How to write email subject lines with an exploding opening rate?

You check your email all the time. No denying.

Even if you are in a movie or a boring board meeting which could have been an email. Or while you wait at a cafe for your friends to arrive. Your thumb is on it. That is precisely the reason, email is not dying anytime soon. In fact, Email campaigns are being powered by AI for better reach and performance.

Unlike various advertisements on desktop or mobile, email is personal. It is equivalent to a web address to reach a person. Email is powerful because you have the tendency to open an email immediately. It is the surprise factor that makes you open it – Human Psychology.

Despite this, you have around 1583 unopened emails in your inbox. Why? Because you thought they were uninteresting or useless or boring.

What made you think that? THE SUBJECT LINE. See how important that is? It sets the context for your immediate action or not.

There isn’t much difference between an email subject line and a headline of a blog.

Both serve the same purpose. Either make it or break it. The subject line decides the opening rate of your emails.

Why should email opening rate matter?

The first reason is obvious and taken. It is because you want your emails to be read to either make sales or make sales.

The second reason is, the open rate is not just an ego boost number you want to swag in your meetings. Your open rate is inversely proportional to your bounce rate.

If you have a low email opening rate, the chances of your email delivering your prospects are lesser which means less business. There can be many ways to increase your open rate.

  • Writing clickable subject lines
  • Pruning your email subscribers list
  • Segmenting your email subscribers list
  • Finding your optimum campaign number and frequency

Let us talk about subject lines today.

How to write email subject lines that get opened?

Cut the crap

Verbiage is redundant. It has no value. And people throw things that do not add value. If you want to stay in people’s inboxes, keep it straight and short. No this and that.

There is no value in stuffed adjectives unless you lead them to a benefit or result.

Write an email subject line like “How boiling eggs made me a better writer”. Who doesn’t open that? It is so high on the curiosity switch that it arouses your spirit of inquiry. You will put everything down to go read that email.

Nevertheless, do not talk about baking bacon when you open your email with boiling eggs. The point is to help people become better writers. Give a step by step plan and a common challenge that you can help your prospects overcome.

Short or long subject line

There is no hard and fast rule about a short subject line or long subject line or a very long subject line. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But being aware of what works and what doesn’t is your job as an email marketer. And this is a metric to remember while measuring your email campaign performance.

Neil Patel has switched to shorter emails without HTML format. It works for some who do not mind clicking the link inside the email which spikes the click-through rate. At the same time, it does not work for people who do not want to click another link to get somewhere else for a piece of information.

The same logic applies to subject lines as well. It is personal interest. But, finding the middle ground that works for most of your audience is what you learn with A/B Testing.

Make use of power words

Words that describe have an emotive response. They have the power to emote a feeling. We are driven by feelings. Simon Sinek talks about how human brain functions. The “why” is all you need to find and work on your adjectives that arouse this “reason” in a person. Now, do you know why you fall in love? It is a feeling that makes the connection. Marketing today has become more personal and emotion-oriented than it was in the Gen X times. Your customer is looking to be delighted in every experience or encounter with your brand. Make sure you drive your customer into experiences wth the help of brand elevating words.


Using one emoji to enhance your purpose is considered well done. But, if you stuff emojis and gifs for every expression exactly like a teenager using Snapchat does, nobody takes you seriously. Although the minimal usage of it works, overdoing it, you may come across as someone who is lazy because you do not know how to use your words.

Ask Questions

Humans want to know what happens. That is why most of the women gossip and most of the men love Game of Thrones. It is to satiate the hunger for mystery.

To be continued… is a very strong phrase that keeps you waiting. That is why daily soaps run for years even though they don’t make sense to an average human being. If you are kept hanging, you hate gravity. And questions are the best way to exploit the gravity problem.

How not to write a subject line?

People hate it when the subject line starts from “Re:”. I know it is super smart to do this because it looks like you initiated the conversation and someone is responding to you. And you are taken aback because you never initiated that conversation in a million years. You anyway open it to see what it is all about and get disappointed that it is a sales email.

You cannot outsmart your customers. They lose trust in you.

What is the point of having an opening rate of 99% and your deal closing rate is less than 1%? You are as good as no email. Do not employ cheap tactics to attain higher opening rate.

Look at what happened when there was a discussion about “Re:”  as the subject line. There wasn’t one person who approved this sleazy tactic. They detested it.

Never use “Re:” in subject lines if you want your business to grow.

To wrap up, make your subject lines more approachable as a human. If you write like a drone, you will lose identity. Nobody gets it right the first time. You have to try and fail to get the best. Now, is this hard for you to do because you do not have enough time to assess and qualify your subject lines? Let us help you further to make your email campaign a hit.


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