I have been getting a bunch of questions about how to come up with subject lines, headlines, and webinar titles that people will respond to, or even simply open.

So I wanted to give you guys my best tips for how to create knockout headlines:

1) Keep it short and specific.

Over 55% of emails are being opened, read, and looked at on mobile devices first! So your content and your subject lines need to keep that in mind. The best rule of thumb is to use 50 characters or less. Yes, 50 TOTAL characters.

2) Tell them exactly what they're going to get. If you're doing a webinar, give them the #1 takeaway.

For example:

"Visual Marketing for Business" is not as specific or  motivating as "15 Ways to Animate Your Visual Content with GIFs."

And while we're talking about letting them know exactly what they will get from opening your email or attending your webinar, let’s address something else: using the word "newsletter."

Just don't.

Do you really have to include the word "update" or "newsletter" in there? No, you don’t.

In fact, a study from Adestra found that emails including the word "newsletter" in the subject line saw an 18.7% decrease in open rates!

3) Make people feel special. Write or address one person, not a group.

Exclusivity is a powerful thing. When people feel like they matter, like they're on the inside, it gives them a sense of belonging that could build loyalty and compel them to take action.

So write like you're writing to one person, not all your subscribers. Talk to them like you would a friend.

The right phrasing can make your recipients feel special -- and the effect can be magical. A few ideas for phrasing include:

  • "For our beloved customers only"
  • "An exclusive offer for you"
  • "My gift to you"
  • "You're invited!"
  • "Personal invitation"

4) You can be creative... but not cheesy.

MailChimp conducted an email subject line study and found that short, descriptive subject lines fare better than cheesy lures. A succinct approach is most applicable with notification emails in which a user already has a connection with the content you’re delivering.

We know your content is amazing, and we believe in your ability to make it irresistible to your readers. Wondering if your headline is "the one?" Run it by us in the comment section below!

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Kristi Brown

Creativity Consultant, Sales & Marketing Strategist
/krēāˈtivədē/ /kuh n-suhl-tnt/
Noun: An energetic native Floridian with a passion for smart, authentic, imaginative, effective marketing strategies and original ideas.
Synonyms: Netflix Junkie, Cockapoo mom, crazy aunt, world traveler, foodie.
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