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The Dos and Don’ts of Email Subject Lines: A Guide to Click-Worthy Titles

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To create a great email subject line is an essential part of an email marketing campaign. As the subject line is the subscriber’s first encounter with the email campaign. And it is what attracts them to open the email.

Email marketing campaigns can get lost in an inbox without a good email subject line. But don’t worry as there are some dos and don’ts of email subject lines. In this article, you will learn about what are subject lines, their importance, and how to create the best email subject lines.

What are the Email Subject Lines?

An email subject line is the starting line of a conversation in the digital world. But an interesting and attractive one to be click-worthy. It is also something that summarizes the content or email purpose. An email subject line serves as the first impression of the recipient of the mail’s contents. It is an important part of effective email communication that guides the recipients and encourages engagement.

What makes the Subject Line Catchy?

An attractive subject line increases subscribers’ interest and forces them to open emails. There are various factors that makes the subject line catchy.


If you have limited subscribers, your subject line needs to be informative and personal. But sometimes it needs to be engaging and catchy. Whether it is a newsletter, update about the product, confirmation, request for a survey etc. you should let your subscribers know about what kind of value they will gain from your mail reading.


The tone helps to include emotion in your content. You can think about the kind of emotions that can help subscribers take action. Emails about the sales may have subject lines that are urgent. On the other side, an email about the product launch can be informative and catchy enough to attract the subscriber’s attention. 


Unlike the tone, subject line styling informs about the subscriber’s response. Credible subject lines are created according to the brand voice. Avoid spam filters. Some youthful brands use emojis in subject lines. However, brands that have male-dominated audiences may choose to use a few exclamation points.

Dos for catchy email subject lines

  • Keep it short

Email content should be within 50 characters and subject lines 28 to 39 characters.  This many characters help to make the subject line attractive and click-worthy. 

  • Subject lines personalisation

Personalisation helps to connect with customers more. As they are likely to respond to something relevant to them. Customers are likely to open an email 29% more than is personalised one. Plus adding the recipient’s name to the subject line helps email to become spam. 

  • Include a promotion or contest

An incentive-based email gets the best click-worthy rates. But to test email with a small set of customers before the campaign launch is a good step. To include a contest language in the email subject line shows the preview. There is an ISP that recognises a trusted sender and sends the mail straight to the inbox. 

  • Send the email at the right time

You can create engaging, optimised and catchy subject lines. But the effort can get wasted when the customers will not see it. So be sure to send the email at the right time. To optimise open rates and review completion rates. 

The right time gives customers enough time to use the product and leave a review. Also, it is suggested to send the request mail within 1 to 3 weeks after the customer has purchased the product. Certain benchmarks are there that work best for various types of products. Like for seasonal products 7 days, perishable 14 days, hard goods 21 days etc. 

  • Choose A/B testing

Always remember that your customers are unique. The average best practice may apply to them. Additionally, to check various variations of email subject lines. And then to see which subject line provides the best results. 

Don’ts of a Catchy Email Subject Lines

  • Don’t send emails from do not reply mail accounts

No reply email can be harmful to the email delivery rates. As they are various ISPs filter emails sent from no-reply addresses as spam. Plus it offers a bad experience for the users. If the customer has a problem, he cannot reply to the mail. So you need to create a dedicated email address for the reviews collection efforts. To make sure that it is checked in case of the customer’s response. 

  • Do not include other marketing or sales calls to action

You should not confuse your customers. Keep the call to action that focuses on the review collection alone. In the subject lines as well as email copy. 

  • No overusage of punctuation and hashtags

If there is too much punctuation in the subject line. It looks spammy. So don’t use lots of special characters like $ or! Hashtags can be showcased as spam too. Stick to the normal punctuation to make the email click-worthy. 

  • To skip the generic phases

Generic phases in the subject lines like important messages or check this out fail to capture the attention. So choose the particular, descriptive language that communicates with value proposition of the email and forces the receiver to open the mail.

  • Do not use overused terms

The use of overused terms enables to lose the impact. Terms such as breaking news or don’t miss out fail to stand out among the several emails. So, choose originality and creativity to gain attention. 

Importance of Subject Lines

Email subject lines are considered to be the first impression for the recipients. An attractive subject line can increasingly affect open rates, click-through rates and overall email marketing performance. It also sets the tone for the email content and impacts recipients who choose to open or ignore the mail. 

But subject lines play an important role. To convey the relevance and value of mail. As it helps the recipients to understand the purpose quickly. All this leads to a rise in engagement levels. 

Wrapping it up

To create attractive email subject lines need strategy. So by following the dos and don’ts, being concise, and avoiding spams, and cliches. Subject lines can become engaging and you can achieve email marketing goals in an efficient way.

About the author


Sarah Marksons

Sarah Marksons is a Marketing consultant primarily in B2B lead generation. She’s best known for her insightful blogs on email marketing, B2B and SaaS companies, and business growth. Sarah also has a good network in the sales industry, especially in the digital sales community. Apart from her work, she contributes to the community by being an animal rights advocate. She loves creative writing, aspiring to make the world a safer place for everyone through marketing, writing, and everything she does.