How to create effective email subject lines to increase open rates

Our inboxes are flooded with various emails on a daily basis. Think about how many mailing lists you are subscribed to and how many of those emails sit in your inbox unopened. We all take one look at the subject line before choosing whether to continue reading. We make split second decisions, because we are all targets of an increasing amount of information, without enough extra hours in the day to absorb everything properly.

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If you are finding that your company emails are being ignored, you need to make one simple change. This means that you need to ensure that every email you send out to your audience has a subject line that they simply cannot ignore. You could spend hours meticulously crafting an email but if no one opens it, all that work will go unappreciated, which means that your top priority is to ensure that your message is reaching your customer base. Your choice of subject line will depend on the content of each email, but here are a few examples.


MailChimp has conducted research that suggests that your subject line should be kept to fewer than 50 characters. This ensures that it is easy to scan and efficiently communicates information. Notification emails, such as ‘your order is being processed’ benefit from simplicity, keeping your customer clearly updated.

Building connections

Ryco Marketing, a digital marketing agency in Belfast ( recommend that companies build an online community. Asking a question in the subject line of an email can prompt a response, or at the very least demonstrate that you are actively trying to engage with your audience in positive ways.

Appeal to curiosity

There is a reason why those ‘top 10 moments of 2016’ or ‘7 viral videos you need to see’ lists are so popular. They appeal to our curious nature and are easily digestible pieces of content.

A few final tips to nail your subject line every time:

  1. Always keep your specific audience in mind. You should know what they want, and how to capture their attention
    2. Come up with a few different versions and choose the most interesting
    3. Keep a consistent tone that reflects your business well
    4. Alliteration can be catchy, but avoid cheesiness.