How to Improve Email Subject Lines and Increase Open Rate

Published on August 10, 2022
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Filed under Shipping Basics
Read time 4 Minutes

In a recent post, we discussed the fact that email is not only still effective but that it’s also one of the most profitable marketing channels.

Consumers today receive information from a variety of sources, however. And sometimes emails go unread. So it doesn’t matter if you send an email wanting people to buy something today, check on an order status, or read your newsletter. Shoppers need to open your email first.

And according to analysis and advisory firm Convince & Convert, over ⅓ of recipients open email based on the subject line alone.

So how do you go about creating great subject lines? Here are three persuasion triggers that get emails opened.


You can (and should) personalize your subject lines. For example, use your recipients’ names or refer to something that interests them. Yes Lifecycle Marketing found that emails with personalized subject lines had a 50% higher open rate than non-personalized subject lines.

What’s surprising is that Yes Lifecycle Marketing also reported that less than 3% of brands use personalization in their marketing email subject lines.

To get a leg up on your competition, you must personalize your email subject lines. Even if this just means using a shopper’s first name like in the example below:

Personalized Email Subject Lines

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a consumer’s first name, use a friendly general nickname that would appeal to your audience. For example, a beauty product retailer could say, “Hey gorgeous!”

Urgency and Scarcity

Email subject lines with a deadline or special offer motivate us to open emails and take action. In fact, subject lines that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity have a 22% higher open rate.

This type of subject line is effective, but you should only use it occasionally. In other words, when you really want to make an impact or when there is truly a deadline or limited availability.

Here are some great examples of urgency and scarcity emails:


Checking your inbox can get boring. But seeing an interesting subject line might pique your curiosity enough to open an email.

Chris Brogan, a marketing guru, consistently creates compelling email subject lines. Here are two of his most eye-catching:

Effective Email Subject Lines
Effective Email Subject Lines

I don’t know about you but I would definitely open these emails.

Start incorporating these ideas into your email subject lines and watch your open rate soar.

Deliver a customer branded unboxing experience with ShipStation the best online shipping platform for your ecommerce business.

Written by

Margie Zable Fisher

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