How to write a seriously good subject line


You’ve done A LOT more complicated tasks than stringing a basic sentence together, right?

So, what’s the big whoop? Writing isn’t so hard. Everyone can do it, right?  

You can write a killer subject line for your marketing email and be done before you can say ‘nailed it’, right?  

Sorry to be a Debby Downer, but it ain’t that easy, killer!

[Every writer worth their weight in gold] once said that less is more.

Brevity is great; captivation is better.

Not sure what that means, but intrigued? Good. It’s working! *rubs hands together*

Here’s a basic recipe for writing a concise and captivating subject line for your marketing content.
If you have trouble following recipes, don’t worry.

It’s literally IMPOSSIBLE to burn anything.


Know who you’re writing for

Ever heard of the old saying “the three Rs will save your Rs?”

Of course, you haven’t, because I just made it up.

The three Rs stand for ‘Research’, ‘Research’… you get the idea.

Research your audience. Know what they’re interested in. Know their trends. Know what they value. If you know where they live, you’ve probably gone too far.

Guaranteed – your email won’t get opened if you’ve written a subject line that is completely out of touch with your audience base.


Curiosity killed the ‘delete’ button

Drumming up some mystery and curiosity in your subject line gives your audience a reason to open it.

“This is the most important email you’ll receive today.”

Why? Why is it the most important email? I HAVE to know! *click*

Is it actually the most important email they’ll get all day? Maybe (probably not), but you got their attention.


Emotions are powerful

Using emotive language (with the right audience) is a powerful thing.

Aligning your message with a feeling touches your readers on a human level and provokes them to read on.

“Why people are TERRIFIED but EXCITED to try this.”

There’s a tiny rollercoaster of emotions in that sentence that leaves enough mystery and intrigue to click through to your content.

Hot tip: avoid using emotive language ALL the time – the angle will age badly and leave a foul taste in your audiences’ mouths.


Create imagery

Conjuring images in a reader’s mind is an art.

Some writers do it extremely well, and some go overboard with detailed five-page explanations of garden ornaments and wisteria *cough Anne Rice cough*.

Nevertheless, the use of imagery in writing allows the reader to connect the words with their senses and imaginations and springs the sentence to life.

“Opening this email is like opening a fresh batch of doughnuts.”

Boom. I bet you’re hungry.


We hope you use these techniques for good, and not evil.

Now go out there and get ‘em!