Email Marketing: Improve subject lines in 7 steps by using the right words, in the right order


It can be easy to overlook the importance of a subject line when crafting an email. After all, it’s just one line. The email itself is where most of the magic happens. However, without an effective subject line, only the most motivated customers will open your email to see what’s inside.

In a recent MarketingExperiments Web clinic — “The Power of the Properly Sequenced Subject Line” — the team revealed how to improve email performance by using the right words, in the right order.

After analyzing many tests in the Research Library,  two key principles to finding success with subject lines were discovered:

  1. Many marketers worry about their ability to write persuasive copy, but the marketer’s art is not persuasion; it is clarity. Indeed, when the marketer represents an authentic value proposition, clarity is persuasion.
  2. We are not optimizing subject lines; we are optimizing thought sequences. The most effective subject lines emphasize the “get” and imply the “ask.”

From these principles and other discoveries the team has made about customer behavior, a checklist of seven questions was developed. These questions can then be used as seven steps to follow when crafting your email subject lines.


Feel free to share the checklist, and if you’d prefer something a little more printer-friendly, download the “Crafting Effective Subject Lines” PDF. The PDF also includes the two key principles for your reference.


You can follow Selena Blue, Manager of Editorial Content, MECLABS Institute on Twitter at @SelenaLBlue.


You might also like

Download the “Crafting Effective Subject Lines” PDF [From a recent MarketingExperiments Web clinic]

Email Marketing: 4 tips for testing subject lines to help you win the inbox battle [More from the blogs]

B2B Email Marketing: Daring subject line gains 72 product launch email replies, 25% open rate [MarketingSherpa ase study]

Email Summit 2015: Top Takeaways from this year’s best sessions [MarketingSherpa webinar replay]

Register for the next MarketingExperiments Web clinic, “Harnessing Customer Motivation”

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1 Comment
  1. saranraj says

    good guide for an email marketing campaign. Thanks for sharing.!

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