3 Tips for Email Subject Lines

When it’s time to develop the content for an email appeal, the subject line is typically the last thing to get written. Ironically, it’s the usually first thing your reader sees.

Give your subject lines the love and attention they deserve. Use these three tips to make your subject lines more interesting, relevant and effective.

  1. Substance over Style
    The subject line is an opportunity to establish that what you have to say is relevant to your readers’ interests and concerns. Does your subject line paint an accurate picture of what’s inside? Email can build or break a trusting relationship with your readers, so be clear about what they’ll get if they open the email. If the content within doesn’t live up to the promise of the subject line, it may be the last time some recipients open your emails.
  2. Watch the Length
    Remember, messages are not always displayed consistently across various email clients and platforms (Outlook, Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, etc. may all display the subject line differently). Most email clients allow for 50-60 characters to display in a subject line, which is not that much to work with! If you’re aware that a substantial number of your supporters may be reading your emails on a mobile device, consider condensing your subject lines even shorter.
  3. Support the “From” Line
    When deciding whether to open an email, readers sometimes look at the “From” line before the subject line. Support brand recognition by using a consistent “from” address for your email appeals. If your “from” line lists your org’s name, you don’t have to repeat it in the subject line, which frees up space in the subject line.

For more pointers, download our Making Email Appeals More Effective tip sheet.