If you're reading this article, then we got you to open our email! So how did we do it?

Email marketing is a tricky form of marketing, but is also the least expensive and most effective. You can learn more about email marketing's effectiveness in general on our previous post: A Nu Introduction to Email Marketing

Once you're up to speed, come back here to dive even deeper!

What makes someone open an email…

You know how when you write a blog post, you want to spend extra time on the headline because it’s what pulls people in? Well it’s the same thing with emails. You won’t get anywhere with a boring, uninteresting, or spammy email subject line because your subscribers will send your email directly to the trash.

So to get your email opened, you need to focus on the subject line the most. You, of course, want to ensure that the content you’re sending out is also valuable and worth a user’s time to read.

But let’s talk about these subject lines…


 Types of email subject lines

You can use a few different types of email subject lines, or even do some a/b testing with your email subscribers, to find the perfect method for your audience.


  • Direct - A direct email subject line is going to get straight to the point. If you’re having a sale and you want to send out a direct email, you would say: “50% off all women’s clothing.” If you’re deal or sale is good enough, people will open your email based on that alone.
  • Mysterious - A mysterious subject line plays on the undeniable curiosity of your online users. Grab their attention with these headlines and make them open the email by piquing just the right amount of curiosity. But you have to make sure that your target audience would care, otherwise that email will go straight to the trash.
  • Playful - A playful subject line will obviously be something with a little brevity. Playful subjects are risky – some people may not get your joke – but it can also pay off greatly. We all hate spammy emails, so tread carefully with a playful subject line but take the risk every now and then to entertain your subscribers.
  • Urgency - An urgent email subject line creates the idea of scarcity in users’ minds. For instance, say your email subject line says: “50% of all women’s clothing TODAY ONLY!” That adds urgency and informs your subscribers that supplies are limited, and that’s a great way to make people act!
  • Call To Action - Lastly, the Call To Action subject line lets the user know what you want them to do from the get-go. You’ll see this many times with political campaigns where they say: “Join us today and change history!” Or something along those lines. It works along the same lines as the direct subject line but it incites a specific reaction from the email subscriber.
  • Personalized - Now these are NOT the emails that line your spam folders with subject lines like “Betty we have $5000 for you” or “WINNER: Veronica COME CLAIM YOUR PRIZE.” No, there are many ways to personalize an email subject line to make the user feel like it is only for them without just adding their name in a blank subject line script. Take a tip from Amazon – you can personalize an email by tailoring them to products they’ve browsed on your website or even items related to those they recently purchased. That keeps the email tailored to the user but avoids the spam folder.

A few more tips to get your emails opened 

Some of these tips are risky, but are proven effective. Use them carefully at your own risk!


Use negativity in your subject lines.

It’s proven that subject lines with negative words have higher open rates. Explain a negative experience, stir up controversy, and just use more negative words (like: wrong, the worst, and beware).

Don't use all caps.

You can use it sparingly, for instance: “FREE starter kit….” is okay because it’s not overwhelming. You want to stand out but many people tune out all caps – it’s also typically associated with spam. Real people don’t type in all caps.

Use current events.

People love fresh content, so when they see a subject line that includes a current event, they know that you’re up to date with what’s happening in the world or your industry specifically.

Don't babble on!

Most emails are opened on a mobile device, which means that your email subject line should be around 25 characters, otherwise it will be cut off on the device people use the most.



We offer on-going blog content writing and email marketing services to help keep you out in front of your target audience. Call us at 336-765-5505 to schedule a consultation today!


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