Summer of Subject Lines: Tips to Keep Busy Contacts Clicking this Season

By EJ McGowan, General Manager of Campaigner

With summer around the corner, winter-weary email contacts are eager to get outside and make travel plans.

While these work reprieves are beneficial for burnt out Web workers and business professionals, they can be detrimental for marketers who find themselves with fewer contacts in front of their computers. This season in particular, it's imperative that email marketers rev up their subject line efforts and craft emails that make contacts pause their summer activities to see what content awaits on the inside of their emails.

Read on for some crucial dos and don'ts to help create eye-catching and open-inducing subject lines this summer.


Employ the emoji

While email contacts are on vacation, it's time for emojis to get to work. These eye-catching icons are a great way to make a brand's email stick out from the rest in the inbox. Use emojis that are seasonal or related to the email content. For example, if a retailer is having a summer sale, it should try using a sun emoji in the subject line.

Insert personalization

Customized subject lines can make contacts feel special enough to pause fun activities and make a purchase. Marketers will want to use basic contact demographic information as well as more advanced data like purchase behavior and geolocation if its readily available. These insights will help marketers drum up special offers that contacts can't resist.

Test and segment accordingly

Smart vacationers wouldn't embark on a road trip without looking over their car first. In the same vein, it's crucial to test out which subject lines resonate most with specific contacts before hitting send to the entire list. If marketers don't test first, they risk having their entire campaign go kaput.


Go overboard

Like lines at amusement parks, the shorter the better when it comes to subject lines. Companies only get seven seconds to capture readers' attention, and on top of that, some email servers truncate subject lines at 35 characters, so brands will want to keep it under 50 characters maximum.

Be deceptive

Offers like "Lose 10 pounds in 5 days with this pill" may capture attention during beach season, but there is aggravation that comes along with too-good-to-be-true offers. As such, marketers shouldn't make any offers in the subject line that they don't follow through with in the body of the email. Not only will contacts delete emails if their expectations are not met (and be more hesitant to open future ones), but they may also file spam complaints against the sender.

Ignore the junk folder

If contacts have little time to check their inboxes this summer, they have even less time to check their junk folders, so marketers should make sure that messages are getting through by cutting down on spam triggers. Though senders might view it as their worst enemy, the junk folder can also be a top resource in crafting viable subject lines. Use the emails that are in there as examples of what not to do as marketers will likely see a lot of exclamation points, phrases in all caps and sales jargon like "free" or "cash bonus."

Implement these best practices for subject lines this summer, and as an email marketer, you too will be able to enjoy the season without having to worry about low open rates.