Here's how to write without waiting for subject lines to open and avoid going straight to the trash.

Before it hit the shelves, it was F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby was almost titled The leaping lover.

Doesn't it sound the same?

Writing your email subject line is largely similar to choosing a book title: you have to get it right or it may never open – no matter how amazing the content is.

Actually, 47% of email recipients Admit to opening emails based on the subject line only.

One of the most common questions we hear is, "What do I put in the subject line of an email?" Many people wonder how to write perfect email Subject lines.

While there isn't a single formula you can use to create the best subject lines for email marketing. However, with the following battle-tested guidelines, you will be near perfect. They can help you make your messages more attractive to your subscribers.

Apply them to your email subject lines and you could be the next Fitzgerald in the inbox.

(Are you looking for an email service provider that will get you in the inbox – rather than the spam folder? Get AWeber Free Today! We have 20 years of industry leading deliverability!)

Email subject line best practices

Your subject line can single-handedly create or interrupt your entire email campaign. We've compiled this list of best practices to help you create attention grabbing subject lines for your email marketing campaigns.

Personalize your email subject lines

Here are some of the emails I recently received:

Boring examples of subject lines using personalization

Did any of them make me special? Nothing special.

It worked many years ago when companies started using first name personalization. It caught your attention. But now variations of "hello {! First name_fix}" have become the norm in email marketing, not an outlier. As a result, it has lost its novelty.

However, this is not the type of personalized email subject line I am talking about. To really create a subject line for email that gets attention, you need to make the content unique to that individual subscriber.

You have to go above and beyond to connect with every customer. You can do this by personalizing your message based on its location, past purchasing behavior, and the content they've dealt with. Think about what information you have about your customers. Now use this to create a personalized experience for them.

What if I used the same email subject line examples as above, but personalized them based on my experience with these brands?

Exciting subject line examples with personalization

That made a difference.

What's the best way to do this? Best Practice for Your Next Email Subject Line – Segmentation.

Use of segmentation

At AWeber we recommend Segment your audience and sending each segment customized messages with unique subject lines.

"You can create an open email by targeting someone's interests. People enjoy emails that are relevant to their wants and needs," says Shayla Price, a B2B marketer.

Here are a few ways to do just that:

  • Ask questions on your registration form.
    Then use this information in the subject lines of your email. For example, if you're writing a fashion blog, you can ask your subscriber what their favorite color is when they join your mailing list. Then you can send them emails based on their color choices – like "15 beautiful (color) dresses under $ 50".
  • Send location-based emails.
    Traveling to a conference? Speak at an event? Meet with your subscribers in different cities. "We're in (town) next week! See you there?"
  • Realign subscribers.
    Has a subscriber Add a product to the shopping cart? You could use an email like “Forgot something? Here is a 20% discount coupon! "Or did a subscriber miss an action like registering for your webinar or workshop? Use this information to customize the next message." Just 12 hours to register for (event)! "

Create urgency in your subject line with FOMO

The fear of missing out – or FOMO – is a powerful psychological driver for email opening and engagement. Email subject lines that create a sense of urgency, scarcity, and exclusivity can boast a 22% higher open rate.

This can be achieved by giving your subscribers a deadline to take an action.

Here are some other effective examples of FOMO email subject lines:

Examples of FOMO email subject lines

Avoid spam triggers in your subject line

Email spam filters are triggered by certain words, phrases, and symbols in your subject line and email content. AWeber uses a content filtering tool called SpamAssassin ™ to help you avoid content filtering. This tool is widely used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to filter incoming email.

AWeber Email Spam Score

By clicking this score, you can immediately view the content of your messages that trigger the SpamAssassin ™ rule set.

So what are some words, phrases, and symbols that are red flags for spam filters? There are a lot, but here are a few to give you an example:

  • Excessive punctuation like multiple exclamation marks !!!!!!! or ellipses ………
  • TYPING IN ALL CAPS
  • Symbols like "$$$" and "*****"
  • Phrases like "cheap", "payout", "incredible deal", "satisfaction", "winner"

Even as many as 69% of email recipients Report emails as spam based on subject line only. Make sure that your subject line is not perceived as spam by your subscriber either. This is the case if your subject line is misleading in any way, e.g. E.g. with "RE:" if it is not an actual reply to an e-mail.

Be right in your subject line

Skip the joke, pun, humor, rhymes, or puns in your subject lines.

Instead, stick to simple headings. These "boring" subject lines are very easy to convert. This is because they explain the value in the email. Readers know exactly what to expect from the message and the benefits they will get by opening the message.

Here are some simple examples of email subject lines:

Examples of subject lines for direct email

But there's a catch: your messages must consistently deliver value. If your messages don't reach their promised value, your subscribers will feel cheated. Then good luck that they open your messages.

But if your emails are constantly filled with important, personalized content, your audience will open your emails – regardless of what is in the subject line.

Ask questions to pique curiosity

There's a reason most TV season finals end in cliffhangers: people crave nice and neat endings. So if you don't give it to them, they'll be confused. They need to know what happens next and they will be prepared for the closure for the next season.

Use this desire to your advantage. Fuel your subscribers' opening your emails by making your subject lines curious. You can ask a question:

  • Jo at Copy Hackers: "Are you missing these 3 copying techniques?"
  • Daily dose for men's health: "Does Creatine Boost Your Profits?"

Or promise an answer in your message:

  • Jessica Stansberry: “You should go live ___ times a month! (open to answer) "
  • Sophie Gray: "This is the only reason you should exercise"

Or tease a surprise, a giveaway or a present:

Or let the readers tell you "Huh ?!"

  • Chubbies: "Sincerely, future Dwight"
  • Really good emails: "Emails can be delicious"

Added tips for writing email subject lines

Tip # 1 of the email subject line: character length

How long should your email subject line be?

Nobody can agree.

Litmus recommends around 50 characters. Yes, according to Lifecycle Marketing, emails with a subject line of up to 20 characters have the highest average open rate, clear click-through rate, and click-to-open rate. An analysis by Retention Science found that subject lines with 6 to 10 words had the highest open rates. And Return Path recommends using 61 to 70 characters.

So in reality. . . it depends. (Sorry, I know this is nobody's favorite answer.) Every industry – and every audience – is different.

However, there are a few important points to keep in mind when testing different subject line lengths – regardless of what industry you are in:

The graph with 67% of opened emails is from a mobile device

  • Is your Preheader text cut off? If so, does your subject line still make sense without it?
  • Are there any words that you can cut more precisely or clearly?
  • Is your message clear and direct?

Email subject line tip # 2: use emojis

In a busy inbox, an emoji (or a special character like carat ^, hashtag #, or tilde ~) can stand out. Actually, Emojis can increase your open rates by 29%.

  • AWeber Blog: "Why do you need a hook?"

At AWeber, we occasionally use emojis in our messages to wrap up a punch or shorten a subject line. For example, instead of writing the word lightbulb, we could use a um to keep the entire subject line visible on mobile devices.

Some emojis look very different from Internet service provider (ISP) to the next. So don't forget to check your email with various ISPs like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! to test. Here are 3 ways to test your email before you hit send.

If you decide to use emojis, keep in mind: The use of emoji in marketing messages is increasing. So, there is a chance that your emoji might not get noticed the way you'd like. Our advice: test it out with your readers. See if your readers respond positively to emojis with increased open rates.

What's next?

There isn't a single formula for writing the most successful email subject lines. However, if you combine the above rules and tips on subject lines, you can optimize your open rates over time and come up with a formula that will suit your audience very well.

Do one to find out what types of subject lines your audience likes best A / B split test. Take what works and test again. The type of subject line that works for your audience today might not be as effective in six months. Keep a close eye on your open rates so you can adjust and improve.

Would you like to try a new subject line today? registration to your AWeber account to get started. Don't have an AWeber account yet? Get AWeber Free Today!

I'd love to hear from you, what was one of your best Eblast subject lines that worked?

Contribution by the authors Marijana Kay and Sean Tinney

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