In email marketing your subject line is like your headline. It is the first thing your subscriber sees and the main factor in their decision to read your email, not read it, or delete it. Obviously your subject line is something that deserves a bit of thought then, right? So how do you craft the perfect attention grabbing subject line that begs to be clicked on?

There is no sure-fire formula that will guarantee your email gets opened, but there are several things you can do to increase your chances. As you read through this article, think about the your current autoresponder campaigns and how you can improve your subject lines to get more opens.

Don’t forget the “from” line. I don’t mean you need to change your name on your email or anything, I mean don’t forget it is there. Your subscriber will see who the email is from so there is no need to repeat it in the subject line. Rather, you should use that space to draw attention to your email. If your message is part of a newsletter, it can be helpful to brand your newsletter by having the name of the newsletter in the subject line, otherwise let the “from” line do its job!

Keep your subject line short. Many email clients have a character limit, sometimes as low as 50 characters, for the subject line so you need to get what you want to say out there in as few words as possible. You don’t want your subject line to be cut off in the middle of an important word or before an important point!

Don’t make your subject line spam-line. Not only can this get your email deleted or marked as spam, it can also get it sent right to the junk box without hitting the inbox. Avoid exclamation points or strange, non-standard characters. If you are offering something free, don’t use “free” as the first word in your subject line. Many spam filters will filter your email for it. Instead put it a few words in. You also want to be honest about what is included in the email.

If you are stuck for ideas, two great ways to come up with subject lines are using interesting things in the news, or using open ended questions. Read newspapers, watch the news, and see if you can apply those to your emails when writing subject lines. Especially with controversial news, these can be great for drawing attention.

In the end though, like most things with list building, it comes down to knowing your niche and audience, then testing to see what gives you the best results. Test different subject lines and keep track of your stats. Figure out what works best for your list.

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