12 Hints to Boost Your Email Clicks (and 7 Strategic Subject Lines)


It’s likely many of your audience members are suffering from email overload. When you’re receiving tens or hundreds a day, it’s hard to stand out. If you use email as a campaign tool, you need to differentiate yourself from newsletters, other organisations, and other emails that your audience is receiving.

It’s imperative that your emails spark interest, starting with your subject line, and ending with the content inside. You need a great subject line to get the open, and you need the content to prove to your readers that your message is worth their time.

How can you boost click through rates?

1.Numbered lists

Lists are great to use to help your audience understand the information provided. When you make it look easy for the reader, there’s a better chance your emails will be opened. The number also signals how much content there is in there for the reader, so make sure you’re providing enough information to get them reading! It also tells them how much time they might need to read the email, which can help produce quality opens, as people won’t be opening, seeing all the content, and clicking away because it’s too much.

2. Using questions

Engaging your audience is a great way to facilitate more opens; posing a questions has been proven as a great method. Using questions can spark engagement with your readers and improve click lines.

There is a line, however, when using questions — something like “What do you have to say?” would likely perform better than a spammy-looking subject like “Would you like to make $100 instantly?”

3. Focus on audience interests

Knowing the personality of your target market can help, as you can utilize information you know about them to engage. For example, a headline that uses a favoured sports team can garner more attention than one that uses a generic sports headline.

Depending on the amount of information known and level of outreach, it’s possible be incredibly detailed with your emails, customizing them for your customer. This means you can take advantage of visible customer segments and tailor emails to the audience.

4. Use symbols

Using symbols can help your emails stand out more. Some may even use emoji if it suits their message or demographic. Unicode symbols are also recognized by a wide range of email services, and can help you add some visual interest to your subject lines.

As an example, if you have the correct information, you can connect with your audience on a cultural level. Using information you know, (e.g. you’re sending a birthday email out to a segment of your audience) use the zodiac symbol to help your message stand out.

5. Use wit

Puns, rhymes, and jokes add interest and can increase your open rate. Make it company-relevant as well — e, g. if you’re in the pet business, you can try a play on words, such as “You’re Pawsome!”

6. Timing

The saying tells you that timing is everything, and it’s true. Being strategic with your send time can help you see results. If you’re in the restaurant business, for example, sending a message to your audience just before a meal time that you’re open for would likely result in increased engagement due to the likely hunger levels of your readers.

7. Pretend it’s Twitter

If you’re on Twitter, you know how to say a lot with a little. The 140 character limit has probably made you frustrated at one point when you try to talk about the latest in your world.

However, this is a great approach to take in your email marketing strategy. You want your emails to be short, precise and to the point. For example, if you want to promote your newest products, imply introduce the topic, add a preview, and indicate where those that are interested can go to see what you’re promoting.

8. Use a Call to Action

Adding a Call to Action can incite urgency in readers, which can lead to higher opens. If you can’t fit it in naturally (e.g. Don’t Miss Out! 50% Off), you can add it in brackets at the end of the subject line. Something like “Shop Our Shirt Sale [Ends Tomorrow]” uses both a call to action and sparks urgency.

9. Utilize Preview Text

When viewing emails in an inbox, both the subject line and a preview of the email content are shown. Using the preview to further elaborate on your subject line or adding more information can help increase your open rate.

It can help complete the hook of the subject line — for example, Buzzfeed commonly uses a generic statement that is explained by the preview text, starting the engagement with their audience that much sooner.

10. Adding Trigger Words

Certain terms can appeal to readers in that it triggers an action like an open. For example, using terms like ‘free delivery’ can increase open rates, as compared to emails that don’t use those terms.

11. Be Specific

Make sure your audience knows why you’re contacting them! If your subject line is vague and uninspiring, your audience will not know the purpose of your email, nor will they feel compelled to know more.

As an example, LinkedIn is incredibly specific as to why they’re reaching out. Whether they want to let you know about new posts from your connections, or if a contact has joined, you’ll know immediately based on the subject line.

12. Incentivise

Saying thanks may not be enough when someone opts-in to your email list. Turn a casual reader into an engaged customer by giving them another reason to engage with you. Examples include a discount with a first-time subscriber code, an immediate call to action, and drawing attention to the benefits of receiving your emails.

Need some headline inspiration?

  1. “Jane, You Might Like These” — personalization is a great way to grab attention!
  2. “You Only Have 6 Hours Left!” — create urgency with your subject line
  3. “6 Tips To Accelerate Your Clicks” — provides a preview of your content without describing any one tip in general.
  4. “How To Be Productive” — touting benefits is a great way to get people reading.
  5. “You’ll Love What We Have Today” — emphasizing personalization without having to use a name.
  6. “Surprise! 24 Hours Only” — intrigue your readers with something that’s unexpected.
  7. “Where to Eat, Now” — combine this with a strategically scheduled send out time and capitalize on how your readers are feeling.