6 Tips for Writing Email Subject Lines


Just as an engaging headline will attract readers to your blog, well written email subject lines will improve the open rate of your emails. Follow our tips for writing email subject lines to ensure that your emails aren’t ignored.

The Shorter the Better

In many browsers and email clients the subject lines are cut off after approximately 60 characters and mobile devices allow even fewer characters. Keep your email subject line short and to the point to improve open rates. Research suggests that the optimum length for email subject lines for increased open rates is 50 characters or less.

Ask a Question

Posing a question to your recipient in the email subject line is a great way to get your recipients thinking and opening dialogue with them. Try to ask questions that target problems your audience are likely to be experiencing and will be looking for a solution to. For example “Do you want to improve your email open rates?” This seems like a straightforward task, but it is important to carefully select your questions and of course answer the question in the email!

Set Expectations

Use your email subject lines to tell your recipients what they can expect to read when they open your email. For example “6 tips for writing email subject lines”, “How to improve your email open rates.” Ensure that your subject line is relevant to the content in the email and always deliver on your promise.

Use Humour

Humour can be a great tool to drive email open rates and encourage your subscribers to engage with your content. When using humour be careful not to offend, don’t lose sight of your company voices and don’t over do it! Groupon often use humour in their subject lines here are two of your favourites, “Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)” and “There are no deals in this email.”

Create Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency will encourage your recipients to act now for fear of missing out, think about including phrases such as “last chance”, “today only” and “exclusive”. Be careful not to over do it and only adopt this method if it really is a last chance or limited offer – if you say this every week and promote the same offer week after week you will lose the sense of urgency.


According to an Experian Email Marketing study, emails with personalised subject lines have 26% higher unique open rates. You can personalise your subject lines by either using the recipient’s name, or the recipient’s company’s name. Tread carefully when it comes to personalisation. If your email database does not feature your customers’ most up to date details, you might find personalisation has a detrimental effect on your open rates.

These are just some of the ways you can improve your email open rates, if you would like to discuss your email campaign and see how Blackberry could help your business get in touch on 01527 517309 or fill in our contact form.