Email Marketing Tips

It’s an everyday expectation to wake up to 30 emails — new Groupons, Facebook updates, free webinars etc. Few are likely important enough to actually require your attention, such as emails from work or school. You probably only open about 25% of the emails you receive and of the ones you do open, probably less than half actually garner a quick read or click on a link.

What determines whether you open an email? Answer: The sender and the subject, which is why that one-liner is so important.

With so much competition for a coveted email open, here are eight tips to help your subject lines stand apart from the pack.

1. Tell them what’s inside

Emails that clearly state what you will be reading inside are highly effective. Be sure to align the topic with the target audience or list’s needs. Following this tip sets the right expectations for the reader and builds trust in your company’s marketing practices.


  • 20% off our Spring collection! Code inside.
  • This month’s must-read blog posts for digital marketers


2. Make it a list

For organizational and quick-reading purposes, people like to consume content in lists. I like lists because I don’t have time to read and I have ADD. When I see 10 of this, 20 of that, 4 ways to do it better, 6 steps to success, etc. you get me clicking. By turning all your content into a list you’ll make your marketing more approachable and attainable. Plus you’ll get more clicks because readers can skim through it faster.

On the same token, the further down the list, the less of a chance that content has of getting a click. Make sure to organize your listed content in order of priority to ensure you get the most clicks on the most important content.


  • 6 Steps to Better Marketing and Sales Alignment
  • Top 10 Vacation Spots to Take Your Teens

Checkout: 15 tips to Avoid Spam Filters in Email Marketing

3. Ask a question

If the reader has to think, they are giving attention and energy to your marketing and may identify themselves with a need. Finding a need is the utmost entry point of the sales funnel. Marketing that identifies and uncovers a potential prospect’s need is crucial to every business and it will make your sales reps happy because it enables the selling process.


  • Is your website not performing? Try these success tips.
  • Where is your dream getaway? Check out one of these hot spots.

Email Marketing Quotes

4. Keep it short

Some email clients truncate subject lines longer than 55 characters, so keep it short and sweet.


5. Mention a popular brand, show scarcity or break a news story

Stand out from all the other emails with name recognition. Connect with breaking news stories to show how your product or service relates. Add value and popularity to your product by promoting how quickly it’s selling or how little is available.


  • Only 1 Day Left to Get 30% off!
  • The mistakes Mark Zuckerberg says everyone should make


6. Talk about what other people are buying, what’s trending

People want to see what other people are doing and buying to make sure they aren’t missing out! LinkedIn features articles recommended for you at the top of your news feed based on what your connections are talking about. I usually click on two or three at a time, because I find what my colleagues and peers are reading appeals to me professionally and regionally.


  • Customers’ top Coachella must-haves!
  • Trend Alert: Pantone Color of the Year


7. Use the word ‘FREE’

The word free psychologically attracts people’s attention. It says you don’t have to give anything to get! Offering free whitepapers, webinars, advice, free shipping, free gifts will garner attention from prospective buyers. Just don’t bait and switch, as you will lose a lot more than you will gain.


  • Free Expedited Shipping – Today Only!
  • Get your Free SEO Assessment


8. Make it personal

By putting your recipient’s name in the subject line, your emails speak directly to that person versus a list of hundreds of thousands of anonymous users. My favorite retailer just emailed me today with the subject line: “Shanelle, did you hear? Free U.S. returns!” Of course I opened it!

When you see your name in an email, especially the subject line, you think the sender is specifically targeting you as an individual. When you think the content inside is tailored to you, you’re more inclined to click.


  • Hey John, left you a voicemail
  • Rachel, receive up to 50% discount on hotel rooms

Data has told us that email marketing campaigns are one of the most effective online tactics a marketer can do. What’s most important, though, is to approach each campaign with the reader’s interests top of mind and have a strategy for engaging them throughout the process.

“Do you have any other tips for email subject line best practices? Leave them in the comments!”