All Articles How to Write The Best Email Subject Lines: Tips and Best Practices

How to Write The Best Email Subject Lines: Tips and Best Practices

Creative brainstorming doodles on a whiteboard to come up with ideas for email subject lines.

It's a common struggle in email marketing: getting your emails noticed. In a crowded inbox, it's all too easy for messages to get lost.

Here’s the thing - your email's first impression counts. A subject line that doesn’t pop means your email might never be opened. It’s not just about writing an email; it’s about making sure it gets the attention it deserves. This can be a real headache, leaving you wondering how to get your readers to open the emails you send.

This is where we step in with some game-changing tips. We're going to show you the ins and outs of crafting email subject lines that grab attention. No more guesswork, just clear, actionable strategies to make your emails stand out. Let's turn those missed opportunities into moments of connection with your audience.

What is the subject in an email?

The subject line in an email is like the headline of a newspaper article. It's the first text your recipient sees and often determines whether they'll open your message.

In the world of email marketing, a good subject line sets the tone and gives a sneak peek into what your email contains. Think of it as a quick pitch to your email list, enticing them to dive into the rest of your message.

Whether you're sending an email as part of a larger email marketing campaign or just reaching out to a segment of your list, the subject line is your first opportunity to catch their attention. It's not just about getting them to open your email; it's about making an impression that aligns with your brand and message.

What is an email preheader?

An email preheader works hand in hand with your subject line.It's the short summary text that follows the subject line when viewing an email in the inbox.

Think of the preheader as your subject line's best friend. Together, they provide a powerful one-two punch. A well-crafted preheader complements the subject line, offering extra insight into what your email contains. This is useful when you need to add context or a call-to-action that couldn't fit in the subject line.

An email preheader is another tool to increase open rates. It gives recipients another reason to open your message and can be the deciding factor in a crowded inbox.

Why good subject lines are so important

In email marketing, the subject line isn't just the start of your message; it's a gateway. A well-crafted subject line entices people to open your email and sets the stage for the valuable content inside. It sparks interest and draws email recipients into your message, much like an eye-catching headline on a billboard compels you to read further.

Consider the power of a great subject line in a sales email. It can turn a standard pitch into an irresistible offer. Welcome and follow-up email subject lines are more than just formalities. They initiate a conversation with new subscribers or customers, opening doors to ongoing engagement and building lasting connections.

Email subject line highlighting 'Your Exclusive Invitation: Unlock Premium Insights Inside!' to showcase effective subject line crafting.

Following best practices for email subject lines ensures your email doesn't just avoid the spam folder but commands attention in the main inbox. It's about crafting subject lines that resonate, whether it's a question that sparks curiosity or an emoji that adds a personal touch. Keep your subject lines short and sweet, yet full of promise and relevance.

And don't forget, testing your subject lines is key. With every email marketing campaign, take the opportunity to test a mix of subject lines and monitor which ones drive the best email open rate. From catchy email subject lines that grab attention to personalized subject lines that speak directly to your audience, each type plays a role in making sure your emails get opened.

So when you're writing your next email subject line, think about what will inspire your email recipients to read on. Whether it's a compelling offer, a warm welcome, or a timely reminder, your subject line can make all the difference in the success of your campaign.

The Art of Writing Great Email Subject Lines

Mastering email subject lines is a blend of creativity and strategy. It's about crafting that perfect phrase that helps your email stand out in a crowded inbox.

Strong subject lines are the bridge between your email content and your audience, guiding them to open your email and engage with your message. This is essential for turning the simple act of sending an email into an art form. Let's dive into what makes a subject line not just good, but great. Crumpled paper balls and a bright lightbulb drawing, depicting the evolution of a creative idea.

Understanding What Makes a Subject Line Great

To create subject lines that lines that grab your audience’s attention, try combining these key elements:

  • Relevance: Tailor your subject line to resonate with your audience’s interests and needs. It should directly relate to the content of your email, creating a connection with the reader.
  • Clarity: Keep your subject lines clear and to the point. A straightforward subject line ensures your message is understood at a glance.
  • Creativity: Stand out with unique and creative subject lines. This can be a playful use of words, a clever pun, or an intriguing question that piques curiosity.
  • Timeliness: Timely subject lines related to current events or seasons can boost open rates. They tap into what’s on top of your audience's mind.
  • Emotional Appeal: Use emotional triggers to create a connection. Whether it’s excitement, humor, or urgency.
  • Value Proposition: Clearly state what benefit the reader will gain from opening your email. A strong value proposition encourages engagement.
  • Question or Prompt: Pose a question or a prompt that invites curiosity or encourages interaction. It can be a powerful way to engage readers right from the start.
  • Brand Consistency: Ensure your subject line reflects your brand's voice and tone. Consistency helps in building recognition and trust with your audience.
  • Uniqueness: Take a unique approach, and avoid cliches and common phrases to capture attention.
  • Optimization for Devices: Remember, many readers will view your email on mobile devices. Make sure your subject lines are concise and effective on smaller screens.
  • Contextual Use of Emojis: Emojis can add personality and emotion to your subject line, but use them contextually. They should complement, not clutter, your message.
  • Personal Story: Sometimes, a personal touch or story can make a subject line more engaging. This approach can humanize your brand and create a deeper connection with your audience.

Email Subject Line Best Practices

Creating an impactful email subject line is an art that combines creativity with proven tactics. By following these best practices, you can craft subject lines that not only capture attention but also enhance the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

  • Keep It Short: Concise subject lines are easier to read, especially on mobile devices. Aim for brevity to catch the reader's eye quickly.
  • Personalize When Possible: Tailor your subject lines to the recipient. Using their name or referencing their interests can increase open rates.
  • Urgency: Create a sense of urgency to prompt immediate action. Phrases like "limited time offer" can encourage quicker opens.
  • Be Clear and Direct: Avoid vague statements. Clearly state what the email is about to set accurate expectations.
  • Use Action-Oriented Verbs: Starting with a verb can improve your subject lines boost engagement.
  • Test and Optimize with A/B Testing: Regularly test different subject lines to see what resonates best with your audience and adjust accordingly.
  • Avoid Spammy Words: Steer clear of words that trigger spam filters and could land your email in the junk folder. Red 'Spam Filter' shield icon on a keyboard button, symbolizing email spam prevention
  • Use Numbers and Lists: These can make your subject line stand out and promise quick, digestible content.
  • Leverage Curiosity and Intrigue: Pique interest by creating a sense of mystery or intrigue that encourages the recipient to find out more.
  • Segment Your Audience: Tailor subject lines to different segments of your email list for more personalized and effective messaging.
  • Match Your Brand Voice: Ensure your subject lines reflect the tone and style of your brand for consistency and recognition.
  • Effective Preheader Text: Use the preheader text to complement and expand on your subject line, giving readers more reasons to open the email.

Crafting Catchy Email Subject Lines

Creating subject lines that work is a mix of art and science, especially for solo entrepreneurs and small business owners who need to make every communication count.

 Effective Subject Line Examples

  1. "Last Chance: 50% Off Sale Ends Tonight!" - Creates urgency and highlights a compelling offer.
  2. "Your Personalized Marketing Plan is Ready" - Personalization and value in one line.
  3. "5 Strategies to Double Your Online Sales" - Offers specific, actionable advice for small businesses.
  4. "Meet Your Business Goals with These Tips" - Direct and promises benefit for business growth.
  5. "Is Your SEO Strategy Outdated? Find Out Here" - Asks a question that taps into common concerns.
  6. "Thank You for Joining Us! Here’s a Gift" - A welcome email subject that also offers a reward.
  7. "Exclusive Event Invitation for [Recipient's Name]" - Personalizes and makes the recipient feel special.

These compelling email subject lines examples are crafted to grab attention, offer value, and resonate with the specific needs and interests of solo entrepreneurs and small business owners. Each line is designed to encourage opens and engage with the content, boosting the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns.

Tips for Writing Email Subject Lines That Engage

Writing email subject lines that truly engage is like creating a key that unlocks your audience’s interest. Here’s how to make your subject lines work wonders for your email campaign:

  1. Keep it Varied: Mix up the type of subject lines you use. Alternate between questions, offers, and news to keep things fresh and engaging.
  2. Personalization: Personalize your subject lines. Use the recipient's name or reference their recent interaction with your brand for a more personalized touch.
  3. Be Clear and Concise: An effective email subject line is often short and to the point. It should communicate the message clearly without any confusion.
  4. Craft for Engagement: Write good email subject lines that prompt a reaction. Ask a question, make a bold statement, or offer something attractive.
  5. Use Emojis Wisely: Emojis in subject lines can add personality and emotion, but use them carefully and in the right context to enhance your message. Brightly grinning emoji with thumbs up, a reminder to use emojis sparingly to avoid overwhelming email recipients.
  6. Test and Learn: Always test different subject lines. See which ones resonate best with your audience and learn from the data.
  7. Segment Your Audience: Tailor your subject lines to different audience segments. What works for one group may not work for another.
  8. Preheaders are Key: Combine your subject line with an engaging preheader for a one-two punch that encourages opens.
  9. Avoid Spam Triggers: Don't use language that might flag your email as spam. Avoid words that are salesy or gimmicky.
  10. Match the Content: Make sure your subject line accurately reflects the body of the email. Dishonest subject lines can damage trust.
  11. Stay True to Your Brand: Your subject line should reflect your brand’s voice. Whether it’s professional, playful, or somewhere in between, consistency is key.

By following these tips, you'll create subject lines that not only capture attention but also influence your email subscribers to eagerly open and read your emails.

Testing and Refining Your Subject Lines

Fine-tuning your email subject lines is an ongoing process, essential for boosting the overall performance of your email campaigns.

How to Test Your Subject Lines

  • A/B Testing: One of the best ways to improve your subject lines is through A/B testing. Create two versions of your subject line and send them to a small segment of your email list. Analyze which version has a higher open rate to see which is the more effective approach. Remember to change only one element at a time for accurate results. Two smartphones side by side labeled A and B for A/B testing, symbolizing comparison of email campaign versions.
  • Use Subject Line Testing Tools: There are various tools available that can predict how well a subject line will perform. These tools often use algorithms based on data from millions of emails to give you an insight into how your subject line might fare.
  • Test Different Variations: Experiment with different types of subject lines. Test variations that use emojis, questions, direct calls to action, or curiosity to see what works best with your audience. Remember, the goal is to find the perfect balance that boosts open rates while staying true to your brand voice.
  • Test the Email Subject Line and Preheader Together: When testing, consider how your subject line pairs with the preheader text. Together, they should provide a strong and clear reason for recipients to open the email.

Special Cases in Email Subject Lines

In email marketing, certain subject lines, like those for Welcome, Thank You, Holiday, and Event emails, play a unique role in engaging your audience.

Crafting Welcome and Thank You Email Subject Lines

Welcome and Thank You emails are often the first and most personal touchpoints with your audience. These emails set the tone for your relationship with new subscribers or acknowledge the actions of existing customers. Here’s are some tips and examples of strong subject lines: 

Welcome Email Subject Lines

  • Use Personalization: Include the subscriber's name to make the email more engaging. For example, "Welcome [Name]! Your success story begins here"
  • Convey Relevance: Offer information that is relevant to the recipient and give them a hint of what's inside the email

Thank You Email Subject Lines

  • Show Gratitude: Thank your subscribers and remind them that their time, attention, and loyalty are important to a business. For example, "A big thank you from our team"
  • Personalize the subject line : Use the subscriber's name to show appreciation. For instance, "Hey, [Name], Thanks for being awesome!"

By following these best practices, your thank you and welcome subject lines will be more likely to engage your and encourage your audience.

Holiday and Event Email Subject Lines

Writing subject lines for holiday and event emails needs a special touch. These occasions are a chance to connect with your audience in a more festive and engaging way. Here's how to make the most of these special emails:

  1. Embrace the Season's Spirit: Holiday email subject lines should capture the nature of the occasion. Whether it’s Christmas cheer or New Year excitement, your subject line should reflect the festive mood.

  2. Create a Sense of Urgency: Urgency works really well during the holiday season. Phrases like "Last Chance for Holiday Deals!" can motivate your audience to act quickly.

  3. Personalization Works Wonders: Include your subscribers' names in your subject lines to connect more with your audience. A touch of personalization can turn a standard greeting into a warm, individualized message.

  4. Add Excitement and Exclusivity: Build excitement with subject lines that create a sense of exclusivity or special access. For instance, "Exclusive VIP Access Just for You!" can make recipients feel uniquely valued.

  5. Showcase Your Creativity: Holidays and events allow you to get creative with your subject lines. This is the time to think outside the box and craft engaging subject lines that stand out.

  6. Use Emojis Effectively: Emojis can add a festive touch to your subject lines. Choose emojis that are relevant to the holiday or event to boost the visual appeal of your email.


In this article, we've unlocked the secrets to making your emails irresistible. From crafting clear, creative subject lines to A/B testing for the best results, every tip is aimed at boosting your email open rates.

We've also explored special cases like holiday and event emails, emphasizing the power of timely, personalized messages. Remember, a great subject line is your email's first impression – make it captivating and true to your brand.