Improve Your Newsletter Open Rates With These 10 Subject Line Tips

Improve Your Newsletter Open Rates With These 10 Subject Line Tips

Email newsletters are a very important tool for communicating with your audience. They build relationships, trust and loyalty.

However, the benefits from a newsletter are only realized if the email is actually opened.

The most critical part of an email is the subject line. This alone can determine how successful each newsletter you send is.

Here are ten tips to improve the way you write subject lines:

Tip #1 – Include Your Website or Company Name

A recent survey by MailChimp of over 40 million email subject lines showed that the subject lines which included the company or website name had the highest open rates. For the survey results click here.

Tip #2 – Keep Subject Lines Short

Most email users only scan what comes in to their inbox, so make sure your subject line is short, easy and quick to read.

Tip #3 – Ask Questions

Ask a question in the subject line, so the reader has to open the email to get the answer e.g. “How can you double your site traffic in a week?”.

Tip #4 – Don’t Give Too Much Away

The subject line’s objective is to get people to open the email, so don’t provide all the information upfront  e.g. “Facebook Users Increased to 350M in Q4”.

Tip #5 – Never Trick Your Email Recipients

NEVER try to trick your readers into opening your email by writing a subject line which has little to do with the emails content. This will destroy trust very quickly.

Tip #6 – Learn from Magazine Copy Writers

The headlines on the front cover of magazines serve the same purpose as an email subject line; they are written to get the reader to open the magazine. Read magazine covers to learn from these very experienced writers.

Tip #7 – Make the Subject Line Relevant to Your Reader

If you run a website about fly fishing, but publish a great article on your website about renewable energy, don’t write a subject line about renewable energy for your newsletter. Keep the subject line focused on your core subject.

Tip #8 – Watch Out for Spam Filters

Don’t use words that might get caught by spam filters like free, invest, Viagra, sex, guaranteed, etc. Most good email newsletter service providers allow you to run your newsletter through a spam analyzer before you send it out. Always do this.

Tip #9 – Don’t Use Attention Grabbers

Attention grabbers are CAPITAL LETTERS. exclaimation marks, bold, colors . . . anything that artificially tries to manipulate the reader into opening the email. These techniques have been proven not to work.

Tip #10 – Track and Analyse

Every time you send out an email newsletter or marketing email, make a note of the subject line, the number of emails sent and the open rate. Compare the results you get overtime so you can continually refine what works.


Writing great subject line copy is a mix of common sense, deep understanding of your subscribers needs and continual analysis.

You have got to keep testing and trying new things, but always study the results or you could be damaging your success rather than improving it.

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