In step 13 of our free email series, 20 Steps to Effective Email Marketing, we cover what goes into a compelling email subject line. In it, we explain that subject lines are one of the first things subscribers see when receiving an email… and it often determines whether they’ll open, delete, or ignore it. Here are tips on creating good ones:

How to Write Compelling Email Subject Lines | Everlytic | Blog image | Email with subject line: Keep Subject Lines Short

Know your Audience

Before you start, set goals for your email campaign, understand exactly who your audience is, and what type of action you’d like them to take. Are you offering a promotion or introducing a new product? The goal and audience will define your subject line and the value it offers.

Personalise Your Content

Use the subject line and email content to identify the person you’re talking to. For instance, saying “Hi, Sarah” instead of “Dear Subscriber” makes the message more personal and more likely to be engaged with. Make sure your database is 100% correct when doing this, as errors in personalisation can mark your email as spam and leave a bad impression.

How to Write Compelling Email Subject Lines | Everlytic | Blog image | An email with a name-personalised subject line

Keep it Short & Enticing

There are some stats on the optimal subject line length, but ultimately, it’s about saying as much as possible in as few words as possible. This is because a quick glance at the subject line will give the reader an indication of what’s in the email. It should be catchy enough to make them want to see for themselves.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Fear of missing out is a great motivator – that’s why phrases like “24 hours left” work so well at encouraging subscribers to act immediately. Be careful how you use them though, as they can also land you in the junk folder.

How to Write Compelling Email Subject Lines | Everlytic | Blog image | An email subject line that says: Get 20-steps to effective email – 24 hours left!

Offer Something of Value

Let your subscribers know that there is something valuable inside the mail. The subject line then becomes the teaser encouraging them to open it and find out how this offering will help them.

Try Using a Few Emojis

Though emojis have been around for years now, their use in business emails is fairly new. Adding them to subject lines can communicate emotion and sentiment without using many characters. Some companies even use image emojis to replace words and shorten subject line character length, but this can cause confusion, so we don’t recommend it.

“…subject lines containing emojis actually saw a higher read rate than comparable text-only subject lines in some cases.” –

Need to upgrade your email marketing game? Get all 20 steps to effective emails in our free daily email series: 20 Steps to Effective Email Marketing.