How to Create Click-Worthy Subject Lines for Email Marketing Campaigns


E-Mail Marketing

Email marketing isn’t dead. In fact, the total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day is expected to reach 319.6 billion by the end of 2021. If you feel like your emails aren’t performing, start at the beginning: with your subject line.

Crafting strong email and newsletter subject lines will increase your clickthrough rate. For more clicks, you need to know how to entice your readers.

Here are 12 ways to make your next email marketing campaign click-worthy. With these 12 tips, you can boost your open rate. Then, you can use your offer to encourage those readers to become paying customers.

Keep reading to discover the 12 tips you need for stronger newsletter email subject lines.

1. Let Them Know What to Expect

You don’t have to go crazy with your subject lines. A simple message is effective when it’s well-written. To create a strong, compelling email subject line, start by letting your subscriber know what to expect.

What’s inside the email? Is it worth taking the time to click your email, read the message, and learn more?

After a few times, teaser subject lines lose their novelty and intrigue. Instead, motivate subscribers to take a specific action. Make it something that will benefit you and them.

If the subject line only benefits your business, the subscriber will feel like you wasted their time.

They might even unsubscribe altogether. Instead of losing subscribers, work to create a subject line that doesn’t mislead or confuse anyone. Instead, make why they should click on your email clear.

While a straightforward subject line might seem boring at first, emotional language and punctuation can help jazz it up.

2. Make It About Them

Personalized messages perform three times better than batch and blast emails. When writing email newsletter subject lines, make sure to focus on your customers.

Don’t focus on your business. Readers will know the email is from you based on the “From” field. Use your email marketing subject lines to add a personal touch. 

Instead of using “I,” “us,” or “we,” focus on your readers. Why did they subscribe in the first place? What are they looking for?

Involve your reader and they’ll feel enticed to click on your email.

3. Use Title or Sentence Case

After taking a look at your inbox, you might notice a mix of subject lines. Some are likely writing in title case, with the first letter of almost every word capitalized. Others are likely written in sentence case, where only the first word is capitalized.

While it’s okay to use either, you should avoid using all caps. Using all caps in a subject line will make it sound like you’re screaming. 

Take the time to test the title case versus sentence case. Which one do your subscribers respond to? Testing your subject lines will help you determine which tactics work best for your readers. 

4. Strengthen Your Message

One of the hardest parts of effective email marketing is using the right words in the right way. A powerful verb or exciting adjective can entice people to click on your newsletter.

Again, it helps to A/B test your emails. Which words evoke an emotional response with your subscribers?

Finding the right power words for your newsletter subject lines will help you connect with customers. Then, you can resonate with your audience and encourage them to click.

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5. Don’t Sound Spammy

Most of us know how to recognize spammy-looking emails on sight. In addition to learning which words create the best newsletter subject lines, you also need to know which ones create the worst subject lines.

For example, try avoiding “100% free.” You might need to A/B test your subject lines, since there’s no foolproof formula. 

Try to avoid words that over-exaggerate, like “Big bucks.” 

You should also avoid words that focus on payment, such as “Billing Address” or “Apply Now.” Remember, you want to focus on your readers, not on your business.

If the offer sounds too good to be true, people will recognize it quickly.

Spammy newsletter subject lines can cause you to lose trust with your readers. Again, this could cause you to lose subscribers. 

Instead, focus on speaking the way your customers do to ensure your email marketing subject lines read naturally. Writing the way your customers speak will make your emails sound more conversational. Then, you can use your emails to spark a conversation with your readers. 

Spam-trigger words, on the other hand, could cause more people to unsubscribe from your emails. 

6. Watch the Length

There’s a limit to how many characters will display in a subject line. Screen size and orientation can impact how much of your subject line appears, too. 

Try to keep your subject lines between four and seven words (40 characters). Your newsletter subject lines set the mood for the rest of your email. Finding the right length can help you increase open rates and get people reading. 

It’s important to note that email providers each permit different character lengths. Make sure to send yourself an email subject line tester. Then, read the email from different devices.

Where does your email subject line cut off?

Test different email subject line lengths. Which subject lines increase your open rate and clickthrough rate? 

18% of email marketing newsletters get opened. Meanwhile, the average clickthrough rate is usually around 2.69%.

It’s important not to focus solely on your open rate. By reviewing both metrics, you can determine which subject line lengths will help you maximize success.



7. Quantify the Message

Most of the email marketing tips mentioned above focus on word choice. However, you should focus on numbers, too.

People have short attention spans. To grab their attention, try using numbers. For example, you can quantify how many tips you’re providing or how much of a discount you’re offering.

Numbers will stand out and give readers clues about the content.

This tactic helps if your subject line starts to look a little long. You can break your subject line into two parts by using a colon.

In the first part, try to provide an attractive promise. After the colon, offer readers a solution. Use numbers to quantify the solution.

A percentage can indicate how powerful your information is. For example, you might use a percentage to illustrate how effective your tips are. “Discover a 30% increase in clicks with these 10 tips!”

Quantifying your message will encourage readers to click and learn more. 

8. Show Off Special Content

People are accustomed to seeing parentheses, which usually indicate extra information or content. Instead, try using brackets. Used less often in content writing, brackets will stand out, ensuring the best newsletter subject lines stand out, too. 

In addition to appearing more eye-catching, brackets can also help you add information to your subject line. 

For example, you might use brackets to indicate what type of content you’re offering, like a white paper. You can also use brackets to indicate an infographic or video. Here’s an example:

“[White Paper] How to Improve Your Email Clickthrough Rate.”

Think about the value you’re offering within your email. What special content are you including? Using brackets will help readers key in on that content.

Instead of skimming right by your email subject line, readers will click to read more. 

9. Add Emojis

You can also add recognizable emojis to your emails to help them stand out. However, you need to proceed with caution. Make sure these emojis are professional-looking.

For example, you might want to avoid using the eggplant emoji. A flame, on the other hand, can help readers recognize the “hot deals” you’re offering. 

Don’t go crazy, either. Too many emojis can make your emails appear childish. Instead, try to limit your subject line to one emoji.

10. Consider the Preview

A small amount of preview text sometimes appears beneath an email subject line. Consider writing a subject line and snippet preview for your emails. The preview will let you provide readers with additional, insightful information. 

The subject line will attract their attention. Then, use the preview to elaborate.

Using the preview text will give you more space to work with. Don’t write a paragraph, though.

Instead, keep it short and sweet!

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11. Include a Deadline

Including a deadline in your email subject lines will help you use the fear of missing out. A time constraint or implying scarcity will encourage people to click sooner rather than later. Try adding a specific deadline, such as 24 hours, to encourage immediate clicks. 

12. Don’t Sell Too Hard

Don’t make your emails about selling. Emails aren’t a chance to advertise so much as inform. Sales jargon could scare off your readers or make your email appear spammy.

Instead, focus on the value you’re providing your readers. What information can you offer? Does your email include a coupon or helpful tips?

Focusing on the value will help you appear eager to help. 

The Ticket to Click It: 12 Ways to Create Click-Worthy Email Marketing Campaigns

With these 12 tips, you can compose click-worthy email marketing campaigns with ease! Make sure to test your newsletter subject lines to determine what your readers respond to. Each email is unique, too.

Take chances and test new techniques to see what increases your opens and clicks!

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John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling, photography and blogging. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of blogging. Discover how to turn your passions and pastimes into an online business.

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