Email subject line standout

If you send email newsletters on a regular basis, you struggle with making sure that they are relevant to those that receive it. But relevance goes much deeper than just plugging in whatever works, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. The world is filled with emails that no one bothers to read. In the midst of all of that kind of noise, you have to get your email to stand out. The greatest way to do that is to make sure that your subject line is spot on.

There are many ways to do a bad subject line and a great one. Let’s take a look at both.

Strike Out with Subject Lines Like These

Much like a bad pickup line in a bar, bad subject lines can get your email rejected in a hurry. It might surprise you some of the ways that have snared email writers over the years. According to Vertical Response, here are some obvious things to avoid:

  • Bad grammar or spelling errors – When you get one of these in your inbox, more often than not, you hit delete. Taking the time to spellcheck and mind your grammar can get more people to open emails than otherwise would have.
  • Using all capital letters – If you didn’t realize by now, all caps is the internet version of screaming. Just like you wouldn’t talk to someone that did nothing but scream at you, you wouldn’t open an email from someone doing it either.
  • Generic subject lines – If you send something out on a weekly basis, it would be a bad idea to label it “The XYZ Company Weekly Newsletter.” That screams “delete me” to anyone that sees it.
  • Faking a reply – We have all seen email that includes the dreaded re: on the subject line. We dread it because, more often than not, it doesn’t link up with anyone that we sent anything to.

Your Best Bet for a Better Subject Line

So what should we do in a subject line to make it stand out? According to, there are many ways to do it. Here’s just a sampling:

  • Ask a relevant question – Make certain that it is something that they have been wondering themselves.
  • Offer to solve a problem – People in general are busy and have little time to read what you wrote. Entice them by showing them how you can provide a solution for something that they need to fix.
  • Use a personal touch – If it’s something you would say, use it as a subject line. There are quite a few people that can spot a fake and the best way to reveal yourself as one is to say something in a subject line that you would never say in real life. One caveat here; make sure that you maintain professionalism. While you might use profanity personally, it has no place in the subject line of an email, particularly if you want someone to read what you have to say.
  • Humor – People’s defenses often go down when you make them laugh. The same is true with a funny subject line. Be careful here because what you might find funny, others might be offended by.

The subject line in an email is an important way to get attention. Knowing what to do and what not to do could lead to higher open rates and more connection, and in the end, that’s what all of us are aiming for.

– Jeremy Lawrence

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