When someone knocks on your door unexpectedly, you probably won't just open it. You'll look through the peephole first.
If your visitor is holding a UPS package, wearing a Cub Scout uniform or otherwise seems legit, you'll probably open the door. If they look sketchy or like they are soliciting despite the "no soliciting" sign in your front yard, you probably won't.
And so it is with email subject lines. If your subject line seems intriguing, relevant and legitimate, the recipient will open your email. If it's boring, random or sketchy, they won't.
And because an email marketing strategy can only be successful if people actually open your email, you could argue that a strong subject line is the key to an email campaign's success.
The subject of an email is the single line of text representing your email that your recipient sees when they receive your email. Most people spend only a fraction of a second reviewing email subject lines to filter out irrelevant messages. They will go on to the next message if the subject line doesn't immediately grab their attention.
When viewing an email in your inbox, the email preheader is the summary text that appears after the subject line. People often use it as a one-sentence overview of the email's main point.
Think of the subject line and preheader as similar in function to an article's headline and subheadline. You must use these tools to entice the reader to click and start reading, or your links and other content will head to the trash. It's best to balance being informative and engaging when crafting a subject line for an email.
The strongest subject lines are usually personal or descriptive. They give readers a reason to click through to your piece of content. Whatever approach you take, it's critical to keep your audience in mind. Test various terms and phrases to see which ones they favor.
Your best email subject line ideas should include the following elements:
Cutting through the email clutter and attracting clicks is difficult. But you can become the inbox hero if you follow these guidelines.
The ideal introductory email is short and direct. Examples include:
The best sales email subject lines capture the reader's imagination and lead into your value proposition without being heavy-handed. Examples include:
When writing a sales follow-up, make sure the subject line grabs your recipient's attention with a personal touch. Examples include:
A well-crafted, well-timed reminder email can earn clicks you would otherwise miss.
Thank you emails are a terrific approach to establish brand loyalty and keep customers coming back to your site. Examples include:
Many email marketers write the subject line of their emails last, as if they are an afterthought. A better way to prioritize your subject lines is to write them first. Writing a strong subject line can carry over into your copywriting of the email's body—ensuring your email content is focused, on point, and earning clicks to your website.
Ready to get started? Here are 10 of our favorite subject line examples to inspire you.