The goal of an email subject line is to entice the reader to open the message. A smartly written subject line has a good chance of accomplishing that goal if it is eye catching, concise, and creates a strong sense curiosity.

What are some simple guidelines for creating email subject lines?

For anyone who has written promotional email copy, one of the biggest challenges is coming up with a subject line that can get the reader to open the email. Especially when you realize that online prospects are regularly inundated by a multitude of email subject lines.

Even the most experienced online marketers are challenged to come up with new and provoking copy for email subject lines. Many of the gurus say use whatever works. Experiment, observe what other marketers are doing, and test different variations of the copy to find out which one produces the best results.

One of the most common mistakes email writers make is trying to actually sell their promotion within the introductory subject line. The purpose of the subject line is to only stimulate enough interest so that the reader is motivated open the email, to see what is inside.

If you fail to create a subject line that catches the reader’s attention, most likely your email will be deleted in a nanosecond.

Likewise, if you offer too much information in the subject line, the reader either accepts or rejects that limited content and usually sees no need to open the email.

Should the subject line be personalized with the receiver's name?

If you ask this question of successful online marketers, you will usually get one of three responses.

... absolutely include the name
... it is just not that important anymore
... only if it naturally fits the line of copy

Some marketers feel the consumer is now numb to the overuse of including personalization. Yet, psychologists will tell you everyone loves seeing their name, and it creates a connection with the visitor. The bottom line is that you will have to test this for yourself. When it comes to including the receivers name, much depends on where, when and how the subject line copy is used.

The more important question is whether including the receivers name in the subject line can help to increase results. Many savvy marketers believe it does add value if it is done appropriately. In other words, do not include personalization simply for the sake of using the name. If you are going to use someone’s first name in the subject line, make sure it flows with the copy and does not come across as forced. Employ a writing style that is conversational and creates curiosity.

The email subject line is a curious piece of copy. It encompasses very few words and is often purposely vague. The reader’s attention must be captured and enough interest created to have the email opened. So few words, but absolutely critical if the email itself will ever be read.

Author's Bio: 

David Schaefer is a success coach and entrepreneur and writes on the topics of personal development and Internet marketing. He offers a FR.E.E Marketing Report about taking advantage of a Tested and Proven Affiliate Marketing Program at Also follow him at