The anatomy of an effective e-mail subject line: How to stand out in a crowded inbox

Ewelina Aiossa, Founder, B.I.G. Marketing Consulting

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Abstract: E-mail marketing is one of the most pervasive communication tools around and its importance continues to grow with the use of technology. It is also one of the best and most cost-efficient ways to get a message out to a specific audience. However, professional and personal e-mail inboxes are crowded with messages, and brands/companies need to compete to be noticed. For their messages to break through the noise of the crowded inbox, marketers must start with the subject line. Drafting the perfect subject line is an art form with a little bit of science thrown in. It requires an intimate knowledge of one’s target audience and the ability to translate a larger message into a few words to strike the right chord and compel the recipient to take action. This paper explores how to provide the most relevant, personalised e-mail subject line ‘experience’ by discussing the fundamentals of how to draft compelling, effective subject lines.


Keywords: digital marketing, e-mail marketing, e-mail subject line, best practices, subject line fundamentals


Ewelina Aiossa is a business-to-business and direct-to-consumer marketing expert, consultant, educator, speaker and author. She provides future-focused strategic solutions for private equity, growth-stage companies and start-up businesses. Ewelina graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She serves on the UBM — Dermatology Times Industry Council and is a member of the American Marketing Association; the International Honor Society in Business, Management and Administration; the National Association of Professional Women and the Philatelist Club.

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