Writing Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines

What is a Subject line?

A subject line is a brief and descriptive phrase or sentence that serves as the headline of an email. It appears at the top of the email in the recipient’s inbox and provides a preview of the email’s content. The subject line’s main purpose is to capture the recipient’s attention, convey the email’s main message, and entice them to open and read the email.

Key characteristics of a subject line include:

  1. Concise: Subject lines are typically short, usually containing around 6 to 8 words or 40 to 50 characters to ensure they are fully visible on most devices and email clients.
  2. Relevant: A good subject line accurately reflects the content of the email. It should align with the email’s purpose and be relevant to the recipient’s interests and needs.
  3. Engaging: Subject lines should be compelling and attention-grabbing. They can use curiosity, urgency, or personalization to encourage the recipient to open the email.
  4. Action-Oriented: Strong subject lines often use action-oriented language or verbs that encourage the recipient to take a specific action, such as “act now,” “discover,” “join us,” or “get started.”
  5. Avoid Spam Triggers: Subject lines should avoid using excessive punctuation, all capital letters, or spammy phrases that might trigger spam filters and reduce email deliverability.
  6. Personalization: When possible, including the recipient’s name in the subject line can add a personal touch and increase the email’s open rate.
  7. Segmentation: Tailoring subject lines to specific audience segments based on their preferences or behaviors can make the email more relevant and increase engagement.

The subject line is a critical element in email marketing as it significantly impacts whether an email will be opened and read or ignored. It is the first impression your email makes on the recipient, and a well-crafted subject line can significantly improve the open rates and overall effectiveness of your email campaigns. Marketers often A/B test different subject lines to identify the most effective ones for their target audience.

Writing Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines

Writing attention-grabbing subject lines is a crucial step in crafting compelling email copy. The subject line is the first thing recipients see when they receive your email, and it plays a significant role in determining whether they will open and read your message or ignore it. An attention-grabbing subject line can pique curiosity, create urgency, and compel the recipient to take action. Here’s a detailed guide on how to write attention-grabbing subject lines:

  1. Keep it Short and Concise: Subject lines should be brief and to the point. Aim for around 6 to 8 words or 40 to 50 characters to ensure they are fully visible on most devices and email clients.
  2. Personalize When Possible: Use the recipient’s name in the subject line to add a personal touch. Personalization can increase the email’s open rate as it makes the email feel more tailored and relevant.
  3. Create a Sense of Urgency: Use action-oriented language and words that create a sense of urgency, such as “limited time offer,” “ending soon,” or “act now.” Urgency can motivate recipients to open the email promptly.
  4. Ask a Question: Pose a compelling question that arouses curiosity and prompts recipients to open the email to find the answer. Make sure the question is relevant to the content of the email.
  5. Use Numbers or Lists: Incorporate numbers in the subject line to indicate a specific quantity of content or benefits, such as “10 tips for…,” “5 ways to…,” or “50% off.”
  6. Use Power Words: Use strong and impactful words that evoke emotion or convey value, such as “exclusive,” “amazing,” “free,” “new,” “discover,” or “limited.”
  7. Tailor to the Audience: Understand your target audience and customize the subject line to resonate with their interests and needs. Speak directly to their pain points or desires.
  8. Avoid Spam Triggers: Refrain from using all capital letters, excessive exclamation points, or spammy phrases (e.g., “free money,” “urgent,” “act now”) that might trigger spam filters.
  9. Segmentation: Segment your email list and tailor subject lines to specific groups based on their preferences, behavior, or purchase history. This increases relevance and engagement.
  10. Test and Analyze: A/B test different subject lines to see which ones perform better. Analyze open rates and click-through rates to determine the most effective subject line strategies for your audience.

Writing attention-grabbing subject lines is essential for enticing recipients to open your emails and engage with your content. By following these best practices and tailoring subject lines to your specific audience, you can increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns and drive better results.

Examples of attention-grabbing subject lines

Here are some examples of attention-grabbing subject lines for different types of emails:

1. Promotional Emails:

  • “Last Chance! 24-Hour Flash Sale – Save 50%”
  • “Unlock Your Exclusive Discount Inside…”
  • “Limited Stock Alert: Get Yours Before It’s Gone!”
  • “Don’t Miss Out: Our Biggest Sale of the Year!”

2. Welcome Emails:

  • “Welcome Aboard, [Recipient’s Name]! Special Gift Inside”
  • “Thanks for Joining Us! Here’s What’s in Store for You”
  • “Your Journey Starts Here – Let’s Begin Together”

3. Abandoned Cart Emails:

  • “Forgot Something? Your Cart Awaits with 10% Off!”
  • “Complete Your Purchase and Enjoy Free Shipping”
  • “Did You Leave Something Behind? Take 15% Off Now”

4. Newsletter Emails:

  • “Discover the Top 10 Trends in [Industry/Topic]”
  • “Exclusive Insights: Interview with [Industry Expert]”
  • “Your Weekly Dose of Inspiration – Read Now”

5. Event Invitation Emails:

  • “You’re Invited: Join us for a Special Evening!”
  • “Reserve Your Spot: Limited Seats Available”
  • “Don’t Miss Out: The Event of the Year Is Here!”

6. Survey Emails:

  • “We Want to Hear from You! Take Our Quick Survey”
  • “Your Opinion Matters: Complete Our Feedback Form”
  • “Tell Us What You Think – Win Exciting Prizes!”

7. Re-Engagement Emails:

  • “We Miss You! Come Back for a Special Surprise”
  • “Is It Time to Reconnect? Let’s Catch Up!”
  • “We Haven’t Heard from You – Here’s an Exclusive Offer”

8. Content-Driven Emails:

  • “New Blog Post: 5 Tips to Boost Your Productivity”
  • “How-to Guide: Mastering [Skill/Topic]”
  • “Exclusive Ebook: The Ultimate Guide to [Topic]”

The key to writing effective subject lines is to be clear, concise, and relevant to your audience. Experiment with different strategies and tailor your subject lines based on the purpose of your email and the preferences of your recipients. Always test and analyze the performance of your subject lines to optimize your email marketing efforts and achieve better engagement rates.


  • Shivani Adhikari

    I am Shivani Adhikari author of the website Mailersadda, where I write about a variety of topics including digital marketing, SEO, SMO, email marketing, conversion optimization, content marketing, website design and more. When I'm not working on the website, I enjoy exploring outdoors, travelling and painting. I Hope you find my website helpful and informative. Thank you for visiting Mailersadda.