The B2B SaaS Marketing Blog

    How To Create A Subject Line That Works for Email Marketing


    Last updated: August 22nd, 2014

    Contrary to some myths, email marketing is not dead at all. It’s actually one of the best ways of engaging your audience! The challenging part of email marketing is making sure that your email actually gets opened, but what’s life without a bit of a challenge? Learn how to create irresistible email subject lines in 4 minutes or less with my quick video:


    Thanks for watching! Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need some more help. And if you want to take your email marketing even further, don’t forget to get your Free 25 minute Marketing Assessment with us TODAY.
    Video Transcription

    Hi, my name is Trang and I’m a digital marketing specialist at Powered by Search. Today I’d like to show you a short tutorial on how to create subject lines that work for your email marketing. Now before you get to it, let’s have a look at what actually happened to your email on the customer side. This is my promotion tab. It has already been filtered, but as you can see, there are a lot coming through daily. I’m obviously not going to read through all of this. Before deleting or marking these emails as red, I often go through the subject lines briefly and only open the ones that catch my attention. I’m sure a lot of you also do this, so let me tell you three important rules you should always keep in mind.

    One of the most interesting things I’ve learned recently is that people actually like to hear their names a lot. Remember to include the recipient’s name on the subject line. It does not only catch the person’s attention but also show that the email was created for them. It includes information that they might be interested in and you are not any mass spammers. Name is not the only personalization that you can use though. Localization also helps. For example, if an international store sends me an email with the subject line, “Try and check out this 50% sale in our Toronto stores,” I would definitely be clicking.

    The second rule I like to suggest is to use your most exciting point in the subject line. Your subject line only has a second to grab the readers’ attentions, so always highlight your offer and it’s that line here. The sense of scarcity help increase open rates because the viewers don’t want to miss the good deals. For example, “Try and check out this 50% sale in our Toronto stores in Sunday.” Yep, I will click on this one.

    For a newsletter, it’s a good idea to use the title of the most interesting story in the subject line. Let’s take this National Geographic email. For example, “What will you eat in 2050?” I don’t know. Let’s find out. A bonus tip for a newsletter is that although you use the article’s title in the subject line, you should list the article at the end of the newsletter so viewers need to skim through your whole email for it. They might be interested in other articles along the way.

    The last rule is to keep your subject line under 50 characters or 6 to 10 words. A recent study by Retention Science analyzing 260 millions of emails found that this word count yielded the highest open rates.

    Those are the three important rules I like to talk about to create a simple and effective subject line for your email marketing. Don’t forget to personalize, use the most exciting points and keep it short.

    If you’re in Canada, don’t forget to check out our tips on how to deal with Canada’s anti-spam law. Thank you so much for listening and you can also find more videos on Digital Marketing at or visit us at for all of your Digital Marketing needs.

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