Monthly Top 5: Email Subject Lines Best Practices

Matthew Reichek, Global Vice President, Product & Analytics
April 27, 2016

Email may not be the new kid on the block, but email marketing remains a tried-and-true method for reaching consumers, both new and existing. In fact, email is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined when it comes to acquiring customers. What’s more, many consumers actually prefer email. A study commissioned by MarketingSherpa showed that 72% of U.S. adults would rather receive communications from companies via email as opposed to direct mail, social media, online videos or other channels.   

Given the staying power of email, the inbox is often a crowded, competitive space for marketers. We recently shared five tips to help your emails stand out. But even if you’ve targeted, tested and embraced a mobile-first mentality, you aren’t likely to connect with customers and inspire them to open your email without an enticing subject line.

So, what does an effective subject line look like?

Brief—and engaging.

Fifty characters or fewer is optimal. So is authentic, conversational language that gives customers a reason to open your email.  

Here are five successful approaches to crafting subject lines based on findings from our own email tests. While you probably won’t use all of these at once, try a few different methods to see what works with your target audience.    


They may be short, but subject lines are often the most difficult part of your email to write. Even so, try not to overthink it. If you keep customers’ interests and motivations in mind—and use real language, not promotional jargon—you’re bound to see the payoff with improved open rates.        

Want more thought starters? Check out more digital marketing best practices  <>.


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Matthew Reichek
Global Vice President, Product & Analytics
As global vice president of product and analytics at Expedia Media Solutions, Matthew Reichek is responsible for leading analytics and business intelligence along with advertising product development and portfolio integration across the Expedia, Inc. suite of travel brands. Under Matthew’s leadership, Expedia Media Solutions has built and optimized a full suite of innovative marketing solutions that empower partners to reach consumers during all phases of the travel journey. Prior to joining Expedia, Matthew served as vice president and research analyst at two private San Francisco-based investment firms, First Oak Capital Management and Seasons Capital Management. Matthew was also previously an equity research analyst at Citi, where he was part of the top ranked internet and e-commerce team. Matthew has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he was a double major in finance and marketing. He received his BA with high honors from Wesleyan University.
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