How To Write Email Subject Lines That Work

You’re going to want to learn how to write email subject lines that work if your brand wants to utilise its email database. Why take the time to craft an EDM (electronic direct mail) campaign for your subscribers, if you can’t get them to actually open the email?

Ultimately, your goal should be to deliver an email that drives and inspires your reader to take action. 

This could be anything from promoting a sale, product or service, or perhaps even just an update on your business.

The key to a successful email marketing campaign often lies in a snappy and effective subject line. This is after all the first point of contact that you have with your subscribers, and the opportunity runs on a limited time frame – think just 25 to 30 characters if your reader is opening your content on a mobile phone.

So, what are some effective strategies that you can use to improve your email subject line game? 


Relevance To Your Story

A part of actually having an email subscription base is that those customers consider themselves to be a part of the “inner sanctum”. You’re not imposing on their day to day lives like a billboard or television advertisement. Instead, they have actively chosen to allow you into their digital mailbox, and are interested in what you have to say – so make it count. 

An email subject line that transports your reader into the middle of an imagined conversation, will motivate them to get the full scope of what you’re trying to say. They’re a part of an exclusive club, and therefore opens a communication exchange with your reader.

Promote Your Goods

This one is relatively straightforward, but requires you to really, really, really know your audience. Use your analytics – what is your best selling product, and who is buying it? From here, there’s no need to get ultra creative with your email subject line, as it’s really as simple as “I’ve got what you want”.

It also makes a nice change from other forms of marketing like promotions or discounts, and simply gets back to basics: your brand or business stocks a reliable, in demand and consistent product or service.


Curiosity vs Confusion 

It’s basic human nature that if you are curious (or even confused) about a topic, then you are going to want to learn more. Without the answer, it may niggle away at you for a few hours or even days. This strategy also applies to email marketing, and indeed subject lines.

A “confused” customer may not be the best example of lead generation or contribute to an increase in your website traffic, but they do deliver on what you need in this scenario – they will open your email. A “curious” customer wants to follow through on a subject line that may have tweaked their interest, but aren’t entirely sure whether it’s applicable or of further interest to them.

Provide Value With “What’s In It For Me?”

In its own right, this is some of the very basics of marketing – “what’s in it for me, and what can you offer me?” 

In terms of an effective email subject line, you need to consider why your reader should open your email right now.

The good news is that the context can vary wildly – your brand might be offering a promotion, a free or informative piece of information, or even content that is considered to be educational. By opening your email and giving you their time, the reader is receiving something of value in return.

A Sense Of Urgency 

FOMO – fear of missing out – is a syndrome that is almost universally recognised. There’s no motivator that works quite as well as a deadline, or the possibility of missing out on a deal.

It is worth noting that this type of “last chance” strategy should be used sparingly, or else you risk a “groundhog day” moment with your subscribers – they’ve heard it all before, it’s not special, and it will be back. This is exactly the type of mentality that you wish to avoid in order to maintain the exclusivity of a time based opportunity.

Got it?

If you’re in need of some further inspiration, Digital Marketer have outlined over 101 “Best Email Subject Lines” to get you started.

If writing digital content is something that you or your business may not have the time, budget or experience in – the good news is that this is exactly what we do at Content Hive. Book a free fifteen minute discovery call with us today to discuss how we can get your business buzzing online.

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