Email Marketing: Write Killer Subject Lines That Get Clicked

December 17, 2021
March 9, 2023

You’ve spent hours, even days, crafting the perfect email. You excitedly hit ‘send’ and then…nothing.  Tumbleweed. Or perhaps the opposite happens, you immediately start to see the open rates rising, the click throughs growing and the sales pouring in as your audience read and enjoy a brilliant email full of useful and entertaining content. This is the difference a killer email subject line can have on your business. Email marketing offers an incredible £42 return on investment for every £1 spent. There’s no better time to learn how to write killer subject lines that will get your email clicked, open and read! So, how do you go about making sure your emails don’t go to waste? Here’s how:



Good things come in small packages and that is never truer than when it comes to email subject lines. Keep it short to help stand out in the inbox. Many people will be scrolling through on their phone rather than on desktop. So it’s crucial to keep it short and sweet as even fewer words are seen on mobile. Some inbox layouts show a short preview of the text of the email so it can be worth thinking about how this fits with the subject line. This will ensure you gain the most clicks possible.

Punctuation and formatting

A question or a joke is a good way to draw people in, and give them a reason to click on your emails. Punctuation marks can help your email stand out, but choose just one to avoid looking like spam. Steer clear of using all capitals as it will just appear like you’re shouting, but you can capitalize just one key word for extra impact.


Don’t be afraid to use them if it fits with your brand and appeals to your reader. As a blogger, my emails tend to get better open rates when I use emojis. However, it’s always worth checking how they look before sending, as some may not appear properly in different formats. They bring a bit of life and fun to your emails, creating killer subject lines and get clicked.

Time Frame

Include a time frame, or deadline to create urgency. This could be a countdown to a launch, a 24 hour sale, or a deadline before a bill is read in parliament, or a charity donation target is reached. This is a quick and easy way to drive your reader to click through and read your email before the time elapses.


If you’ve collected people’s names, (in GDPR friendly way of course) then you can personalise their emails subject line. We are all more likely to open emails, or even snail mail, with our name on.


Make it clear what the person will gain by reading your email. Perhaps they can use a 50% off voucher or a free downloadable resource, whatever treat you can offer it can be great to mention the immediate gains they will make right off the bat. This makes your subject line stand out – a great way to write a killer subject line that gets clicked.


Test and Experiment

Most emailing platforms will allow you to send the same email with two or more different subject lines. This means you can try out different text options and measure which works best for your audience. You can also segment your audience and tailor subject lines to each group. Or how about creating an online survey to ask your audience what they would like to hear about? You can then include that in your subject line. They want something funny, an interview with a key stakeholder in the industry, or a monthly round up? Craft it into a creative subject line to get open and click through rates to be proud of. 

Subject Line Generators

If you struggle to think of a selection of subject lines you can use an online generator like this one, to quickly and easily give you a lovely line up of options to pick from.  Some generators use formulas to generate a short list of ideas, some of which are better than others, and they can certainly give you some food for thought or an easy way to get a new spin on a topic.

Three quick and easy tips to try in your next email:

Round Up

When you drill down through these tips and tricks, the bottom line is to really start with your reader and understand them. What’s causing them problems, what do they find entertaining, what is useful to them? You can then package it in an easy to access way, with fabulous formatting, and cracking content in your subject line. You are then way more likely to get that click and become a highlight of their inbox.

Need help?

We are a marketing agency in Kent. If you have any inquiries about marketing and communications, please do not hesitate to contact us. Call us or send us an email, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We can also arrange a 30-minute free consultation call or a Zoom meeting to discuss your needs and how we can help.

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How do you make sure your emails are opened? Here's our top tips on how to write killer subject lines that get clicked.
Tori Lancaster
Email marketing offers an incredible £42 return on investment for every £1 spent.
Small Business