Email Subject Line

How to Create Email Subject Lines that Increase Open Rates

How to Create Email Subject Lines that Increase Open Rates 2048 1366 Cate Triendl

According to Hubspot, for every $1 (77p) spent on email marketing, $38 (£29.08) is generated for the business, giving a whopping 3,800% ROI.

Unlike with social media, email doesn’t have you playing against an algorithm. You’re also not left hoping people will see a sign outside your premises advertising your deals either. If you send your customers an email, they will see it in their inbox, making it much more direct. The challenge lies in making your email appealing enough, so they will open it just by seeing the subject line alone. 

Here’s the thing. It’s not enough to just type a few lines and hope for the best either, as by avoiding to refine your content, you could be missing out on vital sales for your business. After all, said content is being delivered directly to your customers’ inbox. So it has to be right to have a hope in bringing in sales as a result.

If you want to know how to create email subject lines that increase open and response rates, here’s everything you need to know. 

Why subject lines matter

When writing an email, it’s easy to put all the focus on the content of the email itself, rather than the subject line. In reality, the subject line is the first thing people will see when your email lands in their inbox. It will ultimately decide whether they open, ignore, delete or worse still…add your email address to their spam list, never to see any of your correspondence ever again. 

It’s key to recognise that subject lines are an important form of lead generation for your business. If people are actively opening and engaging with your emails, then they are more likely to buy your product or service. On the flip side, if your subject lines are dull, too long, irrelevant or even too similar to every other company sending marketing emails, then this is unlikely to boost your open or response rates. 

Keep it relevant

Your subject line needs to grab your readers, but also offer some form of incentive or intrigue. That being said, it also needs to be relevant to what they signed up for in the first place. So, if people signed up to your restaurant mailing list specifically to hear about your news and discounts, and you send them an email with a subject line such as ‘The easiest way to cook pasta’ – your readers would be a little perplexed.

By the same token, it’s important not to keep rehashing the same old subject lines as these can get old quickly, especially if you email customers on a regular basis. Think about what has given you the best conversion rates in the past, and don’t stray too far from your winning formula. You might as well A/B test to see what works best for your customers.

Get to the point

According to Forbes, subject lines that go beyond 5 words are only opened 50% of the time. So, if you have 10,000 people on your mailing list, that’s already discounting 5,000 before they’ve even read the email. So, say you have a special deal coming up for Valentine’s Day, instead of writing ‘Amazing deals you won’t want to miss this Valentine’s Day at *Insert restaurant name*’, you could simply shorten it to ‘*Insert restaurant name* Valentine’s offers 2020’.

When creating subject lines to increase your open rates you should play around and try out different things. There is no one fit all approach. to create catchy lines use verbs and adjectives to make people curious and create a desire to click on it. Avoid ALL CAPS and using too many !!!

We all get sent hundreds of emails every day, and people simply don’t have time to read them all. Similar to when we browse a supermarket aisle, we are glancing for what we want and will likely make an instant decision about it. The same is true for emails too. So, tell your audience what you are offering or even pose a question, but use as few words as possible. Short and sweet is key! 

Avoid the spam folder

So we’ve talked about how dull or irrelevant subject lines could land you in the spam folder, but there are other reasons you could end up there too. For example, by trying to cheat signups by purchasing email lists. Not only is this a huge GDPR headache, but mailbox providers will associate your company email domain with unwanted content, aka spam. 

It’s also a good idea to avoid the repetitive use of ‘salesy’ language such as ‘buy now’, ‘free’ etc. If your text reads like a robotic sales message, spam filters will think its just that. By also keeping your image sizes small (ideally below 30kb), and only linking to reputable sites, this can help keep your message in the inbox folder too. In essence, your email needs to appear as genuine as possible to mailbox providers.

Further reading:


Email marketing is a crowded marketplace, but with the right techniques, you can succeed by having a high open and response rate. The key is to keep it relevant and make it worthwhile. Similar to a newspaper headline, intrigue is a great tactic that works easily. You might even want to offer exclusive discounts or other incentives too. 

Regardless of how on point your email marketing is, to be able to reach your customers, you need those all-important email addresses in the first place.

Our software allows you to capture customer data in a way that’s simple and best of all, GDPR compliant. However, more than that, we can give you a broader overview of your customer demographics, so you know exactly who is visiting your restaurant, allowing you to tailor your campaigns to suit. Automated email marketing and bulk marketing, all in one place.

Supercharge your email marketing today. Get in touch.

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