7 Ways to Write Creative Email Subject Lines to Increase Email ROI

7 Ways to Write Creative Email Subject Lines to Increase Your Open Rate

Did you know that only 18% of all emails get opened by recipients? 

Shocking, right?

The truth is that low open rates are the biggest challenge facing email marketers today. But, by using the right email subject lines, and the best email marketing platforms, you can increase your open rates multifold. 

Subject lines always matter in all types of email such as transactional email and general email marketing to get high email ROI.

But, before we get into the details of how to create winning email subject lines, let’s first discuss what factors influence your open rate.

Here are some of the most important reasons why people open an email:

  • if your subject line generates curiosity, people are more likely to open the email to learn more
  • subject lines that create a sense of urgency make people want to click on them right away and read the email
  • the most important reason why people read an email is if they find it useful and relevant to them
  • subject lines that are considered by best email marketing software for better ROI.
  • subject lines that can evoke an emotion in the reader also work well and get good open rates
  • Find the right email address to avoid email failures and increase authenticity.

So, keep these in mind when crafting your email subject lines and use the tips given below to create the best ones possible.

Ready to get started?

Here you go.

1. Keep it Short and Relevant

The first rule of writing good subject lines is to keep them short and crisp. Your subject lines should be less than 10 words and 50 characters long.

However, try to keep them as short as possible. For mobile devices, the ideal character length is 20 characters or less. So, wherever possible, try to keep your subject lines short, but impactful.

Also, make sure that your subject lines clearly convey what your email is about. When someone reads your subject lines, they should get some idea of what they can expect from the email.

The best way to write relevant subject lines is to understand your audience and think about what they would be interested in. This will help you craft good subject lines that get higher open rates.

2. Use Humor 

One of the basic principles of email marketing is to reach out to your audience directly and in a friendly manner. And, there’s nothing that helps put people at ease and reach out to them like humor.

Moreover, humor can make your subject lines stand out from the boring list of emails in a person’s inbox. Not many people use funny subject lines and that can give you an advantage.

One key reason why so many emails go unopened is that they get lost in the sea of emails in a person’s inbox. So, if your subject line can grab a user’s attention, the chances of them opening your email increase.

3. Add Emojis

Adding emojis to your email subject lines also serves the same purpose ad using humor: make them stand out. 

Don’t believe me?

Check out this screenshot of an inbox with different emails. Which one grabs your attention first?

screenshot of an inbox with different emails

Image via Gmail

I can bet that most people will look at the second email first because that emoji makes it look different from other emails. 

That’s the whole point of using emojis: make your email stand out in an inbox. This, in turn, increases your chances of getting a higher open rate.

4. Personalize Your Subject Lines

Any guide on email marketing will tell you that email personalization is the biggest trend for 2021. 

Personalization is one of the most effective ways to increase open rates from your subject lines. Simply adding the recipient’s name to a subject line makes them feel special and that your email must be important if you’re addressing them personally.

It also invokes some curiosity in the recipient to find out what the email is about. So, it works on two counts: curiosity and relevance. 

5. Avoid Words that Decrease Open Rates

There are some marketing and sales words that trigger spam filters and often don’t even reach the recipients’ inboxes. And, even if they go through the spam filter, certain words and phrases are just not good for your open rates.

Curious to know which words decrease open rates?

Well, the short answer is anything that is overly promotional and clearly meant to drive sales has low chances of getting an open. Use of power words like “free”, “best price”, “deal”, etc. should be avoided.

Any email subject line with such words is clearly promotional and makes it easy for people to filter out your emails. 

6. Create a Sense of Urgency

As discussed earlier, email subject lines that create a sense of urgency work well. Using words and phrases that show that whatever your email is about is for a limited time, makes people want to read it immediately.

Consider these subject lines, for example:

All these subject lines create urgency and make most people want to read the email on priority. If you can use both urgency and curiosity in the same subject line, then you will get even better results.

The second and third subject lines in the above list do exactly that. “Hurry” and “Act now” create a sense of urgency, but the subject lines leave something to the imagination. They don’t give away all the details but create enough curiosity that people will want to learn more.

7. Ask a Question

Another email marketing best practice that marketers use is to ask questions in their subject lines. These questions should be relatable to your target audience.

If you ask a question that the recipients can relate to, they will want to find out the answer by reading your email. This, again, works on the principle of generating curiosity to get higher open rates.

For example, consider this subject line:

Want a higher ROI from influencer campaigns?

Anyone who regularly runs influencer campaigns will answer yes to this question and would be interested in reading the email to find out more. 

Bonus Tip: Test Your Email Subject Lines

One best practice that you should follow is to test your email subject lines using a testing tool. There are numerous free and paid subject line testing tools available in the market for you to choose from.

These tools will provide you with suggestions to improve your email subject lines and give you specific tips on how to create better ones. Over time, you will learn how to create stellar subject lines without any help.

But, it’s always a good idea to test your subject lines, even if you are confident of your skills.

You can also use email marketing tools like Mailchimp to improve your overall email marketing performance and get higher open rates.


These are some of the best tips to create email subject lines that get higher open rates. Use these tips to improve email performance and achieve your marketing goals.

Do you have any more questions on this topic? Drop a comment below to get in touch with our team.

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