May 6


How to Write the Best Email Subject Lines

By dougnoll

May 6, 2020

​A great email starts with a great subject line. You want to write the best email subject line you can. The whole purpose of the subject line is to get your subscriber to open the email and hopefully read it. If you have a poor subject line, the likelihood of the email getting opened is very low.

Why Work Hard Writing The Best Email Subject Lines

Think about it.

How do you scan your emails every day?

You look at the subject line of the email. Then you look at who the sender is. If the subject line looks interesting and you know the sender, you open email. Otherwise, you delete it. You take about 2 seconds to make that decision…maybe less.

What subject lines cause you to open an email. ​It's going to be something that you are interested in, or intrigues you, or piques your curiosity. Of course, it may be an email that you're expecting. Or an email from your boss that you have to open whether you want to or not.​

best email subject lines

So How Do You Write ​​Subject Lines That Have To Be Opened?

First, consider how the subject line's scans. What does it say in one, quick glance?

Is it simple and breezy?

Complex subject lines require too much thought. Readers will ignore them.

Second, try to write at the third grade level. The best email subject lines are simple.

​Again. People are reading subject lines very quickly. The more difficult the reading level, the more likely the email will be junked.

Keep ​Them Short

Keep your character count under 52 characters in eight words. Shorter is better than longer. On mobile devices, shoot for 20 characters in the subject line.

Fourth, note that most email subject lines are either positive or neutral. This doesn't mean that a negative subject line won't work. I prefer to go with the majority perspective, however.

best email subject lines

The Best ​Subject Lines Answer the Question: What's In It For Me?

Write your subject line from the reader's perspective. What's in it for them? Never write a subject line from your perspective. It's all about the reader.

Avoid, at all costs these, subject line mistakes:

Putting RE or FWD in the subject line.

Putting the word "Free" in the subject line. This will mark your email as potential spam.

Avoid spammy words. These look like shady, spam me, or unethical behaviors.

Here are some examples:

·  #1

·  100% more

·  100% free

·  100% satisfied

·  Additional income

·  Be your own boss

·  Best price

·  Big bucks

·  Billion

·  Cash bonus

·  Cents on the dollar.

Avoid exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do not put any word in All CAPS. It looks like you're shouting at your subscribers.

Don't use excessive punctuation.

Good practices include:

  • Personalizing the subject line with the name, industry, title, interest, or geographic information.
  • Asking a question.
  • Keeping the subject line all lowercase.

Tools to Help You Write ​Compelling Email Subject Lines

There are two very handy tools to use in creating your very best email subject subject lines.

The first is Neville Medhora's subject line generator form. Here's the link.

The second is's subject line tester tool. Here's the link

I use Neville's tool when I'm trying to come up with ​my best email subject line. I try to create 10 subject lines and then run them through subject line tester. I'm looking for a score of over 100 and prefer subject lines that hit 104. I will not use a subject line that scores less than 95.

I sometimes spend as much time on the subject line is I do on the email content itself. What's the point of writing a brilliant marketing email if it doesn't get opened. Take the time to write your best email subject line and watch your open rates increase.

By the way, I've found a marketing system created by John Thornhill that is really impressive. What's weird is that I thought his webinar was awful.  Really. One of the worst I have ever seen. But my mentor convinced me to sign up. Man, am I glad I did. John's system is a money-making machine, if you are willing to do the work. Check out the webinar here and sign up for the system. This is not for the lazy, so don't bother if you don't want to work hard.


About the author

To some, Doug Noll is a lawyer. To others, he is an internationally-recognized mediator and peacemaker. To still others, he is a best-selling author. And, to others, he is a teacher, trainer, and professor. To you, he is a deep resource for learning about relationships, emotions, and successful internet marketing.

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