Writing compelling newsletter subject lines that your subscribers won’t be able to ignore

Mailrelay , Invited guest @ Mailrelay

There are two ways to convince your subscribers to open your emails; one is to write impactful subject lines that your contacts will not be able to ignore.

The other alternative is to have a recognized brand or a very good relationship with our contacts so that the subject line of our emails is almost irrelevant (almost).

For the second option to work, we would need a long time and a lot of investment.

It is not something that happens overnight.

And therefore, it is not available to every company or entrepreneur, especially when they are just starting to work on their subscriber list.

In cases where this is not an option, we have to work very well on our email marketing strategy, creating messages that target our audience as well as their needs.

· Two different situations in your email marketing campaigns

– Two different situations in your email marketing campaigns

As we mentioned, we may have a well-known brand or a stable relationship with our contacts, who will already know and trust the sender.

In this case, where the majority of the contacts that see our sender will open our e-mails, it is more interesting to write shocking, funny, or slightly intriguing subjects.


Because we usually start from the basis that the subscriber already knows and trusts us, moreover, they are almost certain of the kind of content we will send them.

So the problem we have is not so much to convince them that we have something they need to stand out among the relevant emails in the user’s inbox.

For example:

la 990v5

If this email is received by someone who has no idea who is sending the message, they certainly won’t understand what it is, nor will they have much interest in opening it.

But if it is a contact who knows the brand well and knows what kind of content is usually sent, they will certainly know what they will find in the email.

But if our brand is not well known, or we have had little interaction with contacts recently, it is possible that these types of subjects are not entirely effective for increasing our open rates.

Because we still have to create that special relationship with our subscribers.

And in this case, what we need to do is write subject lines that:

  1. Are more precise about the content
  2. At the same time, are brief, but not too brief (for example, Promotion)
  3. And induce subscribers to act

That doesn’t mean the subject line can’t be fun and intriguing; generate curiosity and urgency. But this must be done carefully.

Let’s see how to do that.

· To write an interesting subjet, the first step must be

We’ve already talked about how to write impactful subjects.

But since it is an important topic that can affect your sales, it is worth revisiting and giving other approaches.

One that suits the times and needs of companies sending email marketing campaigns.

And the first thing to consider is that the other person, the subscriber who receives the email, your potential customer (come on, the person whose intention matters), doesn’t have a crystal ball.

Don’t rely on anyone’s divination powers.

◆ Your subscribers should understand why you are sending the newsletter.

This sounds so easy to do, but often it’s not that easy, and email campaigns are sent with subjects that say nothing and get lost among the other messages. Take a look at these examples:

◆ Black Friday 2019

◆ Good deal


◆ Etc.

That kind of subject line by itself doesn’t offer much information; it says almost nothing and customers will need to use their imagination to try to think of the content they will find in the newsletter.

Even if the subscriber knows the brand very well, he or she will not feel encouraged to open the message.

► It may even discourage users from reading the email

If the contact perceives that

◆ The message doesn’t offer anything concrete

◆ they will have to spend time (they would have to download and open the catalogs)

◆ They will have to decide on something they are not yet sure (they don’t know whether they will buy from you or not)

It is possible that your subscriber will not open the newsletter and leave it to read later or even delete it.

Obviously, using an irrelevant but more wordy subject doesn’t help much:

► Avoid common subject lines that will not stand out, for example:

ejemplo de asunto de email poco efectivo

 Avoid common subject lines that will not stand out, for example:

“Mother’s Day Promotion Last 48 hours”

Okay, it’s concrete and makes the content very clear.

If you work with shoes, the customer who knows the brand will know that it is a discount on a pair of sneakers.

And those who were thinking of buying will undoubtedly be tempted to open this newsletter.

But would it convince most customers?

Surely we are turning away many customers with an email subject that doesn’t attract their attention, nor does it stand out in their inbox.

There is nothing “direct” to the contact, no specific reason that would convince subscribers to click:

We are talking about a generic promotion, but we are not specifying the cheaper product, besides talking about a generic holiday, with no direct relation to customers’ needs.

In summary:
Your subscribers should understand what they will find when they open your email. However, your subject line should never be similar from other titles your competitors are using.

Remember that your competitors will also be sending similar emails, so your message must stand out from other email marketing campaigns.

Algo mejor, pero en mi opinión todavía no 

· Something better, but that could be improved, would be this subject line:


It’s a subject line directly related to the content.

And also with a very elaborate differentiation. It is improbable that there is another subject line similar to this one.

But in my opinion, something is still missing:

◆ The reason for sending the email

Always put yourself in the subscriber’s shoes, i.e., what will the contact achieve or receive when they open the email?

The email should be considered relevant by the subscribers. In other words, the user should get something out of it. There must be a relationship between open email + reward so that the open rates will increase and the email is not simply ignored.

In summary:
If we have already discussed the importance of explaining the “what,” the reason for the email, explaining “why” is equally important. That is why the message will be relevant to your subscribers.

We don’t just want to distinguish ourselves from other campaigns; we want subscribers to open the email, and a good option is to show what’s in the message to them.

That will be vital for improving the level of interaction with our campaigns.

Los ejemplos, transformados siguiendo este patrón

· The previous subject line examples transformed following this pattern

We could transform the examples we saw:

Original: Mother’s Day Promotion Last 48 hours

Modified: No gift for Mother’s Day? 25€ discount now

And the other email we saw:

Original: Check our 10 most popular Instagram templates in Spain

Modified: 10 Instagram templates that will boost your metrics

These are just a few examples that I didn’t spend much time on. However, I believe that changes could improve the open rates of these campaigns.

►  If you are not sure which subject might be best for your message.

Don’t worry; in such cases, you can use Mailrelay’s A/B testing feature.

This way, you can test between two subject lines and see, after reviewing the data, which one works best.

That is the best option.

Try setting up two totally different subjects to see which one works best.

This is a little-used feature, but it can make a difference when you need to create a sales email, which will certainly increase your open rates.

And don’t forget

► Always test your campaigns.

Try to vary the type of subjects, so you can see what works best for your community, thanks to the statistics provided by Mailrelay.

For example, you can see how this other campaign from New Balance is different from the previous one we saw:

new balance

You have to take special situations into account, introduce variety so as not to tire your subscribers, and in general, constantly adapt your message to your readers and potential customers.

· In summary

It is best that you write unique subject lines that specify the content and what the contact will get when opening the email.

There are more strategies, yes.

We can try playing with curiosity, impressive and shocking subject lines, even absurd, but that will attract the subscribers’ attention.

Adapt your message to your contacts and your target audience.

But take the time to think about the best subject line for each email marketing campaign. After all, that is the first thing your subscribers will see.

Translated by Micheli.


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