Tips on Writing Subject Lines to Get Attention

It takes seven seconds to make a first impression, and that’s about how long it takes to read the subject line of an email.

The subject line is a huge deciding factor on whether or not someone opens your actual email, so make it count! Here are 7 tips on how to make those 7 seconds count.


Keep It Real

Make sure the subject actually reflects what the email is about. Don’t try to “click bait” your audience. While a catchy unrealistic subject will make readers open your email once, it’ll stop them from opening your future ones. A misleading subject will create distrust between you and your audience. The goal isn’t to trick people!

Use Action Words

This will entice readers into reading your email. Action words are clear and right to the point of what the reader will expect. It inspires people to click on the actual email, and readers can better imagine themselves participating in or doing the action verb.

Cater emails Specifically

Personalize your subject lines to your audience. If you are emailing a group of people who have similar interests, cater the subject line to that interest. Personalizing the subject line will make people feel special, and less like they are about to read a generic email.



Many companies will throw “three day sales” or say “act now!” to grab our attention. And yes, this really works. In the subject line say an email is urgent or important. People who were going to come back to the email later may change their mind. This will also grab the attention of people who have FOMO, or “fear of missing out”

Watch Your Capitals

A subject line in all capital letters will grab people’s attention, just not in the right way. While capital letters are associated with importance, they tend to be alarm people too. In emails, a subject with capital letters also looks like spam. It also can be looked at as yelling, and will turn people away.

Be Funny

A funny subject line can go a long way. A pun or joke will grab readers’ attention and brighten their mood for reading the email too. While some people may not find jokes funny, most people will laugh or appreciate a good pun.

Use Emojis

We can’t discuss relatable subject lines without mentioning emojis. This will distinguish your email from others, and draw attention to it. Just be sure to use emojis that are optimized on Apple, Androids, and people’s computers. Common emojis like a smiley face, heart, or a thumbs up will most likely be optimized for most devices. The downside to this is that older processors or software will make your emoji show up as a black box or square. This could turn readers away.

Depending on the demographic or devices used to read emails, these tips will help get your buyer persona to click on your emails. Keep your subject lines clear, and hopefully these compelling subject lines will resonate with your readers!

-Written by Olivia Genito


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