Effective subject lines are key to any email marketing efforts. They are the first line of defense that will determine if your email will see the light of day and ultimately convert.  

Deciding what subject line is going to be the perfect mix of informative and enticing can be quite the challenge, luckily there are a few tricks and best practices to set your emails apart from the pack. 

So, what factors make an effective subject line? 

  1. Brevity 

Keeping your subject lines short and to the point is essential. A long subject line runs the risk of being cut-off in your recipients’ inbox. Also, a concise subject line will help tell your audience exactly what the email is about and better hold their attention.  

      2. Statistics and numbers 

Whenever possible, it is a great idea to use some sort of statistic or number in your subject line. This clearly shows the audience what they will be getting, and makes the value more tangible. Plus, this can be a great way to back yourself up with hard facts.  

      3. Urgency  

Conveying a sense of urgency in your subject line can work in your benefit. Using terms like “now” and “today” can help convince a reader they need to open your email sooner rather than later, especially if they would like to take the action you are promoting.  

     4. Personalization 

Pulling information about the receiver into the subject line can be an excellent tactic. Using their first name, company, or title makes the message feel personal and like your email was written for them. Helping readers feel special makes them more inclined to open your email.  

      5. Segmentation

In the same vein as personalization comes segmentation. Instead of a reader’s personal information, you can use their industry or speak to their companies’ size or function. These also help to make a recipient feel like a piece was written for them, and at the same time show that your email is relevant to the reader.  

      6. Use action words 

One great practice for subject lines is to use actionable words. This is a way to avoid passive language, so that you really engage your audience and get them to convert in whatever way it may be, once they open it. Action is a great way to pull the audience in.   

      7. Ask a question 

Finally, when writing an engaging subject line, a great tactic to use is to ask your audience a question. Posing a question forces the audience to engage before they even touch the email. They will first answer the question in their head, and if this answer appeals to them, they will dive into the rest of the email.  


All of these are great tactics that can be used when writing emails. For even more check out this article by Hubspot.  


Some best practices to get you on your way 

Now that you have some different ways to write effective subject lines, there are a few things best practices that will ensure you are having maximum success.  

  1. Write multiple versions, and pick your favorite 

      2. Keep it under 50 characters, I’ve personally always been told 7 words is the max 

      3. If possible, A/B test your subject lines, and let the audience choose their favorite 


There are a lot of different approaches you can take when writing subject lines, whether you choose to be simple and no nonsense or quirky and fun. Learn about potential styles and approaches in this article. If you need help developing your style and brainstorming, we would be happy to help here at Content Matterz.