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Tips to Write Catchy Email Subject Lines

Despite the popularity of social media and instant messaging platforms in recent years, email remains a top contender for the most popular communication channel globally. Based on published reports, nearly 50% of people worldwide use email, with an average of 319.6 billion emails sent daily by the end of 2021.

However, given how customers’ expectations have changed over the years, businesses have an increasingly hard time engaging cold and existing leads via email. According to recent studies, 67% of email marketing professionals consider engagement a top priority. However, 50% of them consider it a great challenge in practice.

Email subject lines represent the proverbial opening salvo which should convince the recipient to open the email and continue reading its content. Depending on how well you’ve written it, your marketing campaign may or may not succeed in fulfilling its goals. Let’s discuss tips and tricks to make your email subject lines catchier in 2021 and the advantages of email marketing.

Reasons to Pay Attention to your Email Subject Lines

What’s the value in writing catchy email subject lines? Judging by gathered data, 65% of email users check their emails three times a day, with 76% of email marketers sending a segmented or personalized email. Despite its seeming drop in popularity compared to other communication channels, email is still very relevant for marketing.

Whether you operate as a SaaS business, an eCommerce platform, or a retailer, you can reach new audiences and retarget existing customers effectively via email. Combined with smart writing, using a reliable newsletter builder will further streamline your email marketing activities. Taking full advantage of such a platform yet requires a good opening hook, which is why subject lines matter so much. Writing catchy subject lines can thus pay off in several important ways for your business:

  • Improved lead acquisition and retention
  • Increased website traffic and conversion rates
  • Better customer relations and brand reputation
  • Access to email engagement metrics for analysis
  • Higher sales and return on investment (ROI)

Tips on Writing Catchy Email Subject Lines

  1. Keep it short and to the Point

The first thing you should keep in mind when writing more appealing subject lines concerns their length. Specifically, how long is “too long”? You need to take into account the fact that some of your recipients will read email via mobile, and others will do so via desktop.

If you are targeting mobile users, subject lines with up to 30 characters should be the norm – anything longer than that won’t display properly. For desktop users, subject lines with 40-60 characters should be the maximum for the subject line to display properly.

2. Add Flavor through Personalization

Personalization is the name of the game in modern digital marketing. That’s why you should address your recipient by name or username and use personal pronouns in your subject lines. Adding words such as “we”, “you”, or “us” into your subject lines will work wonders for engagement, especially if you add first or last names.

With so many impersonal marketing campaigns out there, using your subject line’s word count for personalization will help your brand stand out. You can refer to a free essay sample database Subjecto to get a good feeling of how you can improve your email writing skills. This will enable you to personalize your writing skills more closely to appeal to the recipients’ emotional triggers more directly.

3. Choose the Right Keywords for your Recipients

Always ask yourself “why” you are sending an email to your mailing list before writing its content or subject line. Recipients have to discern why you’ve sent them an email at first glance, which is where keywords come into play.

Keywords, specific to your industry, your products, and the sales pitch you want to promote, have to be integrated into your subject line. You can discover the right keywords through traditional SEO tools such as Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush and then pair them with personalized writing.

4. Invoke Urgency through Calls to Action

It’s important to make a distinction between the active and passive voice in your subject lines to engage the reader properly. Calls to action, which are used in blog posts or promotional ads, can be used in email writing to break the ice with your recipients.

Using actionable verbs in your subject lines will encourage readers to open your emails and read what you have to say in more detail. Failing to do so will cause your open rates to drop drastically simply because your writing is too passive and lacks a clear direction.

5. Don’t Oversell Yourself

Overselling yourself in the subject line will cause email recipients to categorize your marketing content as spam. To build trust and respect with your customers, your marketing campaigns have to be truthful and objective.

Never write information that is untrue or hyperbolic, regarding your brand or the quality of its products/services. While you may garner initial success by doing so, you will lose reputation in the long run and cause customers to steer clear of you.

6. Use Numeric Data to your Advantage

Anyone who ever used email will tell you that they only spend seconds reading each subject line before deciding whether to open it. Using numbers to paint a positive image of your brand in recipients’ eyes is an effective email writing strategy.

Data in the form of discount percentages, sales figures, review ratings, and others can work well as an initial hook for email recipients. Going back to the previous point, each numeric data point you use should be truthful and backed by a resource in the email itself. Don’t come up with numbers without checking if you can back them up with objective figures.

7. Follow the Subject Line up with a Good Opening Line

Finally, each email you send will be accompanied by a small preview of its actual content. Email users often use these two reference points to discern whether the email is spam.

You can use that to your advantage and write a catchy, creative opening line that will play off of your subject line. This will help encourage readers to open the email based on the combined info garnered from both the subject and opening line.

Signing Off

The best way to approach writing your subject lines is to write the emails themselves first. Even though subject lines will determine whether someone will open your mail, both elements have to feel like parts of the same content.

Use your email content as inspiration to writing the subject line which you would open if it found its way into your inbox. Once you’ve sent several emails with a new approach to writing subject lines, go through your engagement analytics to spruce up any bottlenecks or inconsistencies.

Post by: Kristin Savage


Kristin Savage

Kristin Savage is a digital marketing professional, copywriter, and editor with extensive experience in digital publishing and academic writing. Her expertise is focused on blog articles, academic papers, and case studies, while she also dabbles into research to improve her writing. In her spare time, Kristin is a yoga instructor and likes to spend time outdoors.

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