How a Subject Line Can Make or Break You

Solomon Thimothy - September 23, 2009

subject line importance

With the proliferation of the internet and internet marketing, it seems that our mailboxes are constantly getting bombarded with emails from a variety of sources. How do you decide which emails to open and which to trash, spam or delete immediately? Most of the time, this is all based on the effectiveness of the email’s subject line. Just like a first impression, a subject line says a lot about you.

It’s important to create subject lines that will capture your reader’s attention without making the most common mistakes that email marketers make. Here’s a few tips to creating good subject lines that will make your readers want to read your emails.


Tone, the intonation or inflection in language, is the first thing you need to look at. Your subject line should be written in such a way that it speaks to your readers and will want to get them excited about what the rest of your message holds. Be careful though, using too many exclamation marks or other punctuation marks along with all capital letters will most likely have your message land straight into the junk mailbox. Remember too, that using capital letters is considered as shouting in written communication so don’t use them!

Short and Sweet

Depending on how sophisticated your reader’s email provider is or how they are accessing their email, they may not be able to read a long subject line. With mobile technology becoming so popular, take into account that many of your messages will be received and read on a smart phone. This means that your subject line has to be made short and to the point.


Just like any other type of advertising material, your subject line should serve as your call to action. It should provide a simple offer to capture your readers’ interest to read more and open your message. It should also carry a sense of urgency.

Be True to Your Word

The hardest thing is getting your message read. Yet there’s nothing worse than opening up an email that has nothing or little to do with the subject line. When writing your subject line, make sure it is clearly explained in your email. Remember to provide direct links to the offer or contact information.

Reveal Yourself

Just like you wouldn’t talk to a stranger on the street, it is unlikely that someone will read your message if they don’t know you or trust you. Make sure that your email address shows your company address or a trusted name.

While condensing your message into a simple subject line sounds hard, it is imperative if you expect anyone to open up your messages. So next time you’re writing the subject line to your emails, keep these simple steps in mind.

The experts at OneIMS can guide you through a variety of available options to develop and deploy successful email marketing campaigns. For more information, contact OneIMS today at 1-888-ONE-IMS1.

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