5 subject line tips to get your emails opened

Email marketing consultant

Another week, another email, another blinking cursor in your face as you try to figure out what you’ll type into the subject line box this time. After all, isn’t the subject line the most important part of the email? It’s the critical factor which determines whether or not someone clicks ‘open’ on your email to read it (or whether it’s just another email that is simply scrolled past).

It’s a lot of pressure. The email’s actual content won’t even get read if the subject line doesn’t convince recipients to open it! Yet, it can be challenging to get inside of your readers’ mind to work out what is actually going to persuade them to click open. Nevermind the number of guidelines we’re told to follow to ensure its kept concise, personalised, compelling and urgent (but not too pushy of course).

How is it possible to do this in one concise statement? I’ve got some tips and tricks to share that will help you write eye-catching subject lines that improve open rates without stressing you out!

Ask a question

One of the ultimate ways to grab someone’s attention in their inbox is by asking questions. As humans, we love being asked for our own stories and feedback. Questions are a powerful way to capture your audience’s interest, compelling them to read the message inside.


  • Have you … yet?
  • Did you know this about …?
  • Want to …? Try this!
  • What’s YOUR favourite …?
  • Did we mention …?

Spark curiosity

Human beings are nosey by nature, so adding a little mystery into your subject line is bound to give people no other choice but to open it. Give a little peek inside the email – but just enough so that your readers have to click open to find out more.


  • Can you believe this happened the other day?
  • We all should have done this…like 5 years ago.
  • I just HAVE to say this
  • Don’t make this mistake…
  • I couldn’t believe it when I found out about (insert topic)

Say what’s inside

It’s great to experiment with subject lines and mix it up with creative, fun language but when it comes to your offers, products and launches it’s okay to get a little more serious and say it how it is. After all, you don’t want someone to skip past your email who would have clicked to read if they knew you were launching a new product or offer.


  • (Service/product) is finally HERE! Details inside
  • (offer) is still available for the next 48 hours!
  • Never struggle with … again. (Offer) has arrived!
  • You asked, we’re delivering! (service/product) is here!

Use personalisation

Psychologically, our eyes are drawn to our own names compared to other words. When someone’s inbox is overflowing with marketing emails, the odds are that they’re more likely to be naturally drawn to an email with a subject line that includes their own name as it looks like a personal message.

All email providers allow you to code in a subscriber’s first name to really personalise the copy both within the subject line and the body copy of emails.


*name*, you NEED to see this

Don’t wait too long, *name*

*name*, got a sec?

Is this true, *name*?

3 steps to …, *name*

Experiment with emojis

A little visual stimulation can be an excellent way to grab your reader’s attention in a place packed with words. An emoji can completely change a sentence’s tone and give your message more impact. Use them sparingly and try to choose 2 or 3 emojis that fit with your brand and rotate them – people will soon start associating them with your business.


I’m obsessed with… *heart eye emoji*

This hack will save you so much time *alarm clock emoji*

I’m spilling the tea on … *coffee cup emoji*

*Name*, I’m sharing this secret with you *shh emoji*

Are you ready to revolutionise …? *fire emoji*

Start implementing some of these simple tip and tricks into your subject lines and watch your open rates soar. Experiment with different styles and see what your audience responds to best. Never underestimate the power of a craft subject line. 

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