Subject Line Best Practices

Creating the perfect subject line is a great way to ensure that people actually pay attention to your emails. Inboxes are flooded with communications daily - use these tips and tricks to ensure your emails aren't buried or ignored.

Email is — by far — the most-used internal communication channel at companies of all sizes, with over 90% of communicators relying on it to share important news.

  • Yes, but: Over 50% of employees admit they don’t keep up with company updates, according to Gallup data. So when they finally need those roadmap, HR, or other details, they’re lost in an overlooked email that no one knows how to find. 

Why it matters: The way you write your subject lines will decide how quickly colleagues read your update and how easy a recurring communication is to resurface. 

- Axios HQ, Subject lines: Keep yours searchable and scannable


Tips & Tricks

  • Keep it snappy. Make your subject lines 6 words tops, or around 41 characters.

    ❓Why? This ensures it's brief enough to catch attention without losing them, and ensures it will be optimized for mobile AND desktop reading.

  • Make it personal. Use Merge Fields to add customized elements like name, title, team, location, and more. Go beyond just name, if you can!

    ❓Why? Who doesn't love something that is clearly written just for them? It creates a feeling of being valued.
    Example: '{team_name) - you're killing it this quarter!'

  • Make it relevant. Don't use a blanket subject line (or content, for that matter!)- target and customize it to your readers by using distribution lists. Your Sales team won't care about the same things your Engineering team will, for example.

    ❓Why? A reader is much more likely to open an email that seems like it actually is relevant and interesting to their work life.

  • Be consistent. Sending out a regular newsletter or other content? Make sure that the newsletter has a consistent subject line.

    ❓Why? It builds recognizability and ensures content can be easily searched and referenced later on.
    Example: 'Weekly Debrief: What happened in CS May 9 -15' 'Meeting notes: Product <> Sales May 2023"

  • Use emojis - wisely. An emoji in your subject line can be either eye-catching or cheesy. Use emojis sparingly and when relevant to the context.

    ❓Why? Emojis are proven to boost open rates - but only if not overused or irrelevant.
    Example: "💡Weekly tip" / "Urgent information 🚨" / "🎉 Q2 Wins" 

  • Build excitement. Use action-oriented words like 'learn' 'improve' and 'win' to facilitate readers to take action.

    ❓Why? It's a call-to-action! A tried and true marketing technique. Getting emails read IS marketing.
    Example: "Sales: Win more deals with new objection handling templates"
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