Email Distinction 101: Your Subject Line Part 1

Email Distinction 101: Your Subject Line Part 1


Trying to communicate via email? Smart decision. Even with the social media takeover, email marketing proves to return higher conversion results--if done well.

According to McKinsey & Company, “Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value in the conversion.” Businesses must find a unique appeal to set their message apart among the ever-increasing inbox clutter.

Keep your message out of the junk mailbox with these subject line construction tips.

Your Subject Line

the selling point, the gatekeeper

 “64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line.” -HubSpot

  1. Do not underestimate the impact a well-crafted subject line will have on your open rates. Hubspot describes the subject line as the gatekeeper of an email. The work put into creating a captivating email turns into wasted effort if people are not interested enough to open the email in the first place.
  2. Keep your subject line to 50 characters; remember one word can make a huge difference. Try researching the most searched terms related to the purpose of your message, and incorporate them into your subject line.
  3. blogger Janet Choi advises email senders to see every subject line as a pitch. What’s your unique selling point? What need does your receiver have that your subject line promises to meet?
  4. When creating your subject line remember that incentive, curiosity and promise drive interest. For example:

Incentive “Congrats! You’ve been selected…”

Curiosity “We have a secret to tell you.”

Promise  “Your day just got easier.”

  1. Construct a subject line that hits the need of your receiver, without underselling, neutralizing or racializing your pitch; The Atlantic refers to this just right point as the Goldilocks zone of email tonality. 
  2. Personalization will also go a long way in how much attention a person will pay to the email. This technique may include incorporating the receiver’s name in the subject line, or segmenting particular messages best suited for certain members of your audience i.e. recognizing your receiver’s birthday month. Experian notes, “personalized promotional mailings have 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates than non-personalized mailings.” In about 3-4 seconds, a person will determine whether or not an email is worth reading, simply based on the subject line.  Make it distinct; make it personal.

How many emails did you second glance today?

- Lisa Monteiro '17