26 October 2016

ACT NOW – Improving your email open rates

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People say, don’t judge a book by its covers, but in the case of getting your target audience to open the email you have just sent out, your subject line plays a huge role.

Did you know that 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line?

So you have just spent the past 2 hours crafting your EDM that is about to be sent out and inside it has the best offer in the industry that no other company can provide. Imagine how disappointing and sad it will be if your audience doesn’t open the email and no one will know about it and next thing you know, *click*, there it goes in the trash can in less than a second.

Your subject line seems like the smallest part of your email, being at the top of the email chain, and sometimes being un-noticed or forgotten when you have opened the email. However, it is the very first impression it makes.

This is why it is really important to write enticing subject lines to get a chance for your audience to open your email and not let your hard work go to waste. Here are some tips to get you started in the making the best subject line:

Keep it short and sweet

There is a general rule that I go by when writing subject lines: Keep the length under 12 words. When the subject line is too long, the end of it (and probably the main point of your subject) is cut off. With over 40% of emails being opened first on a mobile device these days, your short and sweet subject line is even more important.

Use personalisation

Using personalisation like including the name or their location in the subject line gives a feeling of rapport and being personal. It was shown that subject lines that included the first name of the recipient has a higher open rate than those that did not. Examples include “Happy Birthday Andrew” or “Sarah, we have a special offer for you…”, alternatively if you use “you” or “you’re”, it will sound like you are speaking with them directly.

Make sure your subject line is in line with the content of your email

So you’ve just got them to open your email (yay!), but unfortunately the content does not reflect or even acknowledge what was written in the subject line (no…). There is nothing more disappointing or frustrating than that feeling of curiosity and then realising you have been tricked. Not only will your audience feel annoyed and won’t open your emails next time, but worse they may even unsubscribe for your list. As a marketer, that is the worst result for us as I can no longer get in touch with them again until they next sign up. Make sure your body reflects the message in your email.

Create a sense of urgency

Subject lines that has a sense of urgency that the person must ACT NOW, has a 22% higher open rate. Using words like “24 hours only”, “Expires this Friday”, encourages the reader to act now rather than later when there is a chance they might forget.


Yes, we want to create that sense of urgency, however it shouldn’t be done by using all caps in your subject line, it’s almost like you are being yelled at. 85% of people prefer an all lower-case subject line and an all CAPITAL LETTERS SUBJECT LINE appears very disruptive and may be viewed as spam.

If you know your content is great, don’t let it go to waste by having a bad subject line. Good luck!

Being brought up in a typical Chinese family in Australia, Vivian takes pride as an ABC (Australia-born Chinese) where she happily embraces both the Chinese and Australian cultures. 

In high school, Vivian wanted to become a fashion designer, however she has developed a passion for running events after working backstage for multiple live shows. Prior to starting at Akolade, Vivian worked 4 years in the wine industry and she misses the wine tasting sessions and openly drinking on the job. As the Assistant Marketing Manager, Vivian enjoys using her creativity to design unique and fun campaigns for each event. In her spare time, Vivian loves to spend time with her two adorable pets; a cat and a dog. 

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