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Deliverability Reminders: Subject Line Tips

Deliverability Reminders: Subject Line Tips

Your subject lines are one of the primary factors that determine whether or not someone is going to open your email (along with the from name).

People often ask if there are certain words or phrases to avoid in subject lines and the short answer, as inbox providers have become more and more sophisticated, is no. However, it's a good idea to avoid 'spammy' phrases like "Free", "Risk Free", "Guaranteed", "Eliminate Your Debt", etc.

(Likewise, eliminating entirely or at least limiting these in your body copy is a good idea too!)

Subject Line Tips:

* Keep your subject lines short and sweet, between 3 and 5 words (and/or under 50 characters), if possible.

* Use special characters, all caps, or emojis sparingly and only when they add value or appropriate emphasis. For instance, if you're in the travel industry and there's a fare sale on tickets, maybe include an airplane. But to do it on every message, you'd lose the impact.

* Be clear. People often try to be cutesy when doing their subject lines, but this is really nothing more than a call to action, so make it clear so they know what's inside. Even though it's just a simple click, people are busy and don't want to waste any time unnecessarily and if the subject line makes them think to much, then it increases the possibility that they're going to skip over the message entirely.

* Test. This is why it's important to plan your campaigns in advance so you can test things out before prime time! It's also important that your tests are accurate and that your mail system doesn't just send to the first X percent of your list (i.e. often the oldest part of your list).

* Keep your audience in mind and consider different subject lines for different segments.

* Convey a sense of urgency when possible. If you're running a sale through midnight tomorrow, use that in the subject line. Urgency creates action, so when it's appropriate, use it!

* Resend with a different subject line if they don't open your first message. In our new software, this is a simple trigger on broadcasts where you can resend the same message with a different subject line after a predetermined amount of time. In other words, if a subscriber doesn't open your email after X hours/days/etc. resend with a different subject line. You can do this manually in most applications by creating a segment of people that didn't open a certain campaign.

TIP: This one time can increase your ROI substantially without doing anymore work (aside from taking the time to craft another subject line).


For over a decade Heather Seitz used email marketing to build successful companies and had to solve the biggest barrier to consistent profitability: deliverability. Today she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Email Delivered.

To get tips on email subject lines, click here http://www.emaildelivered.com/deliverability-reminders-subject-line-tips. Remember to sign up for the FREE Email Delivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources for email marketers.

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