How to Write Catchy Email Subject Lines that Always Get Opened

If you’ve been tasked with writing email subject lines, you are no doubt wondering where to get started. Most of us receive dozens of emails every day; the chances of an email being opened can be slim, at best. So today, we’re going to share our guide to writing catchy email subject lines to ensure your emails are never deleted without being opened.

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by Robert Cialdini

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Create a Sense of Urgency

When you want an email to be opened and acted upon, you need to create a sense of urgency. While you don’t need to resort to desperation and begging, we encourage you to strategically mention an offer that’s only available for a limited time. Make the email subject line urgent and show your customers what they would be missing out on if they didn’t open the email right this minute. As a result, your customers will be much more likely to act on your email, which will hopefully result in increased sales for your business.


Most of the time, the emails we receive are dull and repetitive, so you need to find a way to pique the curiosity of your email recipients. Try to keep a sense of mystery when you send an email so that your customers are intrigued about what may be inside. This usually results in a much higher open rate, but you’ll still want to be careful that the email doesn’t come across as too spammy. Try to strike a balance between offering helpful information and creating some mystery, and you’ll be much more likely to receive a response from the emails you send.

Avoid Looking Like Spam

How many times have you deleted marketing emails without even bothering to open them? One of the most common reasons is because you know straight away that it’s just another spammy advertising campaign. Make sure your email subject line is professional and clearly from your brand to avoid going directly into the trash. Also, make sure it is spelled correctly; spammers have awful typing and spelling skills. You don’t want your emails to be ignored entirely, so review previous spam emails you’ve received and avoid using any of the techniques they use.

Share an Offer

We all love saving money and getting a good deal, so if you are trying to sell something through emails you are sending, make sure your customers don’t miss out on the offer you are trying to promote. Combine this with our first tip about creating a sense of urgency, and you’ll be much more likely to have your email opened. Any mention of something free is good for attracting customers, but don’t make false promises about what’s inside your email, as you’ll only annoy your customers and make them more likely to unsubscribe.

Personalize Your Emails

It’s not hard to personalize emails nowadays, which is why we always recommend trying to think about your customers’ likes and dislikes when writing emails. You can use customer preferences to create separate email marketing lists for different segments of your target audience to receive content that’s relevant to their needs. Take the time to learn about your customers’ preferences, likes, and needs, so that your emails are tailored to them.

Use Their First Name

An email that’s addressed to someone in person is much more likely to be opened. This detail isn’t difficult to add to your email marketing methods, and many tools will do this for you automatically. So even when you are emailing thousands of people at a time, you can change out their names with these tools to offer a more personalized experience. This is one of the best ways to write an email that will be opened and ensure that you aren’t relegated to the junk file.

Discuss Timely and Relevant Topics

When writing an email for almost any type of business, try to draw upon recent events that will attract your audience’s attention. For example, a company related to sports could mention the Olympics or another sporting tournament that’s currently taking place. By discussing recent events, you’ll be much more likely to attract your recipient’s attention, and they’ll have a sense of urgency as well, knowing that the event is ending soon. Customers love relevant brands and stay on top of what’s going on in the world. Use this to your advantage to ensure your emails are opened promptly.

Keep it Short and Sweet

There’s nothing worse than receiving emails with subject lines that make you think you are about to read an essay. No one will spare time to read long emails and titles, so make sure your email is short and sweet. Please keep your email subject line as straightforward as possible to avoid it being skipped over. You want to share what you have to offer in as few words as possible so that you quickly grab their attention. Being respectful of your customers’ time and energy is vitally important, and this is one of the best ways to ensure that they return to your business and open your emails time and again.

Writing a catchy email subject line is something that many of us spend hours stressing over, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible task. By following the tips listed above, you can ensure that your emails are opened each time. Don’t spend too long worrying about your email subject line. Just keep it as short and relevant as possible. Then, when you don’t overwhelm your recipients with too much information, they’ll be excited to open your email and see what you have to offer. Email marketing is one of the best tools for businesses of all shapes and sizes, so make sure you use it to its full advantage.

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