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6 ways to write subject lines that get your emails opened

Skyrocket your email open rates with these 6 email subject line tips

Nat Milligan - Copywriter. Person at desk using computer mouse.

When it comes to your email marketing strategy, the click should be your number 1 goal.


Yes, your emails can be witty, entertaining, informative and packed with value. But - and here’s the tough-love bit, my friend - none of that matters if your readers don’t click on the email in the first place.


Your email subject line needs to work ridiculously hard - poor thing - at grabbing your reader’s attention... and it needs to do it in a short amount of time because let’s face it, your customers are busy people.


Your email subject line needs to do a lot of things... stand out, motivate, inspire, encourage and entice your reader to open your email... Granted not all at the same time.


I know that sounds like heavy-duty stuff so let me share some ideas with you.


Here are 6 ways to write subject lines that get your emails opened.


These ideas - when done right - can skyrocket your open rates.


Open rates is one of the things you want to be tracking. SCROLL DOWN for other important stats you need to focus on.

Nat Milligan - Copywriter. Infographic showing 6 ways to write subject lines that get emails opened.

Don’t settle for the first email subject line you write


Don’t settle on the first subject line you write. Spend time on them. Brain dump ideas. You need to show your email subject lines some TLC. The secret to crafting hooky headlines and sensational subject lines lies in your willingness to spend a little time crafting the best line you can.


Make sure your email subject lines are:


1) Action-orientated (inspires your reader to open the email)

2) Concise (no wishy-washy words... Get to the point!)

3) Clear (says what the reader can expect to find after they click)

4) Intriguing (offers enough curiosity to pique their interest)



3 things to look out for when writing effective email subject lines


1) Length

Not too long, not too short. Around 30 characters long might be the sweet spot because it will easily fit on most devices. And pay attention to your word count. Somewhere around 6 words will keep your subject tight like J-Lo's abs.


2) Wording

Include positive and helpful words. Let your reader know there's something in it for them! Words like "Get", "Your", "Can" .


3) Scannability

Make your email subject lines easy for the reader to digest and understand quickly. Use numbers and capitalisation (where fitting) to grab the reader's attention.



It’s all about first impressions


Your email subject line is the first thing your readers see when they fire up their inboxes. It’s like going on a blind date… first impressions count for a lot.


Try your best to write subject lines that stand out. They should feel relevant to the readers (as in, it’s something they want to read).


And do your best to use language that inspires action (without saying, “open up” or “read this”... I know you’ve got more creative ideas up your sleeve than that [wink] ).


Nat Milligan - Copywriter. Man holding bunch of flowers, waiting for his date to arrive.

6 Ways to write email subject lines that get opened... Was this helpful?


I’d love to hear from you. Drop a line in the comments and let me know what tip or strategy resonated with you the most. And if you're doing some of these already, which ones deliver the best results for you? It might provide insight into the types of email subject lines your audience resonates with most.


‘Til next time ~


Nat x



P.S. Other important email stats worth knowing. When it comes to email marketing you'll want to focus on these email stats:


1. The number of subscribers. Is your email list growing? Have you got a consistent email marketing schedule? Scrub your email list to reduce the chances of your emails ending up in people's spam folders. Here's how to scrub your list. Remove:

  • Unsubscribers

  • Bounced accounts

  • People who haven't opened your emails in the last 3 - 6 months depending on how often you send emails.

2. Email open rates. This varies for different sectors and niches. But the industry standard is between 17-28%.


3. Email click-through rates (CTR). According to HubSpot the average CTR is 2.9% across all industries. But again this might be different for the space you occupy.


As a new and aspiring entrepreneur, the key is to find a natural rhythm when it comes to sending emails.

  • Prioritise building your email list.

  • Get clear on the content you (your business and brand) want to write about.

  • Send emails on a consistent basis that works for you.

  • Track your numbers (as your list grows). If things are moving in the right direction for you then that's all that counts!

That’s it. There's no need to overthink or overcomplicate this... Something I wish I knew in the beginning *sigh*

Nat Milligan - Copywriter. Computer screen, tablet and mobile showing The Copy Rebel - a copywriting programme for new and aspiring copywriters.

P.P.S. In my new copywriting programme for new and aspiring copywriters... we deep dive into email marketing. If you join, you’ll learn the simple and effective copywriting techniques being used today so you can write irresistible subject lines... ones that generate gobsmacking open rates.


You’ll see behind the scenes. I’ll show you my stats and strategies for crafting winning email campaigns for our clients and the systems I use to consistently generate an average open rate of 45% (or more).


If you’re passionate about writing and love the sound of making money in a career that gives you the freedom and flexibility to do what you love from wherever you wish... then copywriting might be your cup of tea.


Book a Copy Chat HERE to find out.



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