How to write a subject line that works like a magnet

    by Svetlana Zemliankina

    If email marketing is a large part of promoting your products and services, you should know that the average Internet user receives more than 70 letters daily. That is the figure Radicati Group provides us. In order for your email to be opened, you have to think carefully about the subject line, as this is the first thing that the subscriber sees when opening your mail. We are going to tell you how to write a subject line that works like a magnet for the reader's eye and can hardly be ignored.

    The subject line is the key to success

    Let's look at the so-called "sales funnel". The topmost element is the "subject line". This means that it includes most of the opportunities to attract the consumer's attention. And the more it engages recipients, the higher the rates of discovery, click-through, sales, etc., will be.

    sales funnel

    There are a number of ways to increase the attractiveness of the subject line.


    When you start to write a subject line for your email, the first thing to always keep in mind is personalization. When it comes to the subject line, "personalization" means the usage of the subscriber’s first name. No matter how much this technique has been written about, it is still quite effective.

    Before contacting the person by his name, always make sure that the name is correct. Work on your basis of recipients, and edit the spelling of names. For example:

    john – A subject line that starts with “Hello, john” will not look good...

    pookie –  “Hello, pookie,” looks even more mocking.

    Copywriter Dmitrii Kot offers a bit of a different take. He writes:

    “It is believed that the recipient's name in the subject line improves openability.There are research data, numbers, and statistics. Marketers at conducted a study and found that the name of the recipient in the subject line does not result in a significant increase of the letter’s openability. Why? I think this is due to the fact that this tactic is quite hackneyed.”

    I can say with confidence that only testing can determine the effectiveness of personalization. Test your emails (you can try out the split-testing feature of our bulk email service). Compare subject line variants and subscriber reactions!

    Call to action

    call-to-actionCall to action is one factor that we often forget about. You cannot allow this to happen, as a short, clear, and understandable call to action is a great way to attract the customer's attention and increase a letter’s openability.

    «Learn more about…» «Please fill out…» «Come to us…»

    As with any other method, you should be extremely careful with calls to action. By constantly urging your subscribers to take action, you might tire them, and they just won’t respond to a letter.


    You can write a subject link in the form of question - sometimes it works much better! Consider the interests of your audience, and your content. Depending on the content of your mailings, the question should entirely answer the main idea of your email message. By asking a question, you motivate your customers and make them respond subconsciously.

    “What is the trip of your dreams?”

    “Did you love being a child jumping in puddles, trying to cool off?”

    I read the last question in an email from one company that is engaged in pool installation and maintenance. Remembering childhood and puddles, we will open the letter and look for something interesting in a letter with such an unusual subject line.

    Incomplete information

    Create some intrigue in the subject line—engage your readers! You can create intrigue with the three points at the end. Your thought is supposedly unfinished, so that everyone wants to read to the end. On the other hand, your client is unlikely to guess what will be discussed.

    “Do you know what your neighbors do already…”

    “Have you heard that recently…”

    "Brevity is the soul of wit"

    Let’s look at the chart:


    Here, you can see the percentage of letter-opens correlated to the number of characters in the subject line. A company named MailerMailer provides this data. According to their research, the highest openability occurs among letters with a subject line of 4-15 characters.

    Try to come up with several variants for the subject line, and use synonyms. It is difficult to determine the most successful option yourself, so ask friends and relatives or run a split test.

    "How to send a newsletter"

    "How to create an email"

    "How to quickly send a newsletter"

    "What is the easiest way to send a newsletter?"

    "How to quickly and easily send a newsletter"

    The essence of all these options is the same—they simply include different combinations of words.

    The Perfect Mix

    When writing a subject line, the most effective method is to combine all of these tactics. For example, refer to the customer by name and call him to action: "Andrew, get a free…" Or first use the question, and then call to action: "Want to reduce the cost of…? Find out how!"

    Let's Sum It Up!

    In the sales funnel, the subject line takes first place. It sells the main content of the email, and the email in its turn sells CTR, and CTR leads to a sale (or some other goal you set for yourself at the beginning of the email).

    The whole principle is uncomplicated. I heartily hope that this article will assist you in writing a really first-class email! Of course, there is a good chance that you are a seasoned email marketer yourself so you probably know how to write a subject line that works best for you personally. Leave your ideas in the comments section - we’ll discuss them together with great pleasure.

    Written by:
    Svetlana Zemliankina
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