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Message Consent

Crafting Successful Email Subject Lines

By: Andrea Panno

Email subject lines are one of, if not the most important part of an email. As email use continues to soar, it is critical to ensure that your company’s email subject lines stand out from the rest. So, what makes for a compelling subject line anyway?

Check out these five email marketing tips to help boost your company’s email open- and click-through rates and pique the interest of your target audience right off the bat.

  1. Make it short – Many email programs limit the number of characters in an email subject line to 50 – this allows your message to be compelling and succinct. Also, keep in mind that your company name will already be listed in the “from label” of your email so there is no need to take up more characters by repeating it in the subject line.
  2. Use a call-to-action – Making your subject line short and captivating is critical – and it’s even better if it includes a call-to-action. Let your readers know what you want them to do right away, such as open, click, sign up or buy something.
  3. Be topical with a sense of urgency – Your subject line should tell your readers exactly what the email is about and why they should open it. Therefore, do not try to fool your readers into opening your email by providing a false representation of the actual content. Additionally, creating a sense of urgency by including a timeframe can also prompt your readers to act on your email. Phrases like “10 hours only” or “2 days left” can be effective.
  4. Get personal – but not too personal – Personalizing your subject lines with a first name, location, or past purchase can grab your readers’ attention and make them feel special. Be aware however, that including a first name in your email subject line can appear invasive to some, and turn them off from opening your email. Test it out, analyze your results and adjust your methods accordingly.
  5. Use something other than “free” – The word “free” is one of the most commonly used email subject lines. Though it can be compelling, there are a variety of other words you can use to hook your readers with an offer or promotion. Think outside the box.

For email marketing and other full-service integrated marketing, please contact Sagefrog Marketing Group at 215-230-9024 or visit