According to some estimates, more than 144 billion emails are sent every day—and, sometimes, it seems like every one of them lands in your inbox.

Even those of us who are tasked with creating email marketing campaigns aren't immune to information overload: We all know what it's like to be bombarded with email messages—all competing for a share of our attention during a busy day.

If it's your job to come up with a subject line that is compelling enough to cut through all that clutter, it's a good idea to apply your experience as an email recipient to help you craft the perfect subject line. What gets your attention? How do you decide which emails to trash unopened and which to read?

Scores of scientific studies can tell you which words appear with the most frequency in successful email campaigns. And that is useful information. But in creating a compelling subject line, sometimes a simple strategy works best.

Here are some tips that can help you improve open rates.

Keep it brief. When prospects are scanning their inboxes, a short, snappy subject is more likely to catch their eye than a lengthier line. If possible, it's best to keep the subject line short enough to appear as one line on a smaller device screen, such as a smartphone or tablet. Keep it short and sweet to improve your open and rates.

Don't waste valuable real estate. A subject line doesn't provide much space, so make every word count. Don't waste space with words (such as "hello") that don't add much value to your message. When crafting your subject line, evaluate each word and make sure it adds value—from the standpoint of providing information or encouraging readers to open the email.

Be specific. When readers are scanning new messages in their inbox, they're generally in a hurry to respond to urgent messages or tackle the next task in their busy day. In such a state of mind, they won't have much patience for mystery. Cut to the chase by using the subject line to tell them what the message is about.

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image of Dmitri Leonov

Dmitri Leonov is VP of growth at email management provider SaneBox, where he leads business-development, sales, and marketing efforts.

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