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Subject Lines Matter 

Email-Subject Lines

Subject lines matter. If you want to increase your open rate, then you will want to read on. Between our lack of time and the hundreds of newsletters we receive per week, it is critical that your newsletter stands out in the Inbox. Creating interesting and intriguing subject lines is not an easy task, but can be accomplished with some creative thinking, A/B testing, and well, of course, this blog post.

A bad subject line can not only lead to your newsletter being trashed, but also have it end up in the Spam folder, someplace no marketer ever wants to be. It may also lead to unsubscribes and complaints. The right subject line can help you avoid all of these email-marketing tragedies.

The #1 rule for creating a winning subject line is what we call “the art of the tease.” Let the reader know what is in the email, but don’t give it all away up front. You want them intrigued enough to open the email, right?

Now, in order to accomplish such a subject line, here are a few tips and tricks to help you out.

1. Make it active. Try and create subject lines with an active verb such as download, sign up, or learn. Active verbs tend to catch the attention of the reader more successfully than passive words, and act as if speaking directly to the consumer. This will make your subject line stand out in the Inbox. For example, our latest GreenRope newsletter screams “Download the New GreenRope App on iTunes”. This is not only giving the reader a hint of what they are going to find in the newsletter, but lets them know that they should be downloading the new app.

Mobile App Subject Line

2. Keep it short and sweet. Nobody wants to read a paragraph subject line. They want to determine whether it is worth reading right then and there. A longer subject line loses the attention of the reader quickly, and will most likely land your email in the Trash.

3. Interest your reader. Mention an offer, promotion, or exciting update in the subject line to catch the reader’s attention. It is important to show value right off the bat, this way they are more inclined to open the email. Perhaps include a sense of urgency by including a time frame. For example, “Learn CRM Best Practices: Webinar Tomorrow!” This subject line uses an active verb, hints at the newsletters content, intrigues the reader by the use of ‘best practices’ and then created a sense of urgency by giving a time frame.

More Cusotmization Subject Lines

4. Get risky. It is ok to spice up your subject lines. Ever heard of shock value? We are not saying to be completely outlandish, but if your content contains something that is potentially controversial or relevant to a current trend, news story, etc, do not be afraid to reference it. Don’t be afraid to make a statement that some may disagree with in your subject lines, just make sure that your content backs up your subject line…If you don’t, your readers will just think of you as a spammer and a phony.

5. Don't mislead the reader. Once you have lured them in with your subject line, make sure that the first couple of sentences in your newsletter correspond to the subject. This keeps the reader from being misled and shows consistency in your content. The first reason they opened the newsletter was because of the subject line, now give them what they want first, then lead into your other news and content.

6. Do not use Spam trigger words. Refer back to our blog posts, The 50 Most Commons Used Spam Trigger Words and Let’s Talk About Spam to learn more about how to stay off the spam blacklist. Using spammy words not only turn off your customers, but in all honesty, make your business sound “cheesy” for lack of a better word. Do not try and lure them in with words like Free, Winner, or Get Paid. People see past that. You wouldn’t open up that email, so why would you expect your readers to?

Follow these 6 steps and you’re well on your way to creating compelling, intriguing, and open rate friendly subject lines.


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