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In Email Marketing, the subject is just as important as the content. Learn how to create curiosity-generating email subjects and see some practical examples!

How do we deal with inboxes that are less and less accessible and more crowded with information? How can we deal with people with their increasingly valuable and rare interest? How do we create e-mail subjects that generate curiosity?

These are questions that we ask every day here at Resultados Digitais before launching an Email Marketing campaign  and that led us to the following conclusion:

The subject of an email is just as important as the content it contains. It doesn’t just generate openings, but it matches every next user experience.

This conclusion gives us the dimension of what the subject brings with it when creating an email. Therefore, we performed several A/B tests to optimize this point.

See a test Blue World City conducted on how the subject impacts our Email Marketing campaigns:

The second email generated fewer opens but more clicks. Because? Stay with us to find out why the email subject matter is so important!

Influencing factors in email matters

When creating the subject of your email, you should consider several factors. In this topic we will comment:

  • The most important;
  • How to use them correctly;
  • How to understand them to create more relevant emails.

Come on?

1. Interest = Benefits + Curiosity

This is the factor over which we have the most control. To generate interest, we need to explain the benefits and sharpen the person’s curiosity when reading that subject.

See in practice:

  • In Email 1 of the test above, we made explicit the content that is contained in the message. Therefore, we no longer generate curiosity; thus, the reader lost interest along the way.
  • In Email 2, we sharpen the user’s curiosity indirectly. Therefore, keeping your interest while reading.

2. Relevance

This factor has a lot to do with the continual openness and engagement of your contacts with emails. About their experience with your emails. When opening the message, is the subject delivering the content it promises? Is there a healthy relationship between the subject and the email?

To address these issues, it is extremely important that the email meets the expectations generated, otherwise it will bring frustration to users.

3. Reputation = Relevance – Frustration

Reputation is a long-term influencer. To build it positively, it is necessary to focus on increasing its relevance and decreasing frustration.

Caution: do not create subject patterns. Standards often negatively influence reputation.

For example, in the test with Email 1, we had been using similar subjects for some time – [New eBook] – and, because it is standardized, we no longer get more relevance.

4. Urgency

It is important, in some cases, to use this factor to optimize your subjects, especially in cases of promotions or specific actions.


  • Last hours, RD Summit
  • 10 minutes to go: promotion with up to 50% OFF

Reinforcing: care to maintain your relevance and reputation. Always deliver what is proposed in the subject and do not standardize.

5. Emotion

It is scientifically proven that emotions generate more lucid memories. And obviously, we want to generate positive emotions for our contacts, correct?

If your email brings positive emotions, your user will stay with that offer or that content longer. Also, his learning process becomes lighter.

Start inducing that experience through the headline. Examples:

  1.  Surprise!
  2. Mother’s Day ♥

10 tips for creating email subjects

Given the main influences, we can now produce matters with assertiveness. Knowing, through the following tips, why they improve performance and how to use them in the right context to capture the user’s attention.

1. Customization

By far the best tip is: customize your email subject! Customization brings with it:

  • Interest;
  • Relevance;
  • Reputation;
  • Positive Emotions.

In other words: almost all the factors of a good email subject!

Let’s look at an example:

I have an online pet store. I have, in my email database, the following personas:

  • dog owners
  • cat owners

Through segmentation, for each one I can use a different subject:

  • Your dogan will love it!
  • What a cute cat…

The performance and engagement of both would significantly increase if we sent the same subject to everyone, for example:

  • Products for your pet!

2. Support text (preheader)

The preheader is the first sentence to the right of the email subject. You have the possibility to include it in some email providers – like Gmail, for example.

The test below that we conducted at Resultados Digitais demonstrates the impact that the preheader has, both in open and click-through rates:

Test A:

Test B:


For generating a better contextualization with the preheader, test B was the winner.

How to insert the preheader in my email?

  • When your email is plain text, providers will read the first few words contained in the email content.
  • If your email is in HTML, right after the <body> tag, insert this code:

<div style=”overflow:hidden;” display:none; max-width:0px; font-size:1px; line-height:1px; max-height:0px; opacity:0; mso-hide: all;”> Write your preheader text here. </div>

3. As short as possible

Long subjects are often cut off in mobile views and, furthermore, don’t stand out among the multitude of emails in the customer’s inbox. So keep the title as short as possible. The ideal, for searches, is between 20 and 41 characters.

4. Numbers or percentages

Numerals written out in full bring with them logical reasoning – which, consequently, requires more attention. Therefore, by using figures or percentages, you will be inducing the user’s focused attention. Use this tip when you can contextualize it with your title.


  • Every store with up to 45% OFF
  • 15 stunning looks!
  • 3 practical ways to capture leads

5. Questions

Questions provoke, and, like numbers, they demand focused attention. When we see a question mark, we are prompted to solve that problem.


  • Do you know this look?
  • How to generate more Leads?

Caution: do not answer the question asked at the beginning of the email. This generates revulsion for commercial actions and ends up harming some factors, such as relevance and reputation. Let the reader discover the answers for themselves. The experience will be much better.

Example of what not to  do:

Subject: Do you know how to sell real estate?

Email Content: No? We brought the best tips!

6. Emojis

Emojis end up bringing an emotional and visual relationship to the title of the email, which matches the opening factors a lot. It is important not to keep sending emojis as a default, as the action may lose relevance if done continuously. Use with context and moderation.

7. Keywords of your business

Include words that match your industry in the title.

Let’s take the case of an ecommerce fitness, for example. Use: losing fat, diet, fitness, bodybuilding, supplements, etc.

This will always create a context for the user and end up maintaining good standards of relevance, in addition to always reinforcing interest in your products/services.

8. Avoid words that are highly commercial or are marked as spam

One of the types of antispam filters looks for similarities between your emails and those that are marked as spam.

Therefore, try to avoid words that are often used by spam, such as:

  • Viagra;
  • Webcam.

The same goes for very commercial words: free, promotion, click, open, free, credit, offer, buy, see, check, among others.

These words are used a lot in emails and with them the chances of frustration are high!

9. Use the same subject line

This seems like an unconventional tactic, but it works in specific cases when Leads already know your brand well and trust you.

Using email subject lines that are the same to identify a type of action – such as transactional emails and invoices – makes it easier for readers to identify what the email is intended for.

This type of email also works well with a predetermined frequency, be it a  daily, weekly or monthly newsletter for the entire base.

10. Test, test, test

Create several different subjects, send it to yourself and rate how each message looks in the inbox. Use alternative forms of writing and submitting to the list, checking which has the best open rate. It is essential to keep improving!

Subjects are just – and literally – the beginning of a good Email Marketing strategy

Always ensure an identity for your subjects, avoid standards as much as possible and keep them relevant. The important thing is to have a creative process when producing your subjects.

They should delight customers and bring a preview of the experience they will have opening that email. Remember: you are always communicating with people!

Even so, a good subject is nothing if it doesn’t carry a good email, both in terms of content and aesthetics. And more: all this can be lost without a good Email Marketing strategy.

The RD Station Marketing, tool all-in-one marketing automation can help you save time in creating email campaigns and also to achieve better results.

That’s because the software has a drag & drop editor and templates for you to easily produce emails, as well as features that offer a customized experience at scale for your Leads, guiding them to purchase.

Add to that the segmentation and qualification of Leads that the tool offers, as well as Landing Pages, pop-ups and forms that will help you capture these emails.