All the great email content in the world isn't going to do your brand a bit of good if no one opens your email—which is why you need attention-grabbing headlines. So apply these top tips and become a master at writing subject lines!

1. Use the 50/50 rule

It seems absolutely preposterous that you spend as much time crafting the subject line, along with the preheader, as you do writing the entire text of the rest of the email, but savvy online marketers are well aware that it is mandatory. It takes time and concentration to write great subject lines.

2. Throw out CAPS LOCK

When a subject line is in CAPS, it is the email equivalent of screaming at your customer. If you throw in a few special characters, exclamation points, and other symbols... you're going to look like a spammer, and that is going to earn your email an express one-way ticket to the spam folder.

3. Shun spam words

While we're on the subject of relegation to the spam folder... keep in mind that there are few better ways than to include the top spam trigger words, such as 100% Free, Act Now, All Natural, As Seen On, Bad Credit, Bargain, Dear Friend, Discount, and Fast Cash. You won't have to worry that your subscribers will dump your emails as spam; the blacklists used by Internet service providers (ISPs) will likely prevent your messages from getting through at all.

4. Don't mislead

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image of Curt Keller

Curt Keller is the founder and CEO of Benchmark Email, a global do-it yourself email service that offers Web-based email tools in Spanish, German, simple Chinese, traditional Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, and English.

LinkedIn: Curt Keller