Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage with your customers.

However, the sheer amount of emails flooding people’s inboxes makes it hard to stand out. The subject line is your email’s first impression, so if it’s not enticing, readers won’t feel compelled to open it.

In this blog post, we discuss five ways to craft better subject lines for your email marketing that will make your messages stand out. Consider using one strategy or a combination of a few to determine what works best for your unique audience.

1. Keep It Short and Sweet

Studies show that emails with shorter subject lines have higher open rates. Subject lines should be at or under 50 characters, so they don’t get cut off or appear too cluttered in someone’s inbox. Long subject lines are often cut off on mobile devices, and they can be confusing. Keep the subject line clear and to the point. Make it easier for your subscribers to understand what your email is about, and how it benefits them. Choose words that convey the main message of your email.

Vague subject lines aren’t as compelling as clear and concise ones. Be specific about what your email is about, and don’t be afraid to use the subject line to highlight the most important information. Avoid clickbait tactics that can make readers feel misled or annoyed.

2. Create a Sense of Urgency

Urgency is a powerful motivator that can be used to encourage subscribers to take action. By emphasizing that readers must take action soon, emails can create excitement and build anticipation. Use phrases that create a sense of urgency such as “last chance.” This method will create a fear of missing out (FOMO), which is a strong motivator for many people.

Did you know that certain words can trigger inbox spam filters? Avoid using certain words to convey urgency, even if you feel those words are appropriate for the content. HubSpot published an article titled The Ultimate List of 394 Email Spam Trigger Words to Avoid in 2023 that provides a comprehensive list of potential spam triggers.

Some of those words and phrases include:

  • Act now
  • Offer expires
  • Clearance
  • Earn $
  • Extra income
  • Home employment
  • Money making
  • Affordable
  • Incredible deal
  • No hidden costs
  • Visit our website
  • Join millions of Americans
  • No obligation
  • Free sample

Creating a sense of urgency is possible without using one of the spam trigger words. Get creative with your subject lines, but don’t mislead your audience in an effort to push urgency.

3. Be Personal or Relevant

Personalization adds a touch of connection with your customers through 50 characters or less. In fact, Adobe reports that emails with personalized subject lines have an open rate that’s more than 20% higher than those with generic or static subject lines.

There are a few ways to make your emails personal. Start by using your subscribers’ names in the subject line. Other personalization methods such as location, purchase history, and interests can be used in place of the name. This strategy will help you stand out from the crowd and make your subscribers feel special.

When personalization isn’t necessary for the campaign, relevant industry and audience-targeted content shows readers that you value their time and interests. For example, weekly e-newsletters may not need name or business personalization, but it would be important for the content to be relevant to what your audience signed up for. You know they’re interested in what you have to offer because they subscribed to your newsletter. Provide valuable, relevant content and create an email subject line that summarizes the content within.

Examples of campaigns that would benefit from name personalization include: special offers, product or service launches, birthday specials, and customer follow-ups (such as abandoned carts). Pay attention to the behavior of your subscriber list. Consider segmenting your list and creating customized subject lines for different groups of subscribers.

4. Add Emojis or Symbols When Appropriate

People are naturally drawn to things that are visually appealing. Use visual elements such as emojis or symbols in your subject lines to make them stand out. Numbers and emoticons can help to break up the text and draw your reader’s eye. However, don’t overdo it with too many emojis or symbols, as it can make your subject line seem less professional.

5. Experiment and Analyze

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different subject line strategies to see what works best for your audience. What works for one brand may not work for another. The best way to know what works and what doesn’t is by analyzing your results. Test different subject lines on a segment of your email list to see what resonates with your subscribers before sending to the rest. Tweak your subject lines based on what works. Testing will help you optimize your open rates over time.


An effective subject line can elevate your open rate and entice your audience to learn more. It is the first thing subscribers see, and it’s important to make a good first impression. By following these five strategies, you can create subject lines that increase your open rate and help connect with your audience.

Are your emails not getting noticed? We can help! Our marketing team has experience crafting e-newsletters, email campaigns, and subject lines for a variety of industries. Contact us today to get started.