No Link Bait: Email Subject Lines That Get Clicked


Email subject lines are vital to successful email marketing. Just as a good blog title is critical to getting your blog read and shared, a good email subject line is essential to get your emails opened.

Link bait is the art of using words in your email to encourage readers to open your email. Link bait is not a negative thing: as long as you don't bait and switch. The key to link bait is to make sure your email delivers what your subject line promises. SEO strategies that are black hat deliberately mislead readers to encourage them to open emails that have little to do with the subject line. Writing effective subject lines that get your emails opened takes time and practice.

3 Email Subject Link Bait Strategies That Work

1. Be authentic to your brand voice

Just because statistics say that using awesome in your email subject line gets more opens doesn't mean you should automatically use awesome. Be true to your brand voice: a therapeutic bedding retailer with a demographic over age 50 would not speak to their audience in the same voice as a retailer with an early 20's target audience.

2.  Use a Call To Action

Of course you use a CTA on your blog and website. But have you tried a CTA in your email subject line? The premise is simple: if you want your audience to do something, try just asking them to do it. Which email subject are you more likely to open:

Holiday Sale


Last Day of Holiday Sale

Email subject lines that encourage action include:

  • deadlines: 24 Hour Flashsale, Ends at Midnight, 1 Week Only
  • invitation: Join Us, You're Invited, RSVP Today, Register Now

3. Keep It Short and Simple

KISS applies to a lot of content marketing, especially email subject lines. Most ESPs (email service providers) allow up to 70 characters in an email subject, anything longer will probably be cut off. Email marketing tool Constant Contact has the following recommendations of emails subject length:

  • under 50 characters
  • 5-7 words
  • 1 or 2 words stands out and gets more engagement

How important are blog titles and email subject lines? The content curating team at Upworthy have their bloggers write 25 titles before they decide on the perfect one!

Spend at least as much time writing your subject line as your entire email: or even more! Writing effective subject lines that gets opens takes time and practice. You must know and understand your target audience to tempt them to open your emails. 

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