How to write the subject of an email. A detailed guide that you will not want your competition to read.

Email marketing

How to write the subject of an email. A detailed guide that you will not want your competition to read.

One of the key factors in sending out emails is to make the recipient of your email open it and read it. The subject of your email is one of the first things the recipient will read. If you manage to make the subject interesting enough for the reader to open the email and read it, you won.

  • Jan Spáčil
  • Author

  • Jan Spáčil

Your customers get many emails every day. A lot of these emails aren’t even opened and the customers usually delete them right away. The reason might be a questionable subject that looks like spam, it is trying to sell something immediately or it acts as pressuring, or uninteresting and boring.

Your first task is to create a subject that will make sure the recipient won’t immediately delete your email after getting it.


How to write the subject of an email

Read aboout 8 ways and 4 tips on how tu write the subject of an email and impove it. Do you want some concrete examples that you can use immediately? Fill in an email and we will send them to you in no time.


Ask a question

One of the best ways to catch somebody’s attention is to ask a question. Ask about something that has a connection to the people you are communicating with. People are curious and they will try to find the answer to the question you asked them. They will open your email and try to find the answer there. If you use this kind of a subject, make sure the readers can find the answer in your email.

We can send you some examples of this kind of subject to your email, you only have to fill out this form.

Start with the word "How"

If you start you email with the word ‘‘How‘‘, you attack the curiosity of recipients right away. Who wouldn’t want to be more effective, successful, beautiful, richer and so on. Make sure the title isn’t the most exciting thing about your email though. If you lure the recipients in with guides, procedures or tips, make sure the content has them. Be self-critical and look at the contents of your email and also the contents of the landing page and make sure you are giving the recipients valuable information.

People set their expectations based on the email subject.

When you let them down they will remember it. Do you remember how you felt when you visited a cinema to see a film just to realise that the trailer was much better than the film itself? My friend has recently downloaded some tips on how to lose weight. It looked promising before the first email came and it read: ‘‘Don’t eat as much and move more.‘‘ The information is true but the expectations were very different. She unsubscribed and she doesn’t want to see any more emails form this company.

We can send you some examples of this kind of subject to your email, you only have to fill out this form.

Say something controversial

You can say something controversial – some competing opinions connected to topics that your recipients will be interested in. This method again attacks the human curiosity and desire to figure things out. Where is the truth? How are things really? These are the questions that will come up in people’s head when they read a subject of an email they want to know the answer to.

We can send you some examples of this kind of subject to your email, you only have to fill out this form.

Write exactly what it is about

Sometimes it is best to say what you want right in the subject so the recipient knows what is going on. If the recipient knows you, a straightforward and simple subject is oftentimes the best service you can give.

We can send you some examples of this kind of subject to your email, you only have to fill out thie form.

Money and big names

If you manage to get money or some big famous name into your subject, you are on a good way to having your whole email read. Dizzying sums, names of famous people or big companies have always caught attention and they still do. The possibility of making money in an easier way or a way to not lose them is still a big motivation to open your email and read its contents.

Use a subject with numbers

This kind of a subject is still very popular and is used very often, and not only as a subject of emails. Take a look at the title pages of magazines. These titles are full of numbers. They are easy to remember, they give things a system and clarity. Did you know that the top number is 10?

We can send you some examples of this kind of subject to your email, you only have to fill out this form.

Incite curiosity

You need a bit of creativity to make this subject. When you do it well you can incite curiosity in recipients instantly. Don’t forget to satiate the curiosity and publish relevant information in the scope and quality corresponding to the attractive email subject. 

We can send you some examples of this kind of subject to your email, you only have to fill out this form.

Create inevitability

If you manage to create a situation that makes people want to do something, you created something that we call inevitability. It can be real or in line with your wishes. If you tell people they have to do something there and then, it is only your wish. However, if you supply the urgency with a concrete date and a possibility to gain something, you can make the inevitability real. You cannot convince someone who doesn’t want or need something to buy it. But it will work on those who want the thing or are thinking about it but are unsure of the purchase. 

We can send you some examples of this kind of subject to your email, you only heave to fill out this form.


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4 tips on how to improve the subject even more


The more the recipient will feel like you are talking directly to them, the more effective your communication will be. The subject of your email can be upgraded with an address. When people get an email that has their name in the subject, they will definitely open the email right away because of curiosity. If you use personalization, make sure you use the right form. The subject: ‘‘Special offers tailored for Peters‘‘ will make the recipients laugh and not make them open your email. You have to make sure you are using the grammatically correct form of the name and also decide if you want to use their first name or surname.
Do not overdo it with the personalization. If the recipients expect you to be polite and address them by their surname, do not use their first name and jovial type of communication. You surely wouldn’t use: ‘‘Hi, Mary, how are you doing? What about a trip for a cool price?‘‘ in an email meant for a travel agency for senior citizens. I attached a few examples. We can add a number instead of ‘‘x‘‘ and fill in something connected to your field of business or interests of your recipients in place of the word in the brackets.

  • „Mister Brown, please sign up today. There are only 2 places left.“
  • „Hurry up, Martha, the 50% off sale ends today at midnight.“
  • „Miss Brown, are you also always late? X ways to simplify (activity).“

Don´t forget about the question: "Is there something in the email for me?“

When a person gets an email, the first thing they do is ask themselves: ‘‘Is there something in this email for me?‘‘, ‘‘What will I gain from this?‘‘. In this moment, they decide if they are going to open you email, save it for later or delete it. If the subject doesn’t have anything that would make the recipients open the email and dedicate their valuable time to it, their choice is clear.

No tricks or twists

Your main goal while sending bulk emails is to get the recipient to open your email.
If you can manipulate the recipient to open your email and they are then angered or disappointed by its contents, they will most likely not open any more emails from you. And if you do this to them repeatedly, they will unsubscribe and you will lose your chance of communicating with them. Make creative subjects that will help people gain information but not at all costs.

Don´t forget to do A/B testing

A/B testing is a modern type of an automatic email campaign that will help you improve (not only) your email subjects. The subject of your email can be tested in real time on real recipients. How does this work? You will create an email, subject included. We will call this version A. Then you copy the email and create version B. In this version (B), change only the subject. The rest of the email will be identical with version A. Choose a test group of recipients and set up how the best version of the subject will be chosen. In this case, the winning version will be chosen based on the percentage of opening because an email subject influences this rate the most. Quanda will then handle everything else. It will send out test emails to randomly chosen groups of recipients and will automatically evaluate a winning variant after a pre-set time-period chosen for the collecting of data and send it to the rest of the recipients. You can then see, in real time, which subject was more effective and find words and combinations of words that work best on your customers. It is an exciting game that won’t only entertain you but will also influence the results of your emails positively.

No matter what method you choose, it is worth dedicating your time to creating the perfect subject and testing it properly.

Good luck!

Jan Spáčil