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Better Email Subject Lines Get More Opens

Best Blog award from Tales2Inspire

Tales2Inspire Best Blog Award

Congratulations to Nathan Ellering of, who receives the Blogger of the month award for his article, How To Write Better Email Subject Lines To Get More Opens. Here are 10 pointers he shares:

1. Never Reuse Subject Lines

This sends people the message that they’ve already read your email, even if the content is different. So, don’t start off by reusing subject lines as it gives people the idea that you are wasting their time.

2. Aim For 5 To 7 Words

Different email clients display different character counts before cutting off subject lines. So stick to roughly five to seven words (or about 50 characters), to ensure that your full subject appears in the subject bar.

3. Avoid Sounding Sales-y

Avoid excessively sales-oriented sounding subject lines. People are protective with their time and money. Show value first before going for the sale.

4. Use Action Verbs

Directing readers with a specific action can motivate them to respond. For example, if you wanted to encourage customers to attend a theater, “Join Us At The Movies!” would likely be more effective than “Going To Movies Is Fun”.

5. Use Humor Carefully

Comedy writing is a difficult skill to master. Unless you are really proficient at it, it’s probably better to leave the jokes to the professionals.

6. Include A Surprising Stat

If you have a stat that is likely to be unexpected, use it in your subject line, but be careful not to use it in a misleading way. You can also use your stat in a question, as “Can you guess . . . ?”

7. Write Clearly

People have short attention spans. So, use clear language and cut out any unnecessary words.

8. Be Human

Be conversational and write like a human being. In other words, don’t sound like a robot. Use language similar to what your target audience would use.


Never use  ALL CAPS KEYS in your subject line.

10. Subject lines should make people feel something.

This doesn’t necessarily mean something profound or life-changing – just something that connects emotionally.

What I learned from Nathan

My newsletter subject lines have been repetitive and boring, always starting with  “Tales2Inspire Inspiring Stories Newsletter” followed by the month of issue. 

Readers who bothered to open my last newsletter learned that Tales2Inspire is donating 20 % of its proceeds to the American Heart Association, due to a personal family crisis.  

My latest press release, which shared that very personal story, blasted its way to the top of the internet charts. But how would my readers have known? The  subject line was so boring that now I wonder, did they even bother to open it?

If I had read Nathan’s article in advance, kept my subject line to between 5-7 words, avoided sales-y talk, and made my readers feel some deep emotion, I would have written my subject line as follows: 

Personal Crisis Inspires Tales2Inspire Charity Donations 

Has that subject line enticed you to learn more? If so, go for it by clicking on this link:

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