How to Write Email Subject Lines for Business

Most businesses use emails to communicate with both the clientele and the employees. Using emails to communicate comes with a number of advantages, though not without challenges. Nonetheless, using email as a means of communication is quite effective. Emails are a good marketing tool if used correctly, when it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what’s inside. Many businesses fail to exploit this particular opportunity because of not knowing how to do it right. Writing an email shouldn’t be a challenge for you. It’s not that much of a difficult task, it’s all about using the appropriate words for a specific email and how you present the email among other factors. In particular, lots of people fail because of their email subject line.

The subject line often plays a role in whether your recipient will open their email. A simple, concise, and short subject line should do the trick for you. The majority of us fail because we do not pay as much attention to the subject line. No matter how good your email content is, as long the subject line doesn’t get your recipients’ attention, you will fail!

We want to help you turn this around. Here, we have selected a couple of things to put into consideration when identifying your subject line.

What Is Your Email About?

The subject line should be relevant to the contents of your email. The subject line is more like a “title”. Remember that every title is a summary of what your work is all about. Subject lines are similar, they give a reader an idea of what to expect. Therefore, we recommend that you first summarize your email with a few words before proceeding to find the perfect subject line.

Be Selective

Be selective in your choice of words fit to use in the subject line. Don’t use every word that comes to your mind. This is a process that entails identifying the perfect words to get your recipients’ attention and at the same time, communicate the right message. It’s more or less playing around with words to give your email that level of importance to make your readers open the email. If you’re sending an important or urgent email, be sure to include the words “important” and “urgent” in your subject line. This way your readers will be aware of the emails’ level of urgency.

Note: Please don’t use words such as “urgent” and “important” if an email doesn’t carry so much importance. Your future emails will be outrightly ignored, deleted, or considered to be a spam.

Keep It Short, Clear, and Concise

One of the main attributes of business writing is keeping it short, clear, and concise. This is because all that’s required of you are facts. The same is applicable to the subject lines. Have a short subject line that doesn’t necessitate your readers to open the email to read a complete sentence. Most emails subject lines work with around 5 to 8 words or approximately 60 characters.

Avoid being ambiguous. Let your readers clearly understand what you’re saying. Precision is key when writing business emails and having short subject lines will ensure that you adhere to this guideline. Ensure that you have the facts right. The subject line should contain the accurate information.

Because of the nature of business practices, having a short subject line acts as your introduction. A long one will precondition readers to dislike it, especially if it’s a general business email. Short, clear, and precise subjects will have a better impact than long ones.

Avoid Using Filler Words

Certain words should not be used in your subject line unless there are special circumstances. These words are often referred to as filler words. Honestly, we find them to be a waste of the subject line space. Filler words are often suitable for use in the main body of the email. Good examples include phrases such as “thank you”, “nice to meet you” or salutations (good morning, hello, etc.) among others. There is really no harm in using these words as long as you use them appropriately and in the right context. Just try to maintain the formality of business emails.

Filler words will make your subject line trimmed forcing the reader to open the email in order to read the rest of it. Poorly structured subjects containing filler words will not perform the function of an effective subject. They will make the audience grade your email as a social email and thus the business sense of your email gets lost.

Basic Email Etiquette

Let’s say you’re writing your email to an individual following a referral to them. Well, this person doesn’t really know who you are and there is a chance they will regard your email as spam. How can you avoid being in such situation?

Email etiquette dictates that you include the name of the person who referred you in the subject line. This is an example of how your subject line will look like:

“Referral by John Smith for the position of Sales Representative “

Other basic email etiquette includes, but not limited to, use of decent words, saluting your recipients, etc.


Avoid the use of uppercase in writing your email and generally in any communication on any online platform. Use of capital letters will get your recipients’ attention but at a cost for you. Using uppercase tends to attract the wrong kind of attention from your readers. This is because, on most online platforms, capital letters are associated with yelling.

Your intention is not to make your readers anxious but instead, you want to warm them up to your email. You want them to enjoy reading your email and be more receptive. Therefore, avoid the use of capital letters.

Make Your Readers Feel Special

Human beings are emotional beings. Your emails should at least make your readers feel special. We all want to be treated well and be given some importance. Your subject lines should be personalized to create a sense of belonging. Research shows that readers tend to open emails where subject lines have been personalized. A good example includes adding the name of your recipient or your company in the subject line.

Have a Timeframe

Construct your subject lines to have a timeline. Timelines create a sense of urgency and prompt your readers to open your email. Also, make a point of letting your readers know if you expect a response from them. Before the reader opens the email, the subject should communicate the urgency of them opening it.

Avoid Misleading or Untruthful Subjects

Your email subject line is like a promissory note. When your audience reads it, a promise is made on what the email will contain. You should be sure not to have a subject that implies something different from what the email contains. You should not try to make them open your emails by promising attractive falsehoods in your subjects. This will work against you by irritating your audience. Your emails will be spammed, they will not be opened, and your subscription rates will drop. Your audience will not trust your emails anymore and you will risk failing when the time comes for an actual genuine campaign.


Revolution in technology has changed the business world for the better. In the past, we had post offices for sending letters, which was a time-consuming process as it took days to have them delivered. But today all that has changed. With a click of a button, your message is sent and delivered almost instantly. Additionally, you have a variety of online platforms to choose from.

Business writing is important for modern businesses and many of them have been able to tap into this opportunity to their advantage. Thanks to email, you can communicate with your clientele irrespective of where they are. You could be in the US but get to communicate with your clients in China. However, not all businesses have been able to tap into this amazing chance. This is because there is a particular way of structuring your email to get your readers attention. How well you communicate dictates how well you can maintain your market. In particular, subject lines. Ensure that your subject lines conform to our proposed suggestions.