Email Subject Line Strategies

When it comes to email marketing, there’s a lot of competition. If you’re reaching out to someone trying to offer your services, chances are their inbox is filled to the brim with other emails just like yours. This is why it’s so important to focus on optimizing your email subject lines.

guide to email marketing

A properly crafted email subject line can make the difference between success and failure for an email marketing campaign. After all, if your recipient doesn’t open your email, or even worse if they filter your email as spam, then you’re not going to get anywhere with outreach. 

In contrast, if you put the proper care and attention into crafting your subject line, your recipients are sure to notice. To help you out, we’ve outlined valuable email subject line tactics to improve your response rate below. 

1. Personalize Your Subject

If you want someone to open your email, personalization is key. After all, nobody likes receiving spam. If it’s clear that you copied and pasted your subject line and sent it en masse to hundreds of people, your recipients will not appreciate it. 

That said, when you open your subject line with something personable, it builds rapport with the recipient. For example, when you reference your recipient by name, it shows that you’re reaching out to them specifically.

You aren’t just sending your email to everyone willy nilly, but you did your research, thought that they could benefit from your business and reached out. 

2. Avoid Spam Words

As mentioned above, the last thing you want is for your email to be perceived as spam. In some cases, the wording of your email can even cause your message to be immediately sorted as junk by email servers. That said, here are some words you will want to avoid:

  • Offer
  • Deal
  • Winner
  • No strings
  • Act now
  • Risk-free

3. Keep It Concise

All too many marketers have this issue where they are too long-winded with their emails. This can be off-putting and overwhelming for the recipient. That said, when you keep things brief, it shows that you respect your recipient’s time. 

To that end, it’s important to take any fluff out of your subject line. Avoid filler words and get straight to the point. Generally speaking, it’s best to keep your subject under 6-10 words in length while using less than 60 characters. 

4. Prioritize Honesty

Similar to how you want to avoid sounding spammy, you also want to avoid making promises or exaggerating the capabilities of your service. Instead, you should research your recipient and their background and honestly outline how you believe your service could help them. 

The more you connect with your recipient on a human level, the more trustworthy they will perceive you to be. At the end of the day, businesses are built on trust and if you want meaningful client relationships, you’ll need to prioritize honesty.


To ensure your email marketing campaign is a success, it’s crucial that you optimize your subject lines. To that end, you’ll want to focus on personalization, avoid spammy words, keep your subject brief and prioritize honesty.

Using the above tips, you’re sure to increase your email response rate. For additional information on how to optimize survey email subject lines, the folks at Chattermill created the infographic below.