OPINION: 5 tips for the best email subject line

Annie Everill

Annie Everill, Digital Marketing Agency, Imaginaire

When it comes to email marketing and reaching out to businesses or a professional, the subject line is crucial. This subject line can ultimately make or break the success of an email, and can potentially lead to it going straight to the junk folder. Similar to the real world, first impressions count, especially in business. As most inboxes are overcrowded and flooded with cold emails, making yours stand out can be tricky. Whether you’re reaching out to offer your services or looking for a new collaboration, the subject line gets straight to the point and should be an indication of what the email is about. Here are some tips for creating the best email subject line. 

1. Keep it simple 

Your subject line should be short and catchy. It’s been recorded that 66% of people check their emails on their mobile devices, meaning the screen size and email itself is much smaller compared to a laptop or PC. This also means they’re probably only looking briefly throughout the day and don’t have time to read all their emails. This is just one of the reasons why keeping the subject line short and sweet is key. Saying this, even when viewing emails on laptops, the receiver will only be scanning their inbox so a simple subject line should always be considered. 

2. Personalisation 

Personalisation is a technique that is thriving through 2022, and email marketing is the perfect place for it. Even though this is hard to do if sending out bulk emails, using contact names when you can, will take away the cold email look. Personalisation in the subject line can come in many forms and can either specify the person, company, website or content piece. The use of personalisation can greatly depend on the purpose of your email. For example if you’re an ecommerce company sending out a seasonal sale promotion, it could be an idea to suggest 

3. Emoji or no emoji? 

There’s no doubt that emojis have become more accepted in the form of business, with many people seeing them as a way of being friendly or humorous. There are, however, some readers or businesses who might see the use of emojis as unprofessional. This is where knowing your audience comes in. Whether they’re new or existing customers, knowing their preferred way of communicating can help to decide, emoji or no emoji?

4. CTA ( Call to action ) 

A call to action technique is typically used to offer a benefit for the receiver and influence some form of urgency. Including a CTA in a subject line is ultimately combining simplistic and personalisation, using the two to keep everything to the point and offer the reader something they can’t deny. The CTA will have more specific content involved and will ultimately result in industries such as digital marketing agencies looking for a collaboration or partnership.

Tone of voice 

Tone of voice is crucial for email marketing in general, but the subject line can set the tone for all that’s to come. Language use and punctuation can give off both a positive and negative effect, so setting the right tone of voice from the very start can offer a good first impression. The chosen subject line should also be aligned with your brand voice and tone so there is a recognised language use throughout. 



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