Email Subject Line- Art or Science?

Email is a great way to get your product out there, but you have to remember that your email is going to be competing with hundreds of other emails sitting in the recipients’ inbox.

email symbol on row of colourful envelopes

Photo: RaHuL Rodriguez/ flickr


The subject line is the first thing people see, and is the one chance you have to catch – here are seven things about the subject line you should know.

  1. Avoid being sent to spam

Words like ‘free’, ‘cheap’ and ‘save’, to name a few, are notorious for setting off spam filters. It doesn’t matter how great the body of your email is if it ends up in the dreaded spam folder.

  1. Don’t make it too long

The general guideline for subject lines is no more than 50 characters. Make sure your subject line is clear, concise and most importantly, makes sense.

  1. Reflect the content of the email

Your subject line needs to tell the reader what your email is about. If you regularly send out emails, make sure the subject tells the recipient why this email is different from the emails you have sent before.

  1. Personalise the subject line

Including people’s names or their company in the subject line is more likely to get a response. Likewise, making your subject line location specific shows the recipient that the content will be relevant to them. If you know someone is living in Sydney, make the subject line specific to that city.

  1. Grab the recipients’ attention

Asking a question is a great way to get the reader to thinking and spark their curiosity to want to learn more. Remember it’s not only 20-something year old social-media-addicts who suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), companies do too. The subject line ‘What is your company missing out on?’ is going to be more effecting than ‘Things all companies need’.

  1. Be calm

Another thing to remember is that although capital letters may catch peoples’ attention, it’s not for the right reason. More often than not subject lines with all caps sound obnoxious and reek of spam.

  1. Brighten someone’s day

No one likes sorting through hundreds of emails, and if your subject line can make someone giggle you’re off to a great start. If you need inspiration Vertical Response has put together a list of subject lines that hit the mark.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *