9 great ideas for location-based emails

4. Use action verbs

Email subject lines are similar to CTAs – the main goal is to get people to click through. Good subject lines can begin with action verbs rather than passive verbs or nouns, as they are more enticing, and can make a huge difference in open rates.

A few examples could be “join us”, “eat”, “watch”, “enjoy”, “learn”, “hurry” etc…


5. Match the number of characters in your “From” name

When writing an email, apart from the subject line, the “from” name has to be evident and authentic so the customer knows who the email is coming from. However, have you ever thought about the length of it?

Each type of device has a different number of characters that they are able to display; mobile devices such as the iPhone 4 and 5 can display 23. The iPhone 6 and a Samsung Galaxy S4 can display 32. However, it’s probably best if you stick to 23 just to be safe!


6. Always use an accurate description

No matter how stylish your emails are, if your subject line doesn’t represent the content of the email, your subscribers won’t get to actually see that amazing design of yours. Or, in the worst case they will, but they will be disappointed and you won’t be credited for your words afterwards.


7. Ask a question

Questions in subject lines serve to engage recipients and peak their interest. Customers will be more excited about opening that email and answering whatever you asked them in the subject line.


8. Cart and Browse Abandonment

Sending Cart and Browse Abandon Emails can be really important when wanting to gain back customers’ attention or wanting to remind them they have left products in their cart. Catchy email Subject lines such as “10% off | We miss you…and so does your cart” or “Out Of Sight But Still On Your Mind?” can recover lost customers.


Learn more:

The Complete Guide to Cart Abandonment

The Complete Guide to Browse Abandonment

Our 8 favorite cart and browse abandonment emails and why we love them

Segmentation, Web and Email Personalization and targeting the right message to the right customer are just some of our expertise, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for further details!

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Calendar Icon 02/28/2017