Effective Email Subject Lines

We've provided tips for writing subject lines that will catch reader's attention.

  • Get to the point! Numerous studies show that the best subject lines are between 30 and 40 characters. The challenge for you is balancing length and content. We recommend that you employ direct language and descriptions, and always include your brand name in the subject line.
  • Avoid obvious pitfalls. Before you send an email, run it through a spam test to diagnose potential content problems. Be careful not to sound "spammy" in your subject line. Avoid phrases like "Free", "Offer", "Money", excessive use of exclamation marks, misspelled words, ALL CAPS, etc.
  • Relevancy is key. Speak to your contacts on a one-to-one basis. Use personalization to refer to contacts by name, geography, or group. "XYZ Event: October 30" is an OK subject line. "Bob: XYZ is in New York on October 30" is a better subject line. Relevancy in your subject lines is absolutely critical in convincing a contact to open a message.
    Tip: For more information on using special tags to personalize your message, see Special Tags.
  • Testing 1,2,3 … Find what works for you. Define objectives, set benchmarks for opens, clicks, conversions, etc. Continue to customize and refine your subject lines overtime to find the right phrasing or structure. Also, once you think you have it figured out, don't become complacent. Continue to test, re-test, and look for new ways to engage your audience.
    Tip: One way to test the effectiveness of your subject lines, is to perform an A/B Split Test. For more information on setting up an A/B Split Test, see A/B Split Tests.