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Subject Line Perfection: How to Craft Headlines That Click

February 10, 2016

subject-line-emailThey say don’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest, we all do. If the cover of a book looks unprofessional or doesn’t stand out from the others on the shelf, the chances a reader will pick it up are slim.

The same rules apply to emails, and your subject line is your ‘cover’. A bad subject line makes your emails less effective – but good news! Lure Creative has some tips to turn you into a subject line pro.

Drop Boring Details –

“Order #789235 is Being Processed” isn’t getting anyone’s attention. They don’t want to know their order number – they want to know that their package is on its way! Let go of details that are taking up space and boring your customer, and focus on thrilling them in this critical moment.

Calm Down on the Caps Lock –

Why? Well, for starters, ALL CAPITAL LETTERS KIND OF LOOK THE SAME. Your reader is more likely to tune out when you use too many capital letters, simply because the lack of variation loses their attention. Using capital letters for emphasis only works when there are lowercase letters to draw contrast.

Know Your Subject Line Limits –

The max number of characters that will fit in most email clients subject line is 50. After 50, your message is likely to be cut off. However, subject lines between 28-39 characters have the highest open rate so try to keep them short and sweet.

Related Read: Email Tricks to Get More Clicks

Discounts Don’t Work –

We’ve all seen – and scrolled past – subject lines promising 50% off, or “Everything Must Go” sales in our inbox. Use the subject line to talk about the benefit to your customer, such as safety or happiness, not the discount itself. In other words we’re saying, don’t be salesy!

Remember Who You’re Talking To –

The most effective emails feel like personal communication. People are more likely to interact with you on a one-to-one basis than in a group – and the same is true with email. Get personal in the subject line if you can, by using their name or something you know about them. Always remember you have the option to segment your email list, and that making your message more targeted means your subject line can be more specific, relevant, and effective.

Start Asking Questions –

Studies have shown that subject lines that ask a question get more opens and more replies. It makes sense when you think about it – your goal is to help your customers, whether by giving them what they want or need through your products and services, or by helping them solve a problem with the expertise you have. A question in an email subject line lets your customers know the answer they’re looking for is just inside your email. All they have to do is click!

Related Read: The Key to Creating Effective Emails


If your email subject lines are the least of your worries (who has time to write emails each month?!) it’s time to get some help. Call Lure Creative at (913) 649-4040 and stop worrying about your marketing – we’ve got you covered.

About the Author

Scott Christian

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