Crafting the Perfect Subject Line

by Laura Jodoin

With so many companies sending out emails, it’s no surprise that most people have more in their trash bin than their inbox. So with most emails getting the boot, how can you be sure that what you have to say is actually heard? The first impression is your subject line, but crafting it always seems like a daunting task.

The subject line is the hook that will determine whether or not your message ends up in the trash folder, so here are five tips on how to create the perfect captivating subject line and get your message heard.

Keep things short and sweet

In today’s digital era of, less is more! Content needs to be succinct and provided in digestible bits or readers are going to look right past you. But before you get to the good stuff, you need to reel them in with a killer subject line.

Text will be cut off if too long, especially on mobile. The trick is to keep it to 50 characters or less. Focus on buzzwords that resonate with your specific audience. What is relevant? What will matter to them? What are they looking for? Use these words strategically, in short sentences, to hook them in.

Use numbers

Just as with article and blog post titles, numbered lists are a great hook! Visually, the number will break up the text and set your message apart from the influx of emails sitting in someone’s inbox.

Titles like “10 Ways to…” or “8 Things You Didn’t Think…” are immediately appealing and pique the curiosity of the reader. The use of digits will get your emails noticed, and clearly outline your message in just a few words.

Offer value

An email newsletter is a chance to tell your reader that they have something to gain by consuming your message. If they know there’s something valuable in it (literally!) for them, they are more likely to click through.

This could be a discount code, promotions, sales—let them know that by opening your email, there is a bonus inside!

Address your audience directly

Want to go the extra mile? Add a personal touch by addressing readers directly by their first name or their screen name. This focuses your reach and gives the illusion of seeking out specific individuals.

By personalizing your outreach, you build rapport with the customer and create a relationship that makes the audience more receptive to your messages.

Use humour where appropriate

Most people appreciate a good bad pun. While they should never be overused, a little shot of groan-worthy humour is often the perfect touch to pique your audience’s interest. If this suits your message and your brand, then injecting a little pun into your subject line will pique interest and make your audience smile.

DAVIDsTEA is a great example of this. Their tea-themed puns are a great way for their newsletter to gain traction while staying true to their brand and their fun messages.