Email marketing remains an essential tool for small businesses to connect with their audience, drive engagement, and ultimately boost sales. However, with inboxes flooded with messages vying for attention, how do you get your email to stand out, and most importantly, OPENED?

Most small businesses I talk to are more particular about what’s inside the email – the actual campaign copy. They only spend a little bit of time thinking about the subject line. In my opinion, this is backwards! No matter how great your email marketing content is, nobody sees it if the subject line doesn’t get opened.


Focus on the first 3 words

My number one tip for subject lines: Focus on the first few words. Think about how you scan your inbox. Most people are only paying attention to the first 3 words and decided whether to open or ignore from there. Those opening words can really impact your email’s performance!

Make sure your subject line is clear and concise. Can most people understand it at a glance?



Personalize when Possible

Personalization can significantly increase open rates. You can personalize your subject line basked on your recipient’s names, preferences, interested, purchase history, or location, to name a few. Consider segmenting your email list so you can create separate subject lines to appeal to each audience.

Personalized subject lines see much higher engagement because they build curiosity and relevance.

Today’s subject lines personalized around interests see much higher engagement. If you see a subject line that is relevant to you, you know that the content inside is most likely to appeal to you as well, driving more opens.

Use Numbers, Emojis, and Brackets

Start with a number for a sense of authority and skimmability. Extensive A/B tests by email platform Campaign Monitor found subject lines with numbers achieved a 57 percent better open rate than those without. Use a subject line like “5 most trending spring outfits” or “7 Ways to Make Your Mother Smile.”

Add relevant emojis to stand out in the inbox.

Use all-caps for the first word to grab attention, and put key ideas in brackets for emphasis.

Create a Sense of Urgency or Exclusivity

Incorporate words or phrases that evoke a sense of urgency or exclusivity, such as “limited time offer,” “exclusive deal,” or “last chance.”By creating a sense of urgency, you encourage recipients to act quickly, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.



In conclusion, mastering the art of crafting compelling email subject lines is essential for small businesses looking to maximize the impact of their email marketing efforts.