7 Subject Line Strategies to Increase Email Open Rates

The thing about email marketing is that it’s not going away anytime soon, it’s actually still the #1 way to reach consumers and sell.

According to a study by ExactTarget, “77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email.” and while they like receiving emails, “64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line.”

So today we’re going to talk about how you can increase your subject line creative skills.



1. Keep it short

Email subject lines under 10 characters have a 58% higher open rate.

Whilst it’s not always easy to get your ‘point’ across in 10 characters, it’s good to be aware that most people view email on a mobile device, which quickly cuts off subject lines due to the limited space.

The image below shows that more and more users are starting to use mobile devices to open emails with Apple iPhone’s being the #1 device.


Subject Line Strategies to Increase Email Open Rates - Email Market Share



2. Use Numbers

Lists are popular right now and it’s time for you to take advantage of them.

Think of including odd numbers in your email subject lines to grab the attention of a crowded inbox.

  • 7 Email Conversion Tips
  • 11 Hacks For Instagram Managers
  • 5 Ways to Grow Aloe Plants
  • 9 Errors Your Contact Us Page Has


Here’s some more examples:

Subject Line Strategies to Increase Email Open Rates - Using Numbers



3. Don’t ask questions

Asking a question comes off as promotionally. It generally appears that your a sales-man (think back to the car-lot ads) and only after their money, instead of bringing valued content to their inbox.

“Are you looking for a product that will change your life?” just doesn’t really make you want to open the email, instead try “7 Ways Product Will change Your Life”.

This subject line still gets the product in-front of the consumer, but keeps your business in their eyes as something that solves their problem.



4. Add a deadline

Deadlines make people open emails to ensure that they’re not missing out on something great.

Including words such as:

  • “Today only”
  • “For only 24 hours”
  • “24 hour deadline”


These are all words you can include in your subject lines, and naturally open rates will increase. Simple yet effective.



5. Use the word “Free”

People LOVE free stuff. Heck I love free stuff. But only if that free ‘stuff’ is high quality and good value.

Think about what you can give away for free, these are generally going to get you email opt-ins anyway, but it’s always nice to throw in an extra free something down the line.


For example here’s a few Free email subject lines you can use:

  • Sign Up For Your Free Trial Today
  • Download Your Free Ebook
  • Your Free Instagram Course Link
  • 9 Free Tools To Increase Your Website Conversions


“Emails with ‘free’ in the subject line were opened 10 percent more than those without.”



6. Use “Video” instead of “Webinar”

If your like me and provide a lot of video tutorials, you may also be doing webinars.

But did you know that using the word video has a 16% better open rate then the word webinar.


Subject Line Strategies to Increase Email Open Rates - Use the word video


  • Instead of: “WEBINAR REPLAY: Pricing Strategies to Make More Money With an Online Course”
  • It could be: “Video: Best Pricing Strategies For Online Courses”. It’s shorter for mobile devices and replaces webinar with video.



7. Use the word “Alert”

When subject lines included the word Alert, “there was a 61.8 percent increase in opens”.

Alert creates and brings attention to users, I’m a fan of using it when I have an announcement to make or want to ensure my email list subscribers don’t miss out on a great promotion or piece of information I released.

Give it a go for your important emails and see the open rate increase.




Keeping your subject line relative to your email content is what’s important.
You don’t want to trick users to open your emails, for them to find out you were lying – they will never trust to open an email from you again.

Stick to being honest, and your business to customer relationship through email will blossom.



What methods are you using to increase open rates? Let us know in the comments below!