The subject line of your newsletter is the door opener in communication with your newsletter recipients. It is the most important tool you can use to stand out from the mass of emails in your inbox. But how?

This blog report deals with principles, you should have in mind, when writing your subject line. Also, it gives you some ideas how to find the right words to appeal to your audience.

subject line as key to success

Your subject line
has just a few seconds to convince. In addition, the space for it is limited.
Below we present the basics that you should take into account when formulating.
We also want to point out simple optimization measures.

or long?

Short subject lines have a big advantage: They
are displayed completely in many email programs. But, as more and more
recipients read their emails on smartphones, you would have to limit to 25
characters or even less.

A look at the email client statistics in mailworx gives you clarity as to which email programs are primarily used by your recipients. Use this tool to match the subject length to user behavior.

Nevertheless, no principle like “the shorter, the better” can be derived from it. After all, various studies have shown that even long subject lines can be very successful. Ultimately, there are many other factors that are important: the choice of the right time for sending, the relevance of the topic and how recipients have perceived your newsletter so far.

words first

It is therefore much more important to put the important key words in front. These are usually sufficient to create the necessary incentive. Words that promise added value by themselves work best. (e.g. study, download, etc.)

But be careful: Some terms, such as “discount”, could also raise suspicions of spam. To reduce the risk, mailworx offers you an integrated spam check.

and test

Perform an A / B split test! We really want to highlight, how great we find this tool. And it is extremely effective. An A / B split test not only results in averagely higher opening rates, but possibly also delivers valuable insights. Vary the subject line length and also the wording. We present some ideas below. It is also worth taking a look at previous campaigns with high opening rates.


Also use the preheader to strenghten the message of the subject line! In many email programs, the preheader is shown below the subject line. With an A / B split test, you can test the preview lines next to the subject lines.  However, we recommend that you always vary the subject line as the preview line is not displayed for all email providers.

tips for successful subject lines

There is no magic
formula for the right subject. But with the following methods you are
guaranteed to cause a reaction – especially in the right mixture.

# 1
Precise or creative?

Either get straight
to the point what the main benefit of the newsletter is or arouse curiosity
through word games, irritations or provocative phrases.

# 2
Convey urgency

the recipient feel that he needs to take action. An action with an expiration
date combined with a clear call-to-action. Who would be able to resist?

Make headlines

your subject to relate to current developments in day-to-day events or seasonal
peculiarities. Newspaper headlines can also help you improve your subject
lines. Pay attention to the wording. Which of them encourage reading on?

Use personalization

Do you
know the cocktail party effect? If we hear our name in the middle of a party,
we automatically prick up our ears. This also works in email marketing.
Personalizations in the subject line should be used very specifically. Not only
the name offers opportunities for personalization. Other data such as the place
of residence, month of birth or purchased products can also be included.

Tell stories

Use a
pictorial language and tell a story that runs like a thread through the

# 6
Raise questions

question mark in the subject line acts like a stop sign. The recipient pauses
and tries to find an answer to this question. The principle also works if you
leave out the question mark and the sentence is formulated as a statement.

Find experts

experts speak in your newsletters and refer to them in the subject line. It
does not have to be a prominent person, internal experts are also possible.

Use symbols

Pimp your subject line with symbols, emojis and smileys if this is compatible with your corporate communication guidelines. Numbers in the subject line also catch the eye.

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