Want more people to open your emails? Start writing better subject lines to increase your open rate. A better open rate means higher engagement and more sales. In this article, I’ll share tips on how to write subject lines that get your emails opened and clicked.

Why good subject lines matter

It’s been said that Americans are exposed to over 3000 ads and marketing messages per day. Whether or not that’s true, it’s safe to say that there are a lot of people trying to get everyone’s attention.

You need to be able to capture your subscriber’s attention right away, or they’ll scroll on past or delete your message without even opening it.

Keys to a good subject line

There are several things going on behind the scenes of a good subject line.

You might think you need a few words to describe what your email’s about. But when you peel back the layers of a good subject line, you’ll see that there’s a lot more to it than just a description.

Some companies hire copywriters whose only job is to create great subject lines. That’s how important subject lines are.

Good subject lines:

  • Create curiosity
  • Offer benefits to the reader, whether it’s educational, informative, or entertaining
  • Are specific — for example, “The exact steps I took to grow my email list to 5,482 subscribers in 6 months” or something along those lines. Exact numbers work well in subject lines — they come across as more trustworthy than rounded figures or vagueness
  • Contain no unnecessary words, and focus on ONE concept
  • Are conversational and are written like you speak
  • Create a sense of urgency

How to write great subject lines

Believe it or not, writing the subject line can sometimes be the hardest part about writing an email, but there are some steps you can take to make the process easier.

If you do this when creating your content, you’ll be ahead of probably 80% of online business owners out there. This will be especially helpful when you’re sending launch or sales emails.

Step 1: Determine your audience — who are you writing to?

Sometimes your email will be for a specific audience or segment. Are they previous customers? Are they new to your world? Did they just get on your list?

This is a good chance to make a connection with your subscriber. You want to build trust, and for your subscribers to feel like you wrote this just for them. Who or what else is competing for their attention, and how can you stand out?

Step 2: Grab the reader’s attention

Writing a subject line that catches their eye and grabs their attention is crucial to getting more opens.

Once you nail down your benefit, find a way to position it so they have to read. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it sure drives more opens to your email.

You can do this by using elements of surprise. I call them disruptions. Something that stands out in their inbox and makes them say, “wait, whaaa?”

You can do this by using their name in the subject line (most email service providers have a way for you to easily do this), by

Remember, you want to pique their curiosity, but make sure your email delivers or you’ll lose their trust. The last thing you want to do is mislead them by not giving them a quality email.

Step 3: Write multiple subject lines

Some people like to write the subject line first, then write the email around that. Others like to write the email first, then come up with the subject line after. Either way is fine, but don’t just write one subject line and call it done.

I like to come up with a working subject line, just to give me a frame of reference for my email first. Then, once I’m finished with the email, I come up with at least 3 subject line ideas and narrow it down from there.

Some copywriters recommend coming up with at least 20 subject lines! The more subject lines you write, the better you’ll get at it, but you want to come up with no less than 3.

Perfecting your subject line strategy

Writing great subject lines is an art, and as you send more emails, you’ll start to instinctively know what types of subject lines resonate with your audience and it will get even easier.

Want help coming up with subject lines to use in your launch emails? Get my Superstar Subject Lines template with over 100 fill-in-the-blank subject lines to use for your next launch!