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5 Tips on How to Write an Intriguing Email Subject Line

Let me start by saying thank you for opening my email.

It would be quite embarrassing and ironic if you didn’t because you found the subject line for “How to Write an Intriguing Email Subject Line” unintriguing.

Emails can be like flies: they buzz all around uninvited, and even if you move your computer, they still follow you. You may find yourself asking, “What is this crap?” before hitting delete. As I’ve mentioned before, 69% of email recipients mark email as spam based solely on a bad subject line, and if you’re a business owner, you need people opening and reading your emails. 


  • 40 percent of Business-to-Business marketers say email newsletters are critical to their content marketing success
  • 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email.
  • 99% of consumers check their email every day, and it is by far the preferred way to receive updates from brands.

Here are 5 tips on how to write an intriguing email subject line.

1. Hook Your Reader

Let's face it, we're all pretty picky about what we choose to read these days, if we read at all (I see you Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney ➕, Disney ➖, Disney ✖, Disney ➗).

How do you make sure your email stands out from the rest? 

By having a hook. 

The best email subject lines are those that make the reader want to find out more. They pique curiosity and create a sense of urgency. In other words, they make people want to click 'open.' 

So if you're looking to increase your open rates, start by crafting some irresistible subject lines, as though your business depends on it, because it may. 

2. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Short Schmendrick) 

Let’s roll out the clichés: less is more; addition by subtraction; simpler is better.

They happen to be true when it comes to the length of your email subject line. Not only is Seven a great movie (Watch the sloth scene with your kids. No don’t), it’s an important number to keep in mind with subject lines, as in don’t exceed seven words. 

For one, the subject line can trail off the screen, discouraging the recipient from opening the email. Additionally, a long subject line is often a sign of a rambling, unfocused email. A short one is more likely to get attention in a crowded inbox. 

3. Create a Sense of Urgency 

A subject line that cuts through the noise and compels the reader to open the email immediately is more likely to be successful than a generic or mundane subject line. 

You see this frequently as a consumer when it comes to company offers. And speaking of Hulu, this subject line appeared in my inbox:


“Last chance” grabs your attention. Of course, creating a sense of urgency doesn't mean resorting to gimmicks or false promises, like when a “Last chance” email is followed the next day by another one. 

4. 🚨Use Emojis🚨

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, emojis in email subject lines work by increasing unique open rates. 

A well-placed emoji can convey a tone or emotion that words alone simply can't communicate. However, it’s important not to overdo it. Using too many emojis can create confusion and even frustration for your target audience. Use them sparingly instead of vexing your readers with an emoji rebus. 

5. Get Personal 

There's no denying that people love to see their own name. 

It's like a little ego boost every time we see it, whether it's in our social media feeds or in our inboxes. It makes sense then that using a person's name in the subject line of an email would increase open rates. Research has shown that including a recipient's name in the subject line can increase open rates by as much as 26%.

But before you start cramming everyone's names into your subject lines, there are a few things to consider:

  • Using a person's name can feel intrusive, so make sure the tone of your email is friendly and casual. 
  • Only use a person's name if you actually have their permission to do so. Otherwise, you run the risk of coming off as spammy or even creepy. 
  • Don't wear it out. A little goes a long way when it comes to personalization, so use names only when it feels natural. 

Compelling subject lines get people through the digital door, but the last thing you want is to disappoint them with boring or unhelpful content when they open your email. Make sure you have something valuable to offer whether it be a special offer, special announcement, or an educational blog post.

About the Author, David Telisman

I am a Writer and Content Creator, and I work with businesses to inspire their customers to buy from them. I believe that my clients deserve to feel proud of how their content marketing looks and what it says, and I deliver by providing expert copywriting and marketing solutions.

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