Why subject lines are important for email marketing

Why Subject Lines are Important for Email Marketing

Your email marketing subject line can make or break your campaign. The subject line is the first impression you give the reader and if you write it well enough you can avoid it being your last impression too.

Because the subject line is one of the first things readers see it must capture their attention immediately in order to get them to open and read.

The measurable success of an email campaign starts with engagement and engagement starts by crafting a great subject line. So here are our tips to help you write an engaging email subject line:

Plan your subject line carefully

Put as much thought into writing your subject line as you did to compile your email content. Your subject line should relate to what you are writing about, but it must also set the right tone in order to get the right level of engagement.

Make your subject line short and sweet

Email subject lines get cut short when they are too long, particularly on mobile devices. According to email marketing stats from Hubspot, up to 46% of email opens take place on mobile devices, which requires subject lines to be as short as possible to fit on almost any screen. We recommend using subject lines with approximately 25-40 characters or 5-6 words to be sure that it is visible across all devices.

Check how your subject line displays

Send a test email to check the display of your subject line. Check the responsiveness of your email to see how the subject line displays across different devices. Make sure that the subject line displays and reads well taking into consideration font size and words per line.

Remove excess wording from your subject line

Similar to keeping it short we also suggest keeping it simple by removing excess wording or rephrasing your subject line with shorter sentences. Avoid repeating your company name or common phrasing like “Good morning and welcome”. Any generic or excess wording can be included in the body of your email, so try and make your subject line simple and unique.

Don’t use generic subject lines repeatedly

Repeatedly using the same subject line isn’t recommended for email campaigns. As tempting as it is to stick with a name, date or issue number, you are more likely to entice readers with a call to action or niche information in the subject line.

Try to use personalised subject lines

Where possible, look to personalise email marketing with the readers’ names or localised information. Personalised subject lines help emails connect with the audience on an emotional level that can also help to drive engagement.

A/B test subject lines to find what works best

Run an A/B test to see which performs best, especially if you have more than one subject line. By testing different subject lines you can learn which phrasing has more impact on the open rate.


With almost half of all emails being opened on mobile devices, it’s time you rethink your email marketing campaign starting with your subject line. Let Adclick Africa help you create emails that engage with your audience and get results. Click here to enquire about our email marketing services.