photo of a button with the words "subject line" to illustrate Subject Line Do's and Don't's

Diamond Discussions: Subject Line Do’s and Dont’s

These days, our inboxes are flooded with emails ranging from order confirmations, newsletters, and still promotional emails from companies. But how do you make your email stand out from the rest? This was an issue I ran in to when I first started with Diamond. The email subject line. It would take me forever just to come up with a subject line and I would seek help from co-workers. Making a subject line was my kryptonite so to speak.

In an inbox full of emails, your subject line is going to make your email stand out from the rest. We are so caught up on the content or creative for emails that we sometimes forget that none of that matters until you can get the reader engaged enough to click on and open your email. There are many different types of subject lines you can come up with to grab the readers attention, just make sure you pick the right one for your audience.

Some of the best subject lines you can come up with are simple, but you will need to know your audience because there is a potential you could upset some people if you aren’t careful. You can keep your subject line funny but remember to keep the humor clean and this is one of the ones that you could run in to an issue with not being able to cater to all users. Not all people laugh at everything, this is a big reason why you would have to keep your humor clean.

The single word subject line would be another one that would stand out in your inbox from the rest. This one is pretty good if you are sending a retargeting email. You could just simply put the product name in it, or, if you have the right product and you aren’t retargeting, this would work great. It will stand out in a cluttered inbox full of emails and long subject lines. It will catch the readers eye and get them interested as they scan.

One of the best subject lines that I have used before for clients is using a question. Questions are great and psychologically get our attention. It makes you wonder what the answer to the question is that you’re being asked.

In addition to using a question for a subject line, personalizing it to your potential customers is a great way to get them engaged. This doesn’t always mean that you have to know their name or the product they were looking at. You can personalize it by sending an invitation. I’ve used this several times and it gets people to open and read emails. “You’re invited to our end of summer sale and bbq!” would be a good example of this. It makes the reader think that they have something special from you in their inbox and gets them to open it.

There are many different types of subject lines that you can use but there are some things to keep in mind for best practices. Write multiple subject lines to choose from or to give your client to choose from. Use less than 50 characters so it doesn’t hit a spam folder, the first couple of words are the most important. Don’t use all caps! I know, its hard because you want your message to come across. Save the caps for the body, not the subject line, its too spammy. If you find a subject line you like, STEAL IT! If you get an email and you like a subject line and want to use it, take it. Just re-word it slightly before you use it. Finally, don’t be afraid to use an emoji. They boost up subject line scores and you can use them to replace words. Get creative with your subject lines and don’t be afraid to try new things!


Brianna Kennedy is a Senior Account Manager for Diamond Media Solutions.


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