How To Write Compelling Email Subject Lines That Get Opened

The most important part of any email that you are going to send is your subject line.

That’s because if your subject line fails to pique your subscribers’ interest, the body of your email is unlikely to be opened, let alone read or clicked on, and this is not the mark of a successful email marketing campaign, is it?!?

That’s why you’ll want to spend some time developing interesting subject lines that will entice your audience to open your email.

Here’s how to go about it…

Identify The Advantages Of Your Particular Email

In your subject line, you need to pique the readers curiosity. To put it another way, what is the single most important benefit that the recipient will receive if he receives your email? That is what should be in the subject line.

For example, is the reader going to be learning a simpler and quicker way to do something? Will they be given a free tool? Will customers receive a special bonus or perhaps a discount if they purchase a paid offer?

Use a subject line that isn’t clickbait in any way. The topic must be both incredibly appealing and completely related to the email’s content.

Make A List Of Enticing Subject Lines

Now that you know what your major benefit is, come up with as many possible subject lines as you can that include this benefit.

You might want to include some sort of social proof within your subject lines in addition to highlighting any advantages.

Finally, just like with landing-page headers, you can leverage your email headline to pique people’s interest and increase open rates.

For example, you can reveal an unexpected benefit in the subject line, or simply use phrases like “hidden” “secret” or “discover” to pique interest.

In some circumstances, a simple question may pique people’s interest enough to prompt them to click, for example: “Can you housetrain a mature rescue dog in only 48 hours?”.

The question is compelling because many people believe housetraining a more mature rescue dog would be extremely difficult, yet this email subject line claims it could be accomplished in as short as 48 hours. People will be intrigued enough that they will be inclined to click.

To get started, you can use the following templates:

  • The quickest and most convenient way to [get a benefit]. For example, The Fast and Easy Method to Lose 10 Pounds.
  • Do you make these [kind of] errors? Are you committing these pricey home-buying blunders, for example?
  • Is there anyone else interested in [a benefit]? Who else would like a free cat trick-training video, for example?
  • The most effective approach to [achieve a benefit]. E.G., The most effective method for getting into medical school (it’s not what you may be thinking).
  • [Obtain a benefit] [without having a specific item or doing a difficult task]? E.G., Is it possible to get a $100,000 job without having a college diploma?
  • Take advantage of this [limited] time flash sale to save [amount or percent]! For example, during this 24-hour flash sale, you can save 50%!

Create A Compelling Subject Headline

Now that you’ve devised a rough draught of your subject headline, you should perform the following so that you can refine and improve it:

Keep It Brief

Long email subject headlines are usually truncated by the majority of email clients. While the number of characters varies, it is usually between 60 – 65. As a result, create brief subject lines that attract attention in a few words.

Consider Making It Your Own

Most email applications allow you to personalise your emails by inserting the recipient’s first name in the subject line. While you don’t want to overdo it, mentioning the recipient’s forename every now and then might have a major influence.

For example:

  • John, do you think you’re at risk of having a severe heart attack?
  • Suzy, here is a dog-training suggestion for you.
  • With this unique deal, Jane, you may save 25%…

Write A Congruent Preview

Most email programmes allow receivers to preview the first few lines of an email without having to open it. As a result, make sure the first couple of lines of your paragraph work hard to grab the reader’s attention, and keep it!

For example, you may start your email with a tale, making sure to select language that will pique the interest of any recipient who is still reading the sample.

E.G., “When I first looked inside my PayPal account, I couldn’t believe what I saw…”

Make Use Of A Swipe File

Having a swipe file of effective subject lines that have piqued your curiosity from other people is a good idea. Then you will be able to search through your files for ideas.

For example, in your email, you might see a topic like this: Who else wants to get abs that are tighter in just a few minutes per day?

This is the basic concept for that topic line: Who else [wishes for a specific result] in a [relatively short timespan]?

You can use it as a starting point for your own topic:

Who else wants to quadruple their conversions in 10 minutes?

  1. Start by subscribing to a few good newsletters both within and beyond your niche to build your swipe file. You could even create a separate email address to receive these messages. Then you can create a folder in which you can save the strongest subject lines that grabbed your interest.
  2. Sales letter headlines can be examined as well, as they follow the same general formula as your email subject lines. The biggest distinction is that sales letter headlines are usually longer, so you’ll have to concentrate on shorter ones.
  3. Finally, you can check out swipe files that other individuals have amassed (whether free or paid). For example, you can look up “email subject line swipe files” on Google.

And finally…

Test Everything

To increase your open rates, you should always be testing your subject lines. You can test personalisation (with or without), open rates (with or without icons), punctuation (e.g., with question mark, without question mark, no punctuation at all), and, of course, different subject lines.


You’ve just learned how to write great email subject headlines that grab people’s attention and get them to read your messages. Make a commitment to test and track all of your subject lines in order to figure out which ones get the best reaction.

As you can see, having good subject lines are in integral part of your overall email marketing strategy, so use them wisely.

If you want to know more about building and nurturing your email list, check out the featured resource below where you can get a free report about simple list building to expand your knowledge further. If you do download it, please read it and take action and good luck 😊

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