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The DMT Guide to Writing Perfect Email Subject Lines

The DMT Guide to Writing Perfect Email Subject Lines




Cutting to the chase right from the get-go, there is no ‘perfect’ way to write email subject lines – BUT there are tips and tricks to get that open rate shooting up. It all depends on you. What sort of business are you in? Who is your target audience? What is the end result you want from this aside from the killer open rates? Once you figure out this part, writing your email subject lines will be a whole lot easier.

Here is dmt’s guide to writing the perfect subject lines!

Short and snappy wins the email subject line race.

Now, copywriters alike struggle with this at times. No matter how experienced you are, making a 3-5 word sentence is difficult. Writing subject lines is a whole different ballpark of writing. That short form bit of text needs to convince people to swipe open that email, not delete it straight away. Avoiding filler words is the best approach here, leading us to point number two on our guide to the perfect email subject lines.

Stick to what the email is about!

Sale? Write it in the subject line. New in? Subject line. Just added Klarna to your site? You know where this is going. People aren’t going to open it if the headline isn’t immediately interesting to them. If you’re doing a lead gen giveaway, don’t leave that key information to the body text. Something as simple as: ✨ GIVEAWAY ✨ would do the trick.

You’ve got them to open your killer email, now what?

This is the real kicker for any email. If readers have to scroll to find the point of the email, the likelihood of them getting to it decreases. The top of the email should be in conjunction with the subject line; this could be text or an image. If your email is about a new collection dropping, your bestseller should be the first thing they see when they open it!

Eliminate the buffer words.

We’re all a little guilty of this at times. You get so lost in getting the body text just right, that when you look back it looks too text heavy. This brings us back to our earlier point of keeping it short and snappy. Getting rid of buffer words completely increases the chances of it being read by users. Here are two examples for you:

We’ve got 10% OFF everything on site! Shop the latest now ❌

10% off EVERYTHING! Shop now ✅

Both have the same message, but one is way less readable and off putting. No messin’, just sellin’.

Let’s get personal.

Even if your email is being sent to thousands of people – it’s best that it doesn’t feel like that. Doing something as simple as adding their name into the email adds that personal touch that will send your open rate soaring. Using software like Klaviyo makes this even easier. They give you the option to add a little bit of coding to your email, making the process smoother and quicker ~ now you’ve no excuse. You want them to feel like this deal is specifically for them. Research has shown that including the first name in the subject line creates a higher click-through rate than emails that didn’t.  

Try adding things like this to your preview text too:

  • “For our VIP customers only.”
  • “Exclusive offers for you.”
  • “A gift for you.”
  • “You’re invited.”

Timing is everything!

When someone signs up to your email list it’s because they love your brand and want to keep up to date with you and your products. Are most of your users UK based or USA based? Use this information to figure out the best times to hit send. Hit them with the emails during peak times, before work, lunch time or after work, evening time when people are sitting around eating dinner.

Big names, big spenders.

If you’ve used a celebrity or influencer for your brand on socials, include them. Being internet famous isn’t new but learning how to monetize that online ~ that’s an art form of it’s own. Pairing someone with influence to your email toolkit is an essential marketing tip. Users value outside opinions, and if that person is well known they’re more likely to be trusted.

Fib-free zone!

Don’t make fake promises to your subscribers. Lying to them to get them to open the email will just frustrate them, lead them to unsubscribe, lower your open rate and essentially lose their trust in you.

Spam is for breakfast, not for emails.

This is essential for email marketing, y’know, because you actually want your subscribers to see the email. You can do some simple things to avoid this; use a recognisable sender name for a start. Nobody is going to open an email from Pay attention to dormant subscribers and remove hard bounces from your list; basically keeping your email list clean.

You want to draw attention to the email but avoid using all high case, lots of exclamation points and unnecessary punctuation like ellipses or asterisks. Although it has been shown that subject lines with a question mark at the end have a 44% higher open rate ~ don’t over-do them. One is enough!

Emojis: From ☹️ to 😊

Adding emojis makes your email stand out in a crowded inbox. Research has shown that it makes them easier to understand and more believable. Before you go too crazy with the smiley faces and stars, understand they aren’t for every brand – understanding your target audience is key for this. If you’re selling clothes aimed at women in their 20s then you know you can add some hearts and flowers. But if you’re selling medical supplies, we don’t think that sparkly hearts would go down too well.

Here are some examples of emojis in subject lines for email marketing:

Summer Sale – ☹️

☀️ Summer Sale ☀️ – 😊

Here are some things we love – ☹️

Here are the things we 💖 ! – 😊

They’re still getting the point across, but brightening up that inbox and enticing your subscriber in just a little bit more.

The best subject lines we’ve seen as inspo for you!

Beauty You’ve Had Your 👀 On from L’Occitane

The Sale Is On SALE 👉🏼 from The Iconic.

Only £19.99 For All THIS? from Urban Outfitters.

How D’ya Like Your Socks In The Morning? 🍳  from Happy Socks.

SAAALE! Extra 40% – Sorry For Yelling! from Bonobos.

Witches Be Crazy, And So Is This Box 🎃 from Beauty Box

Nope, Still NOT Going Out Of Business. Enjoy 3 for $45 from Crocs.

If you want help with your email marketing, dmt can help you. We currently work with a range of brands, and we don’t wanna brag – but we’re pretty damn good 😉 Get in touch through