Writing a Subject Line That Encourages Interaction

How to write a great Subject Line

You’ve finally got some subscribers to your email list, and now you want to start getting some interaction from them. You want them to read the information and answer your calls to action. But first, you have to get them to open the emails. All that starts with crafting the subject line which will encourage opening of your email messages.

If like me you have many emails arriving in your inbox on a daily basis, how do you ensure the ones you send are going to be opened?

More often than not the subject line is written as an afterthought. You spend time composing the body of your email and the content which your newsletter links to and then rush through the thing which is going to make sure it’s opened.

The subject line is a form of headline, the opening gambit to what you are saying. A bit like a personal greeting. Do you really just want to feebly say Hi or instantly start selling? The answer to both should be a definite no.

You want to be heard, but you don’t want to ramble on. Best practice and a proven length is between 29 – 39 characters, so make it short and snappy. Definitely make sure it is under 50 characters.

Mailchimp offer this advice: Best Practices for Email Subject Lines

I always try to put myself in the shoes of the recipient, what would make me open my email.

Subject Lines That Encourage Opening of Emails

1. Pique Their Interest – Don’t give everything away in the subject line. Instead use the space to make them want to open the email and know more. Think about what they see when they get the email in their inbox and put the words in the right order to pique interest.

2. Make Them Curious – The email subject line should make the reader curious enough to open it. If you know the audience you’re sending emails to well, and you should, it should not be difficult to craft curiosity-seeking email subject lines for them.

3. Tease – Email subject lines are a good way to bring humour and a fun personality to your email messages. Keeping your audience in mind, make your email subject lines evoke the emotions that your audience needs to open them.

4. Avoid Stop Words – You have very little space in the email subject line. How long your subject line is will depend greatly on your audience. Test different lengths of subject lines to find out what works well with your audience, but the rule of thumb is 1 to 7 words or less than 50 characters.

5. Don’t Be Too Clever – You don’t want to mislead your audience, so be careful about trying to be too clever with your email message subject lines. If they feel duped when they open the email, no matter how good your offer is, they’ll be unhappy.

6. Put Keywords First – Some people search their emails using various keywords; make it easy for them by including those keywords within the first three words of the email subject line. Plus, when the email comes in, the keyword will be immediately visible to them.

7. Focus on a Deadline – A time limit mentioned in the subject line will also entice your audience to open it. If you offer a special that expires in three days, say so in the subject line so that they know that they need to open now and not wait until later. Note: Make the deadline real to be most effective.

Creating subject lines that encourage opening of emails is something that you need to consider carefully based on your topic, your audience and the results you’re hoping to achieve through your email marketing messages.

If you’ve been following and implementing my e-newsletter blogs you should find in no time, that your opening rates will improve and your subscriber numbers should increase.

Subject line


Karina Bailey

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Written by Karina Bailey

Karina is the real person behind the Virtual Assistant. I support local small business owners, helping to relieve their admin stress and concentrate on their core business. When not at my desk working I can be found in graveyards, researching my family history. Dancing the Salsa and listening to local bands.