Writing a Great Email Subject line - Curate Bee

How to Write Great Email Marketing Subject Lines

One area of digital marketing brands can capitalise on but is often overlooked is email marketing. This type of marketing involves the creation and sending of email campaigns to prospects and customers. When done right, email recipients are converted into customers, increasing sales for the business. For that to happen, marketers should realise that a successful email marketing campaign starts with a good subject line.

Think of it this way: when we want to have a relationship with someone, our opening line can set the tone for what’s to follow—and an email’s subject line is no different.

A brilliant attention-getting subject line encourages the receiver to proceed to reading the content, saving the email from being prematurely chucked into the trash bin. If you are having trouble formulating a great email subject line, we’ve got that covered for you below.

Ignite their Curiosity

Writing an enticing subject line sometimes involves the psychological principle called the principle of closure. This principle states that humans can’t stand having gaps in their knowledge and therefore should seek answers or closure.

Email marketers can leverage this principle by writing open-ended subject lines that ignite curiosity. Think of it as a psychological cliff-hanger which can only be answered or satisfied by reading the email.

You can spark the curiosity of your recipients by asking a question, promising something great, or writing a somewhat controversial statement.  Here are examples of curiosity-building subject lines:

  • Is this the best skin-care solution for you?
  • We can lead you to the right loan for your needs!
  • Here’s a great offer you shouldn’t refuse

However, don’t use clickbait. While it’s encouraged to write subject lines that spark curiosity, you have to make sure that the content delivers and is factual and related to the headline. Once you master doing this, a boost in open rates is not that far off.

Apply FOMO

One of the more commonly known tips in constructing a good subject line is applying FOMO or the Fear of Missing Out. Integrating this strategy can spark the urgency within a recipient to not be left behind on a current trend, product, or news.

Furthermore, email marketers can utilise words that imply time sensitivity such as urgent, important, breaking, and alert in drafting their subject lines to get better open rates. Below are a few examples:

  • [URGENT] You’ve got ONE DAY left to register…
  • Our free trial won’t last forever!
  • Last day to avail of our discount!

Creating an email using the FOMO strategy can be easy. However, make sure that when they do open the email, the content reflects a real sense of urgency. Reading an email that does not hold any urgent or relevant information in this regard will leave your recipients feeling fooled which can then affect your online reputation.

Limit Your Words

A well-known English writer by the name of Beatrix Potter once said that writing short and plain sentences is better. This is something an email marketer should also remember when writing a subject line.

A study conducted by Marketo revealed that the number of words present in the subject lines that generate the best engagement rates is seven. The study also showed that engagement rates are affected if you add more words.

As such, email marketers should practice digging deep into their creative minds to learn how to construct shorter subject lines if they want a better chance of catching the attention of their email recipients.


When putting a sense of urgency into your subject line, keep in mind that your recipients are not deaf—SO DON’T CAPITALISE EVERY LETTER. Capitalising every letter and placing too many exclamation marks can rub recipients the wrong way. In fact, a study done by Radicati Group showed that 85% of their respondents prefer receiving subject lines with proper capitalisation.

Email marketers should approach writing their subject lines like an invitation letter, and not like speaking through a megaphone.

Make it Personal

Email has given brands the opportunity to send announcements such as discounts, trials, and special offers to their subscribers. However, if they want their emails to have a higher chance of being read, they should start using a bit of personal touch.

Personalising subject lines, specifically by including the recipients’ names, has been shown to generate higher open rates.

By doing so, you can make the recipients feel as if you are speaking to them directly. This gives the idea that you value them, their feedback, and their time which can encourage them to open your emails. By being sincere and putting a personal touch to your email subject lines, you can make meaningful connections with more subscribers.

Act Now

As mentioned earlier, the subject line can set the tone for the success (or failure) of your email marketing campaigns. That is why email marketers should avoid ignoring it when they start planning out their email marketing strategy.

At Curate Bee Digital, we can be your partners in coming up with effective email strategies and campaigns that will produce results. We are a digital marketing agency based in Sydney that provides different digital marketing services such as social media marketing, SEO-SEM, content marketing, and email marketing which includes creating effective Electronic Direct Mails (EDM) for clients. Here, we go the extra mile to give your brand the online presence it deserves.

Interested to know more? Give us a buzz!

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