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Creating Catchy Subject Lines – Mastering Email Marketing

Your phone just chimed and you see the email banner across the top of your screen.  You’re not sure who sent the email and you don’t find that the subject line peaks your interest enough to click it open so you send it to the trash. Sound familiar?

You go back to what you were doing and you begin to draft an email to a potential customer.  Once you have everything worded perfectly and have added the attachments you are ready to send the email.  Then you remember the email that you just received and quickly sent to trash! Are they going to know who you are? Is your subject line catchy enough to make them open it up?  Or will it just go to the land of trash like so many others?

You need to make sure your emails grab the attention of who you are sending it to and that starts by adding catchy subject lines.

Subject Lines

Make sure your subject line does not scream SPAM!  Subject lines are meant to attract attention just like a good newspaper headline.  How can you ensure that you are attracting attention and not the delete button?  Follow these simple subject line rules:

  1. Free and Percent – Steer clear of the words free or percent. These two words are a dead giveaway for spam emails.  They imply that you are trying to give some type of deal or special offer.

  2. Too Wordy – Subject lines that are too long get cut off and don’t read well on mobile devices.  If the reader cannot get the gist of what you are trying to say they certainly aren’t going to open the email for more information.

  3. !!Exclamation, Exclamation, Exclamation!! – The exclamation mark is in the same family as free and percent off. It screams “hey I’m a spam email, please don’t click me.”  I know it is tempting because you are excited about what you are sending, but there are ways to put your excitement into your work other than using exclamation marks in the subject line.

  4. Short and Sweet – Three to five words is what you are working with.  People scan through email when it comes in and they are going to quickly review the subject line especially if they are not sure of the sender.  It’s not the time to give a dissertation on what your company’s marketing plan is or rewrite War and Peace.  Just give them a taste so they are wanting more.


Yes, it’s true that you may not know a lot about the person you are sending the email to, however, that is not a reason to skip personalization.  You clearly have the person’s name, you know what industry they are in, and you certainly know what message you are trying to get across to them.  So why not take the extra ten minutes and tweak each message to be a little more personal.  In the long run, this will pay off and the receiver will feel more comfortable responding to you.

At the end of the day, if anyone truly had the key to the perfect email pitch it would be an invaluable piece of information.  Make sure the next email you send doesn’t get mistaken for spam and don’t be afraid to open that email that you immediately want to send to trash because you might learn a lot about what not to do!

If you are struggling with your email marketing, we can help! Click here to find out how!

Have some tips and tricks for catchy subject lines or mastering email marketing? Drop them in the comments below!

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