The power of the subject line

The power of the subject line

How many unread e-mails do think you have in your inbox? 50? 100? 500? Or more…

Every day we are barraged with countless e-mails, most of them left unopened – we simply do not have the time to tend to each and every one. So the question is, what can you change to ensure that your e-mail is opened??

Your subject line. It’s the first, and often the last impression on your users. It’s vital that your email grabs the attention of your subscribers, before anyone else!

So how do we create an effective subject line? Here are a few key rules –

1. Personalisation 

They say we enjoy the sound of our own voice? The same goes for our name. Studies show that personally addressed subject lines are winners. Another option – throw in a personal pronoun– “we”, “you” or “your”, make your reader feel “special”.

2. Timely 

Subject lines that feature dates or urgency tend to perform better than those that don’t. Who wants to miss out on a deal? Fear of missing out. It’s a thing, and it’s persuasive.

3. Be exciting. 

It goes without saying, the more exciting your subject line is, the more likely it is your reader will open and read the e-mail.

4. Simplicity 

There is a lot to be said for minimalism. Users want you to be clear and concise in your subject line. Ultra-minimalist one-word subject lines can prove effective.

Need to test how effective your subject line is? Why not run an experiment. One of the most simple ways to test an experiment is to run an A/B split test. A/B split testing works by sending two emails with varying subject lines to a sample % of your database. From the response you can determine the higher performing subject line, ensuring a higher probability that your email is opened. E-mail marketing service providers such as Campaign Monitor and MailChimp offer this as a standard part of their service.

See here –


Campaign Monitor





Constant Contact



When scrolling through an e-mail inbox, enticing your subscribers to read further isn’t an easy task, a user’s ability to delete or ignore an e-mail however is. So when we are competing endlessly for the attention of e-mail subscribers’ one little word in a subject line really can make all the difference.

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