Email marketing subject lines: Tips for making them clickable

By Louise Waern

Email marketing subject lines: Tips for making them clickable

When sending an email, it’s often a challenge to get through the receiver’s inbox email jungle. Even if you have a great message for your target audience, there’s a major risk that your message will never be read. The first step to get your email read is to get the email subject line right. 

The goal of the subject line is simply to get someone to open your email. There are loads of tips and tricks that can be considered for creating the best email subject lines.

Here are 7 tips and tricks to start with:

1. Imagine yourself as the recipient of the email

Ask yourself what type of subject lines you would ignore — avoid using them! Common sense is always a good start.

2. Keep it short

The subject line should have a maximum of 50 characters. It might be a challenge but being clear and concise in your email subject is highly effective.

3. Make it personal

The recipient should get the impression that the email is sent from one human to another with a personal message. You should really consider avoiding using a sender address like

Use words to personalise the email's subject line, like 'Here is your guide…' instead of 'Here is the guide…'. You can also use geographical preferences to tailor your email subject for a certain audience.


4. Be clear on what the recipient will get out of the email

It needs to be obvious for why he/she should prioritise to open your email. Make it clear what's in it for them to read the email. For example, an email with the subject line '7 tips on how to improve your email subject lines' clearly states that the reader will get tips on how to write email subject lines by reading this particular email. 

Lists are also great in general since those give the impression that a complicated piece of content has been structured and those are also easy to grasp.

5. Engage the recipient

Depending on the message of the email, you can engage the receiver in different ways. For example, you can ask a question like 'Are you making these design mistakes?' or create a call-to-action like 'Sign up for the annual design event'.

6. Consider previous actions

If the recipient has filled out a form on your website and is waiting for a confirmation from you, make it show in the subject line. Like this for example; 'Here is your report' or 'Link to your booklet inside'.

7. Do A/B testing

There are so many options and combination of words for subject lines to choose from. Sometimes it can be hard to pick the right one. Find out what works best by A/B testing those on your target audience and evaluate which one works best.

If you want to discover more about other aspects of email marketing — such as privacy regulations, segmentation and email service providers, take a look at our in-depth email marketing guide.

And of course, you can feel free to get in touch with us if you would like to find out more about how you can implement these tips at your company.

Talk to an expert

Louise Waern
Project Manager at Zooma 2008 - 2019.
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