Subject Lines are THE most important part of any marketing email. They are the first thing you see. They are what make you decide if you are going to read on.

People’s inboxes are extremely busy. You need to somehow make your email stand out amongst all the others before it gets dumped straight into the trash. Never to be seen again.

Only 13% of marketing emails actually get opened – a pretty depressing fact, I know. So ultimately, without a banging subject line, your email doesn’t have a chance.

So, let’s take a look at some techniques you can use to help write a great subject line that keeps those clients reading.

Bold Statements

One technique is to use a bold statement as the subject line.

Be controversial.

For example: No One Reads Your Emails!

When you make a statement like this, you will get two types of readers who open your email. Firstly, those who agree with your statement and want validation. Secondly, those who disagree with it and want to prove you wrong.

So don’t be scared! That’s two lots of readers that probably wouldn’t have opened your email at all were it not for your controversial statement.


We are conditioned to answer questions. When we see a question, the first thing we will do is look for an answer

So by asking a question in a subject line, the reader will automatically try to look for that answer, which you would assume is in the body of the email. Therefore guaranteeing another email opened!

You need to make sure your question is

open-ended. No ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. The whole point is to make your reader think. If the answer can be found as quickly as a yes or a no, you will not captivate their attention for long enough to get through that email!


It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that you need to cover the whole topic and point of your email in the subject line. If you cover it all there’s bound to be something in there that pulls the reader in right?


Intrigue is a great tactic for pulling in readers. For example: ‘Is this the answer to a slimmer figure?’

There it is – seed planted – the reader is intrigued by what ‘this’ is. And the only way they’re going to find out is by reading on.

It’s the information that’s been left out of the subject line that is making the reader read on.

Less is more!

Pain Points

Another great technique you can use is to tap into your readers’ pain points. If you’ve already identified those pain points (which you definitely should have), you can use these to make the reader feel heard.

For example: ‘Tired eyes?’ or ‘Not enough time in the day?’.

If you’ve pinpointed how that reader feels or their problem at that particular time, they’re likely to open your email. And remember, once you’ve got them to open the email, half your hard work is already done.


As an alternative to tapping into your readers’ pain points, you can tap into their dreams. Basically turning those pain points around to look at the positive outcome you could potentially get.

For example: ‘Have more time in the day to do the things you love…’

This works in the same way by trying to pinpoint what your reader may be wishing/hoping for so they feel like that email has been written personally for them.

Keep Them Reading

No matter which technique you choose for your subject line, you need to keep it short, snappy and concise.

If you ever find yourself tempted to use the generic ‘[Name] Here’s your monthly newsletter’… STOP. Do not pass go and do not collect £200!

That email will go directly to the trash, without passing your readers’ eyes or collecting any potential customers along the way.

A generic subject line will not work; be inventive and make it count.

For further hints on what NOT to do when using email marketing, grab another cuppa and read my blog: 3 Types of Email Marketing That Just Don’t Work

Want to know more? Book a FREE Discovery Call for help getting those emails opened rather than trashed.



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