8 Simple Tips to Write the Best Email Subject Lines


You spend TONS of time crafting the perfect blogger outreach email. But without a compelling subject line, online publishers won’t even open it let alone read it and take action. The following list of tips will ensure that you create the best email subject lines to maximize open rates and conversions!

How to Write the Best Email Subject Lines

1. Keep Subject Lines Short & Sweet

Consumers read the majority of their email on mobile, so subject lines must be short and impactful. Similar to a tweet, the best email subject lines are under 40 characters, or between 5-7 words. Ultimately, you must convey your message succinctly but clearly.

2. Personalize When Possible

Everyone loves the sound of their own name, especially online publishers. What’s more, bloggers and editors receive upwards of 50 emails per day. So you’d better include something personal if you want to get noticed. For example, the email subject line: “Jane, it’s almost boating season!” might stand out much more than the generic: “It’s almost boating season!”

3. 50% Informative 50% Interesting

Everyone has their own unique email housekeeping process. But you can expect people to evaluate your email in less than than 3 seconds. This is why it’s important to make yours stand out. Catchy phrases can be fun, but don’t forgo a specific hook for the sake of a good pun. For instance, “Thyme is wasting!” is clever but, “Thyme is wasting, check out these recipes!” allows you to be creative while also giving some insight as to what’s inside.

4. Ask a Question

Use a mysterious question in your email subject line to pique your reader’s curiosity and entice them to open it in search of the answer. Curiosity gives your recipients a call-to-action, either to immediately open your email or take a second to consider their own answer.

Feel free to have fun with this and get creative. But keep the question relevant to the target community or it could backfire. For example, the email subject line: “Tom, is your dog happy?” is much better than: “Improve your dog’s happiness.”

5. Convey a Sense of Urgency

Just like in sales, the best email subject lines create urgency so recipients feel like they must act fast or they’ll miss out. Urgent language, such as specific dates, countdowns or exclusive offers will increase your email open rates.

6. Avoid the Spam Folder

Anything overly salesy or too “loud” may get marked as spam. Want to keep your email out of the spam folder? Avoid excessive exclamation marks and DON’T USE ALL CAPS!!!!

Keep images to a minimum as well. Referencing this formula can help; Text only = Ok. Text + Image = Ok. Image Only = Not ok.

Think of your email subject line as your greeting in a personal conversation. You wouldn’t approach someone for the first time screaming and waving your hands in their face, so don’t do it through email either. Instead, attract their attention with clever phrasing and relevant info.

7. Test Email Subject Lines Often

Your target market is unique, so each person may have a different reaction than you anticipated. Therefore, A/B test new campaigns to identify the best email subject lines. Test at least two different versions on your audience to determine which one generates the highest open rate.

8. Email Preview Text

Keep in mind, preview text matters. You’re only halfway to your goal if your subject line grabs your reader’s attention. Next, they’ll focus on the first line of your message to make one last determination before they either open it or trash it. Further personalization in the opening sentence can make a big difference to your recipients who use the iPhone Mail App, Gmail, and Outlook.

Dynamic Email Subject Line Examples

Template: {{Name}}, {{Number}} {{Verb}} {{Urgency}}

Example Subject Line: Aaron, 5 Awesome Coupons Expiring Tonight

Template: {{Noun}}, {{Call to Action}}

Example Subject Line: Aromatherapy…Learn how it reduces stress

Template: {{Number}}, {{Topic}}, {{List}}

Example Subject Line: 3 Tools to Improve Your Efficiency

Template: {{Topic}}, {{Question}}

Example Subject Line: Spring’s here! Is your wardrobe ready?

Template: {{Verb}} {Personalization}}, {{Topic}}

Example Subject Line: Celebrate Rosco for National Pet Day!


Learning how to write the best email subject line requires a mix of science, sales and art. Send a test email to yourself or a coworker and see how it looks on various displays. Pick and choose which outreach email tips work best for you and your goals.

Focus on what you want recipients to do with your email so you succinctly convey that message to your specific target market.

Want more advice? Check out this article about how to pitch influencers.