Crafting killer email subject lines is a bit of an art form—one that can seriously boost your email marketing game. As a business owner, getting a handle on this can mean the difference between your emails being eagerly opened or unceremoniously dumped into the archive. I recently led a training session that dove deep into this very topic. 

Here’s the lowdown:

1: Understand the Purpose of Your Subject Line

Think of the subject line as your email’s headline. Its main job? To get that email opened. It’s not there to spill all the beans about the email’s contents but to spark enough interest that your recipient feels compelled to dive in.

2: Crafting Intriguing Subject Lines

Your email needs to shout a little louder to be heard above the din of a busy inbox. Standout subject lines often weave in elements like curiosity, personalisation, and direct relevance to the reader. Here’s how:

  • Curiosity: Who doesn’t want to uncover a mystery? Pose a question or leave a thought hanging to tempt readers into finding out more.
  • Personalisation: A little name-dropping (the recipient’s, that is) can work wonders. “Did you see this, [Name]?” is simple but effective.
  • Relevance: Tailor your subject lines so they resonate not just with the content of your email but with what your reader cares about..

3: Avoid Misleading Recipients

Creativity? Yes, please. But keep it honest. Your subject lines should be a teaser, not a spoiler—which means they shouldn’t promise what the email doesn’t deliver. Misleading subject lines might give you a short-term lift in opens but can hurt your reputation and subscriber numbers in the long run.

4: Use Data to Inform Decisions

Dig into which subject lines are hitting the mark and which are missing it by analysing your open rates. Most email platforms can shed light on this, helping you fine-tune your strategy.

    5: Test and Optimise

    Never stop experimenting. A/B testing different subject lines will reveal what resonates best with your audience, allowing you to continually refine your approach.

    6: Keep It Short and Sweet

    Brevity is the soul of wit—and effective email subject lines. Keep them short to avoid cutoffs, especially on mobile screens, and punchy enough to grab attention at a glance.

    7: Incorporate Urgency and Value

    Sometimes, playing the urgency card can spur recipients into action. Phrases like “Limited time offer” or “Unlock your exclusive discount” can create compelling calls to action.

    8: Preview Text: Your Second Subject Line

    That little snippet of text next to your subject line? It’s a prime piece of real estate. Use it to expand on your subject line, adding context or an extra hook to reel readers in.

    Here’s Some Examples of Our Best-Performing Subject Lines…

    When we look at email open rates, they really swing depending on the industry and target audience. A 20% open rate might be average, but why settle for average? With the right subject lines, you could be looking at 30-60% open rates for engagement emails. Here are some of our top performers:

    • “Have you read these?” – 45%
    • “Just say no” – 46%
    • “What did you think?” – 51%
    • “Do NOT Send An Email Like This” – 52%
    • “It doesn’t make sense -” – 57%
    • “Are you stuck? Try this…” – 60%
    • “I Got Totally Obliterated… But It Was Worth It!” – 49%
    • “Bad words…” – 48%


    Nailing your subject lines is key to nailing email marketing. They’re your first impression, your foot in the door.

    By keeping these tips in mind and continuously refining your tactics based on solid data and feedback, you can significantly boost your open rates, engage more effectively with your customers, and drive serious business results. 

    Remember, though, nailing your subject lines is just part of the game. You’ve also got to keep a solid sender reputation and make sure your email authentication is on point. These steps help make sure your emails not only land right in the inbox but also that they’re trusted by both email providers and your readers. It’s all about making every piece of the puzzle fit perfectly to get the best results from your email campaigns.

    Want to get better results from your email marketing? Book a FREE discovery call today to find out how we can help you… 

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