Subject Lines That Open

With forty-seven percent of email recipients opening an email based on subject line alone, it’s clear that you should focus your energy on becoming a subject line master. To help, Darya Subotka, Revinates senior hospitality marketing strategist devotes an entire module in Revinate’s email marketing certification course to the topic. 

So how do you create subject lines that get opened, especially when you’re limited to 4-5 words or 45 characters?

Darya provides these seven tips:

1) Build Curiosity

Humans are naturally curious creatures and like to discover new things. Frame your email subject lines to show that by opening the email, readers will uncover something new. For example: ‘How you can explore Tulum like a local’. Or, ‘Why now is the best time to visit Hawaii’.

2) Create a Sense of Urgency

If the subject line hints at a sense of urgency, studies show that open rates are 22% higher. Some examples include, ‘The clock is ticking on our biggest sale of the year’ and  ‘Hurry, pre-season sale ends tomorrow’.  

3) Personalize and Localize

To make a subject line feel personal, you can include the person’s name or the city they’re from. For example, ‘How to escape a San Francisco summer’ or ‘Offers, just for you, Michelle’.

4) Use Numbers When you Can

Humans are more attracted to numbers than words. Subject lines with numbers get a 45% higher open rate than those with just words. For example, “3 reasons to staycation with Stonebrook Lodge’ or ‘Only 5 days left to get a free upgrade’.

5) Ask Questions

Pose a question that appeals to your prospects’ interests or needs. Subject lines framed as questions get higher open rates. For example, you can segment your guests by past spa customers and use a subject line like this to drive reservations: “When’s the last time you had a spa day, Michelle?’

6) Use Emojis

Brands see a 45% increase in unique open rates when they include an emoji. We love emojis because they stand out in a crowded email box, convey emotion and can replace a lot of words. But, there are some gotchas so be sure to take the course to learn what you should avoid and what you need to watch out for.

7) Use Eye-Magnet Words

What words work as attention grabbers? Introducing, new, announcing, soon and alert all serve to capture a reader’s attention and make them want to learn more. Use these words in the subject line to drive intrigue and get your readers to click.

What should you stay away from in your subject lines? 

  1. All caps. No one wants to be yelled at, even in email.
  2. Exclamation points. They’re over used and feel spammy.
  3. Verbiage that’s too salesy.
  4. Big discounts. No one believes you’re discounting by 75% off so keep it realistic and people will click.
  5. Awkward cut-offs. Make sure you test your subject lines across different devices and browsers to ensure the subject line appears as you intend it to.


Looking for more tips and tricks? The subject line training module is just eight minutes long. Take the course today.

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