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Choosing The Right eDM Subject Line


The subject line of your email marketing message needs 100 % of your undivided attention so it delivers the desired result – a higher open rate.

A poor subject line will result in your eDM being ignored by your email list subscribers.

While huge effort has gone into the wording and design of an eDM, often the subject line is a last minute consideration. Your subscribers will make the split decision whether to open or delete your email messages, solely based on the effectiveness of your subject line.

It is important not to rush the delivery of your email message without giving much thought to the subject line – this action can ensure your email ends up in your subscribers’ trash folder! Not where you want it to be.

The following tips will help you beat the spam filters and win over those inbox scanners.

Keep it short

Most email clients only reveal the first 50 – 60 characters of the subject line, leaving anything past the 60th character hidden from your subscribers. Get straight to the point by writing 6 – 8 intriguing and powerful words that gets the recipient wanting to read more.

The right choice of words

Choose your words carefully ensuring your subject line passes the spam filter and avoids the Junk folder. Spam filters can be triggered by a number of words and for a variety of reasons, causing your email messages to miss your subscribers’ inbox. Here is an example of several words you should avoid when writing your email subject line:

  1. 100% free
  2. buy/act/apply/call now
  3. as seen on
  4. contains ‘$$$’
  5. Affordable/cheap
  6. Cash/credit bonus
  7. Contains ‘free’
  8. Contains ‘increase/gain/double’

Other tips to help dodge the spam filters include: avoid writing your subject line IN ALL CAPS, do not make spelling mistakes, never have a one-word subject line and do not make false promises to your subscribers.

Make it personal

It is important to know who you are sending your email to and for your subscribers to know it is specifically about them and their interests. A couple of business and consumer personalised subject line examples are:

“Joe, check out this new software you need”
“5 reasons why [YourBusiness] should upgrade”

Split testing

Split your email recipient list in half to test multiple subject lines. Using the same email message, write two separate subject lines sending the first subject line to the first half of your recipient list and second subject line to the remaining recipients. Once the email message has been delivered you can then monitor the open rates of both emails, learning which style of subject line has performed best. Use these results as guidelines when creating future email campaigns.

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