According to, the average office worker receives more than 120 emails every day. So, if you want your marketing messages to be opened, your subject lines must be eye-catching and persuasive. However, you will need to avoid using the same tactics as the spammers to avoid spam filters. So how do you craft email subject lines that will encourage subscribers to open your messages? Here are 10 tips for creating subject lines that will increase conversions.

1 – Keep Subject Lines Short

When faced with 100 or more emails, people will invariably scan their inbox for interesting or urgent mail. The most compelling subject lines will be short, punchy, and to the point. When sending marketing emails it is recommended that subject lines are no more than 60 characters or nine words long. Much more than that, and you risk people skipping right over your marketing emails.

2 – Personalize

People appreciate the human touch, and personalization begins with the subject line. Using the subscriber’s name in a marketing email will increase opening rates. You can further personalize emails by including the name of the sender. Alternatively, geographical locations can also add a personal touch. For example, making an offer exclusive to the town, city, or county where your subscriber lives.

3 – Make Use of the Preview

Most email software displays a short preview of the content alongside the subject line. This preview or pre-header is valuable real estate you can use to expand on your subject line. Consequently, avoid using the first line of an email to repeat what is in the subject. Instead, use that pre-header to add weight to the subject line’s message.

4 – Avoid Overusing Punctuation and Special Characters

Using too many exclamation marks or other special characters makes emails look like spam. Instead, use persuasive language but in a business-like manner. If your messages are mistaken for spam, they will be skipped over or sent straight to the spam folder.

5 – Use Numbers

Numbers are more potent than words, and they don’t take up as much space. Research has shown that emails with a number in the subject line achieve higher open rates. Numbers get people’s attention and tell a better story. For example, “save money” is nowhere near as persuasive as “save $100” or “save 50%.”

6 – Create a Sense of Urgency

Catching a subscriber’s eye is only one part of the equation. You must also craft email subject lines that make a person want to read more. One of the best ways to increase open rates is to create a sense of urgency that plays to people’s fear of missing out. For example, explain that a unique offer is time-limited in the subject line. Or you could send a series of emails counting down the days left on an offer. It will also help if you state that the deal is exclusive to subscribers.

7 – Spark Curiosity

More of your marketing emails will get opened if you leave something to be discovered in the body of the message. For example, “your unique offer is here” will have the recipient wondering what offer they have just received. However, be sure to stay on brand when using tactics like this. You don’t want your emails to look spammy or alienate your subscribers.

8 – Make Recipients Feel Special

People respond better to emails that suggest they have been singled out for special treatment. Including terms such as “valued customer”, “exclusively for you” and “private invitation” can increase open rates and subsequent conversions. Using such phrases prevents marketing emails from being impersonal and appearing like nothing more than bulk mailings that contain nothing of importance.

9 – Ensure that You Always Keep Your Promises

You will only get away with using clickbait subject lines once. If the body of a marketing email does not live up to the promises made in the subject line, your subscribers may never trust you again. So, always ensure that you deliver on the promises made in the subject line. The above and other tips for optimizing subject lines will work. Still, they should only be used when appropriate and genuine.

10 – Test Subject Lines

Finally, every audience is different. Marketing emails must be tailored to the target audience. Consider your typical subscriber when crafting subject lines, and test the lines on a subset of your audience. The only way to be sure you are hitting the right note is to conduct A/B testing with various approaches.


The importance of the subject line of marketing emails cannot be overstated. Without compelling subject lines, emails will be ignored, and conversions will be low. If your conversion rates are disappointing, try the above suggestions on a small sample of your subscribers and monitor the results. A few tweaks to the wording subject lines could make all the difference.

To get started with your email marketing please visit solent newsletters.