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How to Create Irresistible Email Subject Lines

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How to Create Irresistible Email Subject Lines

A great subject line can be the difference between an email that gets opened immediately and an email that sits in an inbox indefinitely. There are some definite do’s and don’ts for crafting subject line that will yield high a high open rate. In this blog post, we’ll list some essential tips to creating irresistible subject lines.

Keep It Short

When an inbox is viewed from a desktop, only 60 characters from an email’s subject line will be shown, and when it’s viewed from a mobile device about 30 characters are shown. Email subject lines will cut off if they’re too long. Keep in mind that your subscribers likely scan their inboxes for subjects that catch their eye, so it’s important that the subject lines can be fully understood. Keep your subject lines short and straightforward, and avoid using too many filler words.

Tell the Subscriber What’s Inside

Clear subject lines will almost always outperform vague ones. For example, if you’re giving away a free ebook guide in exchange for a site visitor’s email address, the first email that visitor receives shouldn’t look like this:

Thanks for signing up

But more like this:

Your new ebook awaits…

The first subject line is vague, and if the subscriber doesn’t recognize the “from” name, that email may never get opened. The second example, however, tells exactly what’s in the email, as it references the reason why the visitor subscribed to your email list (to receive the ebook).

It’s often best to use concise language that clearly articulates what’s inside the email. Complex, flowery language has no place in an email subject line. Short, easy-to-understand words are the most effective.

Add a Sense of Urgency

Used sparingly, urgent subject lines can have a great effect on your open rates. Urgency will compel your subscriber to believe they need to open your email.

Urgency, in the context of marketing, is dictated by time. Phrases like “time is running out” or “only a few hours left” convey that the email is urgent, and if the subscriber doesn’t open the email, they will be missing out on something important. Urgency compels action, which is why it can be so powerful for boosting email open rates.

Personalize the Title

Many of your subscribers have inboxes that are overloaded with generic, borderline spammy emails, and in this type of marketing environment, it can be hard to stand out. A personalization token (e.g. a person’s first name) in the email subject line can make your email seem as if it was sent from a familiar friend.

For example, here’s are some personalized subject lines:

Brian, There’s Only 5 Hours Left to Sign Up…

Jennifer, Your ebook Awaits

To personalize an email, you don’t always need to use a name token. A simple “you” or “your” can often suffice.


Crafting a good subject line is the first step to increasing your email open rates. When writing a subject line, look at it from the perspective of a subscriber. Would the subject lines compel you to open the email? If not, follow the tips listed in this blog post to take your subject lines to the next level.