Change the subject!

13th December 2012 By Louise Stephens in Industry comment

So an email has landed in your inbox… you look at it, and in less than 3 seconds you have made up your mind… In those short seconds you make a choice to do one of three things: Open it, delete it or save it for later… There are a few components that influence our choice; however the subject line is the king of all influence-rs in those precious seconds!

So why don’t we spend more time making our subject lines more engaging and unique?

It is all very well having a beautiful email with fantastic copy and lots of call to action buttons if no one is going to open it and see all this great stuff!

So I have come up with a few pearls of subject line wisdom to pass over to you to help you overcome your writers block and create emails that scream open me!

  1. Avoid passion killers such as: Newsletter, free, great offer, e-zine, monthly update... Anything that your audience are likely to have seen a hundred times before… yawn!
  2. Try leading them in with a laugh: If it suits your business tone, a little joke or some humour can really increase your open rates.
  3. Only give them half the story: This is great because… (See what I did there!)
  4. Use something we can all relate to: Song lyrics can work really well for this, for example I recently used a classic song by WHAM to increase open rates for our Christmas promotion, everyone knew the song so I had built instant rapport with my audience and made them smile at the same time!
  5. Lead with the meat: In some cases getting to the point of your email really works, for example ‘Your invite to our priceless event..’ Your audience knows exactly what the email is about and what they need to do when they open it.

The key thing to remember with subject lines is be unique and engage with your audience from the off. You can of course test your subject lines to see what works best, do questions work well? Does humour increase your open rate? Or is empathy the best route for you? 

If you would like help with your subject lines or have any questions about email marketing contact one of the little green plane crew on: 0845 8620144 or email Louise at:

Louise Stephens
About the Author

Louise Stephens

Louise is an email marketing consultant at little green plane. She advises and builds lasting relationships with our existing clients as well as handling all new business. Louise also conducts full demonstrations of our software and will advise on the right package for your business. Louise is passionate about email marketing and will happily train clients on a number of topics including; best practice, engaging your audience and getting the best return on your investment.