The Ultimate Subject Line Guide. Part 3 – Subject Line Writing Tips.

Did you know 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line whereas  69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Emails with no subject all together have an open rate of 8% more than those with a subject line, whereas e-mails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

Last time we discussed Specifics vs. Teasers, Workflow and Broadcast Messages. This time we will review Subject Line Writing Tips.


Everyone has seen dull “your order has shipped” messages. Use email to go beyond logistics and include your product name and some personality! Use what you know about the customer for your next confirmation message to catch their eye and reinforce your relationship.



What’s the first thing you think when you see a subject line with all caps? SPAM! AND SHOUTING! But our research says that savvy use of capitals can improve open rate if you use them to emphasize the customer. For example, notice the difference between “SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING WORKSHOP — YOU’RE INVITED!” and “Social Media Marketing Workshop — YOU’RE Invited!” One sounds like spam, the other emphasizes the invitation’s exclusivity. So evoke EXCITEMENT! “Shouting” in caps is okay when you’re CELEBRATING!



It’s not just Millennials who like to feel special! Everyone wants to be unique, not just be a number in a spreadsheet. Use this to your advantage when writing subject lines, such as offering them a treat on their birthday!



Similar to capital letters, using exclamation points can either make a terrific impact or land you in the junk folder. Between 2016 and 2017, we found that 46% of our most opened and clicked subject lines used one exclamation point. Warning: Using several exclamation points is likely to make you appear as spam by Inbox Service Providers.



Ellipses are a great way to make your customers anticipate what’s in your email. Something such as “You Won’t Believe What We Found…” captures people’s curiosity and makes them feel like they’re missing out if they don’t take a peek. If using all caps is considered “SHOUTING,” then the ellipse is a whisper and a wink. Those little dots convey an air of mystery… perhaps a secret deal only meant for your special group…



We all love money! Making it, saving it, giving it, investing it — putting a dollar sign in your subject line captures attention. Notice the difference between: “Check Out Our Latest Discounts on Furniture” and “Furniture Discounts – $200 Off Select Styles.” Choose a number that sounds bigger. For example, “$2 off” is pretty insignificant on its own, but if it’s out of $10, then why not use “20% off” instead?



Listen up event/vacation companies! We’ve seen subject lines such as “Trip Itinerary” or “Upcoming Event Details.” Why not spice it up some? If you’re delivering information about a customer’s cool event, make sure your subject line is as enthusiastic as they are and specifically states their destination! For example, “Your Upcoming Aruba Dream Vacation.” Also consider a solid call-to-action (CTA) to encourage website traffic, such as the one below that reminds the recipient to check out their Vegas line-up.



Everyone hates the fear of missing out on the latest trend or news. If you are an author or thought leader, you probably have insights that no one else has. Use that credibility to deliver advice to your audience that they couldn’t get anywhere else. Moreover, if you carry exclusive products or have a big brand name you’re allowed to drop, make sure customers know that.



If your shopping cart data is telling you that a customer has browsed your current sale selection but did not yet make a purchase — retarget them with a cart recovery message when you add new items. Mention the update in your subject line; this gives them a reason to take a second look. This tactic also gives you better insight on your buyer’s preferences and helps with segmentation strategy.


Next time we will discuss Holiday Promotions Subject Line Tips.

The MaCorr Team;

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