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5 Types of Email Marketing Subject Lines That Can Help Your Open Rate

Email Marketing, Denver Marketing Firms, Revenue River 

According to a study performed by the Radicati Group, the average person receives about 81 emails a day.  That’s about 1 email every 18 minutes or so!  With so many emails, many of which are unimportant in the eyes of the inbox owner, how can you make sure yours are getting preferential treatment in the never ending clean-up of inboxes?  The answer is simple actually; subject lines.

Subject lines act as your email’s first impression, and often are the difference between your email being opened or dumped in the trash.  While there definitely isn’t a fool-proof method for creating subject lines that will receive 100% open rates every time, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of catching a reader’s eye.  Here are a few types of subject lines that many Denver marketing firms love to use to stand out in the pile of 81 a day.




Sometimes less is more when it comes to email subject lines, so instead of writing out a long sentence trying to connect with someone on a personal level, why not try just a few words?  Lines like “Just checking in” or “It’s marketing time” can sometimes help you stand out with extra white space over lettering.  While this style shouldn’t be used often, I believe a simple subject line can help your email campaign get out a slump or liven things up every month or so.  A word of caution though, too simple can seem spammy.  One word subject lines, at least in my eyes and through my experience have often led to decreased open rates and possible spam filtering due, so instead work on creating short, simple and relevant lines to catch eyes.

Example: Marketing Heroes, Discovered.




We’ve all seen question-based subject lines before.  Some good, some not so much.  The key to an effective question-based subject line is relevancy to the reader on a deeper level.  Everyone wants to know how to get rich or create more leads without increasing their efforts, but everyone has also become jaded to the fact that so many Denver marketing firms also know this and have beaten that horse near to death.  Instead of picking out generic questions like the above stated, why not spend a bit more time understanding the persona or list that your email is targeting and work towards pinpointing one of the qualifying questions they might actually be asking when considering your product or service.

Example: Can Hair Stylists Attract New Business in a Down Economy?




Everyone loves numbers, especially when they’re laid out and easy to digest.  If you want to peak someone’s interest, why not throw out an interesting statistic in your subject line that will not only grab their attention but also leave them wanting to learn more.

Example: “Blogging can increase your leads by 170%” And other cools stats




I was slightly hesitant to put this on the list because of the recent overuse of simple personalizations, but when used properly and with a bit of creativity, subject lines can be better off with personalization.  Everyone’s seen their first name pop up in sentences of subject lines, but why not go beyond that?  Why not try something fun with a last name or their company name or something beyond the common “go-to”?  Often times this takes a little forethought when it comes to creating form questions that can collect some of this information for later personalization, but doing so gives you some great ammunition for awesome email subject lines.

Example: What’s the Smith family up to this weekend?


Call to Action


Nothing can be more effective when it comes to getting higher open rates than actionable subject lines.  Strong verbs telling the reader what to do off the bat can work wonders for the good old OR, just make sure they’re the right verbs.  Avoid spammy words like “Download” and “Register” as these have been overused and can get you dumped into a spam filter.

Example: Learn to get rid of pesky woodpeckers with the new pecker-b-gone widget


When all is said and done, creating subject lines that improve open rates comes down to how creative and on-point you as a marketer are.  Understanding who you are sending your emails to, what they are most interested in reading and learning about and how they want to do so can give you the biggest edge when it comes to being one out 81 emails that gets opened on any given day.  So spend a little more time trying out these different styles of subject lines and find the ones that work best for you, your open rate will thank you!