How To Better Improve Open Rates By Designing Eye Catching Subject Lines

Emails are used each and every day for the purpose of communication. Whether you’re communicating with a friend, family member or if you’re a business telling customers about a new product or sale, email is a great way to get your message across.

However, when you’re a business, it can be hard to intrigue your recipients enough to open your messages. With an abundance of spam emails constantly bombarding your recipients email inbox, it doesn’t take much for your mail to become lost amongst the spam and your competition’s emails. This is where designing eye catching subject lines is important.

This expert guide will give you the top tips on how to design eye catching subject lines that will help to improve your open rates against your competition. Let’s get started.

Best Practices To Design More Successful Subject Lines


1. Tell Recipients What’s Inside

When you’re sending your email to your recipient list, you need to tell them quickly what is inside the email. For example; ‘Your Next Holiday Awaits!’ doesn’t give your recipients much to go on and doesn’t inform them what the email will be about.

Creating a headline such as  ‘Free Travel Deals Inside’ not only tells them about what is inside your email, but also intrigues them enough to see what type of deals you may be offering. It’s important to make it clear to your readers that there’s something waiting inside your email for them.

What's Inside

2. Keep The Subject Line Short and Sweet

Generally if an email subject line is too long, it will be cut off. This is especially true with mobile devices. With the increase in mobile use for email reading, it’s now so much more important that you create subject lines that are short and sweet.

It’s a good idea to work on creating a subject line that’s 50 characters or less. If you find you’re struggling to keep it short, try to work out which words matter more than others and remove the words that don’t need to be in the subject line.

For example:


‘Your shipment from Australia’s Toy Store is on its way!’ can be shortened to ‘Toy Store Order 8541 Is Shipped’.


Your subject line should be to the point and short for quick eye scanning by your readers.

Short and sweet

3. Make It Professional

To help generate a higher open rate you also need to design the subject lines to look professional. Never use complete CAPS LOCK, or the use of excessive exclamation points as this not only makes your subject line look unprofessional but appear tacky and spammy.

Subject lines that are all in capitals appear to give the affect that you’re yelling at them. No one likes to be yelled at and it makes you appear desperate which can give people the wrong idea about your email. Using exclamation marks in excess can also make your email appear as trying too hard and spammy.

Instead use simple lowercase wording and one exclamation mark instead to help gain interest. See the difference below:


Get Your Free Trial Today!!!!!!!!!


Get Your Free Trial Today!





Open Now To Get Your Free Trial


As you can see from the top examples of the two, they appear to be forceful and as if they’re trying too hard.

Cap locks

4. Use Capitals On Each Letter

While it may be a personal choice, you can make your email subject lines appear more professional if you use capital letters on each word.


Free travel guide inside!

Free Travel Guide Inside!


While it’s really a personal choice, adding capitals to each letter helps to better gain the trust of your recipient, especially if you’re a business, and shows them that you take great care in your email with the finer details. Professionalism is a key foundation to whether your emails will be opened or left with the rest of the endless spam emails.


5. Use Powerful Language

When you think about it, subject lines are similar to call to actions. They need to inspire someone to take action and click through the email. Subject lines need to have powerful language that entices your reader to open it.

They need to be actionable, memorable, and instil urgency and excitement. They also need to create an image in your readers mind that appeals to them.

For example:

  • Get Limited Backstage Access and Meet Madonna

This subject line gives the reader a vision of seeing backstage at a Madonna concert with the chance to meet her. It uses urgency with the word ‘Limited’ and creates excitement with the words ‘Meet Madonna’. If directed towards Madonna fans your open rate would soar through the roof.

Let’s take a look at a more generic subject line

  • Go Behind The Scenes At A Legends Concert

While intriguing, this subject line doesn’t give the readers much information. Who is the ‘legend’. While it does offer a chance to see behind the scenes it doesn’t offer the chance to meet the singer.

This doesn’t create the urgency or the excitement that the first subject line does. This is why it’s crucial to use powerful language to help sell your subject lines.

Power Words


Designing and generating catchy subject lines is all about how they appear to your recipient when they receive them. You don’t want to create any old subject line that is boring, unprofessional or that appears spammy.

By taking these tips into consideration, you can easily help to improve your overall subject lines and gain more open rates for better sales.

However, it’s important to understand that your email should be relevant to your subject line and should indulge the reader further to ensure a successful conversion rate. So, are you’re ready to improve your open rates?


Aaron Gray 

Aaron is the co-founder of Studio 56 and is a passionate digital marketing expert who has worked with some of the largest digital marketing agencies in Australia. He has been working in the digital marketing field for ten years. Aaron loves to travel the world to not only enhance his cultural experiences but learn and enhance his skills in the digital marketing industry. He is dedicated to helping others reach their online marketing goals.