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Crafting Email Subject Lines That Convert


Generate More Opens and Conversions

You worked hard on that email. You have the message down just the way you want it to sound. Before you send it, you can just slap a subject line up there and move on. After all, it’s just a few words, right? WRONG.


The temptation with email subject lines might be to just put anything up there and move on. But your subject line offers a first impression of your email and your business. It’s what your audience will use to determine whether or not they want to open your email and engage. The average person receives 121 emails a day, and the average open rate is between 20 and 40 percent, according to Campaign Monitor. All that means its more important than ever to stand out from the crowd – especially in the inbox. 

Why the Subject Line Becomes Critical

Email subject lines create a make-or-break point for communication. The goal is to grab the recipient’s attention and have them open the email and act on it. A good email subject line provides a snapshot of the content and allows the recipient to gauge the relevance and urgency for themselves. 


A carefully crafted email subject line will enhance the effort of the entire communication. Let’s take a look at some email statistics from Hubspot you should be aware of: 


  • 64% of recipients decide to open or delete emails based on subject lines. 
  • 33% of recipients choose to open emails because of catchy subject lines. 
  • A/B testing of email subject lines and content can drive ROI up by 28%. 

Here are some best practices for crafting subject lines that will make your audience want to read more. You don’t have to incorporate all of them all the time, but varying it up will help. 

Tips for Improving Your Email Subject Lines

Keep it Short

As more people access their email from mobile devices, brevity is paramount. A subject line between 30 and 50 characters and 4 to 7 words ensures they’re fully displayed on most screens. This way, people aren’t left wondering what your email is about before they open it. 


Be Funny

If you want people to read your email, make them laugh. Give them something unexpected or just out of the ordinary. You don’t have a lot of real estate, but if you can find a way to provide some humor, they’re more likely to stick with you.


Be Clear and Concise

State the purpose of your email. Avoid marketing and industry jargon to avoid confusing people or driving them away. Keep it short and to the point so nobody wonders what the email is about.


Create Urgency

Give your reader a reason to open up that email right away. A limited-time discount or offer can do the trick. You can mention that they must act while supplies last or before your calendar fills up. Convincing people they need to open their email sooner rather than later is a highly effective strategy. Just be careful not to overuse this tactic because if everything is urgent, then nothing is urgent.


spaceman creating funny email subject lines floating through the ether


Evoke Curiosity

Ask intriguing questions, provide teasers, and make people want to know more. It’s important to entice your readers. A word of caution here. That doesn’t mean using click-bait lines. Those tactics get old and can land your emails in the spam folder.


Communicate Value

Make the value of what you are providing clear in the subject line. When your readers know from the beginning that there’s a discount or useful information inside, they’re far more likely to open it.


Test Everything

You can A/B test your subject lines to find the most effective ones. This can be done by sending different versions to smaller segments of your email list. Once you’ve been able to analyze the open rates to determine what resonates, you can send that version to the remainder of your list. This strategy ensures what you’re sending out is optimized for performance.

Take Your Email to the Next Level

It doesn’t matter how efficient the rest of your email marketing operation is; if your subject lines leave more to be desired, it will cost you opens and conversions. Your subject lines are what your audience uses to determine whether they want to engage with you.


If you’re looking to improve your email marketing efforts, it helps to go with a marketing agency you can trust. Blackbird Digital has been helping businesses with their digital marketing for more than 25 years, and we understand what it takes to fully optimize your email marketing. We can help you get more from your email. Call us today at (630) 553-0000!

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