Your newsletters are not much better than the subject line you create for it. It can be said as simple as that. If you do not manage to create a subject line that tickles the recipients’ interest, then they will not open your email, and all your hard work on creating the email is lost.

Who does not know the feeling of sitting aimlessly and staring at the screen completely stuck for ideas

The subject lines can be hard to make if they really have to be effective. Who does not know the feeling of sitting aimlessly and staring at the screen completely stuck for ideas and end up making a complete uninspiring subject line like “New items week 25”, “New brand in the webshop” or “Favorites of the week”. You do not want them. It is estimated that on average a person receives 100 emails a day (the work included), and therefore, there really takes a lot to ensure that your email gets attention – and the subsequent magic click, that opens your email.

In addition, there is a lot at stake with your subject line, since there is also some portion of trust associated when communicating with the recipient of your emails. If the content of the email does not meet the expectations after reading your topic line, people will quickly become suspicious of your emails and the effect will be that the recipient will not bother to open your emails.

So, what is best practice when writing your subject line? Below you can read our 5 bids:


1. “Fear of Missing Out” and “Sense of Urgency”

Create a feeling that a person just can’t and mustn’t miss the content! In English you operate with terms such as “Fear of Missing Out” and “Sense of Urgency”. A study has shown that subject lines containing a “Sense of Urgency” have a 22% higher open rate. That is, if you can get the recipient to sense that he or she just have to open the email here and now, then it is perfectly optimal.

You experience in many cases where a recipient actually intends to open your email. “I will do it when I come home from work,” the recipient thinks. And then the recipient comes home, and the kids have napping time, and there is some food to be made, and, at the same time, the grass has to be cut. Then your email has long been forgotten.

You want your recipients to open your email here and now – and get them to act and respond right away.

Therefore, try to create a subject line that appeals to the recipient’s curiosity and “Sense of Urgency”. For example:

– “Only today! Save 25% on sneakers”. If your recipients have not opened the email, then when it’s for example, 7 o’clock p.m., you can send a new one to the list of those who have not yet received it, with the text “Hurry up – Only 5 hours left for the offer on sneakers!”
– “Throw everything you have in your hands – Don’t miss this wild offer!”
– “Sale only this afternoon! Last chance for huge savings”
– “Tired of ants in the kitchen? This method eradicates them with guarantee”
– Another angle on the above could be “How to get rid of ants in the kitchen”

Words that work well in subject lines to create this Sense of Urgency are:

  • 24 hours
  • 1 day left
  • Ends soon
  • XX hours left
  • Expires tonight
  • Hurry up
  • Last chance
  • Last day
  • Limited offer
  • Last reminder
  • Only 2 places left
  • Save 20% now


2. Be mysterious

Another approach that you can use for your subject lines in newsletters is mystery. You have probably yourself occasionally experienced and scrolled through the amount of the many emails in the inbox, and you have perhaps also encountered an email where your heart says: “ Hey…what was it really there?” You scroll back and you just HAVE to click and open the email, because it probably sounded too exciting to miss.

Hey…what was it really there??

It can be a thin boundary between being mysterious and annoying. It is also possible for subject lines to be clickbait. Below are a few examples of subject lines, where the element of mystery is included:

  • (name of the recipient), can you solve this riddle for us?
  • Last chance to see what this email is about
  • You must not open this email!!
  • Happy Birthday (name) – We have a surprise for you!
  • 9 horrible facts about Halloween


3. K.I.S.S.

It has many names and K.I.S.S. is both shortened for “Keep it Short, Sweetie” or “Keep it Simple, Stupid”. Regardless, the point and the meaning are the same: People’s attention span today is less than ever. It is not a joke to say that people have attention span of a goldfish. This goes along with the fact that people today have less and less time available.

This study has shown that the fewer words in the subject line, the more people open the email. If you can hold the subject line down to 1-2 words, there are 15% more people who open the email, than if 3 or more words were used. However, it can of course be incredibly difficult to keep a headline so short when you have to communicate a message. Another study like this one shows that there is the largest open rate between 0-10 words, something more flexible and realistic to relate to.

Try to keep the subject line as short as possible!

But whatever it is, the conclusion is the same for both of them: Try to keep the subject line as short as possible!

Try yourself to see if your recipients respond best if you use under 5 words or under 10 words.

Think that most people today receive and read emails on their mobile phones. In addition, on the mobile devices, the subject line in emails is always shortened to the amount you see in a mail program on the computer.


4. Be emotional

People are far more being driven by emotions rather than logic when they buy something. And, of course, it is not about writing a story that makes them sob. It is about writing – and appealing – to the recipient as a human being and not a machine.

There are many different ways to do it, including

  • Use the recipient’s name in the subject line
  • Give them good news
  • Celebrate something with the recipient
  • Focus on the customer and make them feel special

There are a number of words that you can use in your email marketing when you have to create subject lines based on the emotional. This is known as power words. Examples of these words are: free, sale, guaranteed, professional, discount, now, big, interesting etc. Look elsewhere on this page our big list of 100+ power words that you can use.


5. Use humor

You probably know it from yourself; with humor you often come a long way. The same goes for your newsletters. If you can get the recipient to pull smiley face or even laugh, then you have succeeded!

However, it is a delicate balance to hit the target group with humor. Today, more than ever before, thanks to social media, we know that sometimes a little bit before launch, that is made with a humorous touch, is unconsciously or deliberately misinterpreted.

Therefore, be careful not to be offensive, and where the is limit today, for it seems to be constantly moving. As a starting point, topics such as religion, race and politics are often areas one should avoid touching. Also, be careful not to use humor if you are not really humorous. It can often result in content that seems more crowded than actually humorous.

By following the above advice, you should be able to significantly improve your open rate in email marketing campaigns and newsletters. Remember to test thoroughly to find out how your email recipients respond best to your subject lines.