How to Write an Excellent Email Subject

Did you know that 75% of your email success is gated by your subject line?

Whilst the content of your email is key to persuading your audience to use your product or service, the subject line will be what persuades your customers to open the email in the first place. This blog post is all about avoiding the many pitfalls of email subject writing.

Top 5 things you can include in an email subject


By using reasons, you are convincing your user to do something based on a number of logical explanations, usually presented in a list format which people respond well to.

Example:  ‘10 reasons why you should be using email’


Here, you are outlining the benefits of the product or service, this implies a promise which users will find hard to resist.

Example: Using the phrase ‘losing weight’ instead of ‘diet’.


The linguistic structure of a question requires the reader to pause and respond, which buys you a few more seconds of their time. The user probably already has an idea of the answer; therefore they will want to open the email to fulfil their natural desire of affirmation.

Example: ‘So you think email is useful?’


Whilst using testimonials in the email body is fairly common practice, it can also be used in the subject line as validation. Using testimonials also fits in with Social Proof – the theory sometimes referred to as ‘herd behaviour’. This is the theory that in a situation where the answer is unknown, humans will tend to conform to another human’s behaviour.

Example: ‘Why Director Alistair Banks, Uses Email’.

How To

This type of email promises to reveal how to achieve the benefit, appealing to a range of users from the experts to the amateurs of the chosen subject.

Example: ‘How to Get the Most Out of Email Marketing’.

So, having looked at some things you can do to improve your email open rates, let’s have a look at some of the things you should be careful of.


Even if you are not actually a spammer, sometimes your emails will get in to the wrong folder. This is mostly due to certain words or phrases being used in your subject line. Make sure you do your research and check that the words you are using are not included – especially if it is your first email campaign.

10 spam words/phrases that may surprise you

  • Amazing
  • Buy Direct
  • Certified
  • Free Access
  • Guarantee
  • Increase Traffic
  • Laser Printer
  • Marketing Solutions
  • Urgent
  • No Fees

Email marketing can often be a case of trial and error, so using A/B Split testing for different audiences is a good way of being able to tell what works for your customers and what doesn’t.

If you’d like more advice on email marketing contact our team on 01392 667766.

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