How to Write Subject Lines That Get Results

The email subject line is the most important ingredient in a successful email if your goal is to get a sale.


Because an unopened email does no one any good :)

If the subject line isn't engaging enough and doesn't capture the overall idea of the email itself, your email list will skip it completely.

Your subject line is the most important part of the email, yet it is also the shortest! Most subject lines are a maximum of 9 words, so you'll need to make (all 9 of) them count. 

Every time you craft a subject line, keep this question in your mind: If I were skimming through my inbox, which has dozens of new emails coming in every day, would it catch my attention?

Here are 5 tips for writing an email subject line that gets sales.

1. Keep it short

Email subject lines around 20 characters long tend to perform best.

20 characters crammed into 3-5 words are your best bet. 


How to shorten your subject lines:

  • Eliminate filler words (that, of, etc.)
  • Use active verbs
  • Get Creative 
  • Sub for Emojis when appropriate

Here are some short yet effective subject lines:

        • Beach-town bound? We’ve got what to pack 👉🧳  (Source: Express)
        • 💸 $500 Gift Card & FREE Leggings!? 💸  (Source: POP Fit Clothing)
        • Our BFF, Your Exclusive Deal (Source: SuperFat) 

2. Get Creative

Bland subject lines get Meh results. 

Keep subject lines on-brand and anything but generic. The more you stand out in the inbox, the better chance you have of getting an open. 

Experiment with humor, curiosity, and benefit driven subject lines to see which perform best for your audience. 

Test emojis if appropriate as they make a big impact in the inbox. 

3. Utilize punctuation and emojis to stand out

Periods, exclamation marks, question marks, and emojis can help your email stand out in an overflowing inbox.

Subject line examples
Subject Line Example
Subject Line Example

Use ellipses (...) to create suspense, whether that is because you are announcing a sale, new product, etc., or an exclamation mark to generate excitement. It will help you convey the email's tone without adding extra words, just an extra character!

You can utilize emojis in a subject line too. If you are celebrating something or launching a seasonal collection, an emoji can be a great way to make your email pop out. However, try not to include more than one emoji and only use them when it improves your subject line overall.

4. Remember why people subscribe to your email list

Why are people on your email list? Did they subscribe because they clicked on an influencer’s promo link? Did they subscribe for 10% off their first order? Whatever the reason is, if you want your email to be opened, craft emails and subject lines that blatantly say they will satisfy their goal(s) for being on your email list.

If a majority of your email list is there because they wanted 10% off their first purchase from your store, send them an email promoting your current sale. If you make it clear there is another sale or a special promotion in your subject line, they will most likely open that email because that is why they came in the first place.

5. Make it time-sensitive

If there isn't a sense of urgency, your email is less likely to be open. Create urgency by incorporating a deadline, making it time-sensitive. Some instances where time-sensitive subject lines are effective are when you have a sale, an upcoming launch, or a special offer.

Use phrases like "Limited Time Only!," "1 Day Left!." and "For One Week Only!" 

Can you see that this is more compelling? Your email list will want to open it to snatch that deal that is only open for a limited amount of time because they understand there is a hard, upcoming deadline just from reading your subject line.

Those are 5 tips for writing email subject lines that get sales. When you boil it down, these tips advise you on crafting a simple yet engaging subject line that conveys the idea of your email in only 9 words.