How to Write an Email Subject Line

Most churches send out some sort of weekly or monthly email. And most of those emails aren’t opened or read. But did you know that there’s one simple thing you can do to ensure that your email is opened and read by more people?  Write something good in your subject line.

A good email starts with a good subject.

Here are five tips, adapted from the book Advertising Headlines that Make You Rich. (Yes, the book is expensive, and yes, the book is worth it.)

  1. Draw attention to a problem or desire that people have. So instead of saying, “Financial Class on Thursday night,” say something like, “Learn how to save money for your dreams this Thursday.” That let’s people know that the information you’re communicating is about them, not just you.
  2. Show people how to avoid mistakes. Instead of “Small Group Leader Training next week,” say, “Avoid these Five Mistakes in Your Small Group.” Negative headlines (five mistakes, three dumb things, etc.) have better reader rates.
  3. Use comparisons. There’s a reason that spam emails say things like “you can have the body of a supermodel.” It’s because comparisons frame the discussion and speak to peoples desires. “Kids volunteers are like superheros” is better than “Thanks for serving.”
  4. Show people that something is easy. “It’s easy to become a student ministry volunteer” is much better than “New volunteer opportunities.” People need to know that they can do it.

Put a little more thought in your email subjects, and more people will connect with your message.  For what it’s worth, these principles also apply to blog titles.  That means I should have called this post “You’re Killing Your Emails with Terrible Subjects” or “Write Email Subjects Like Joel Osteen.”

If you want to learn more about this important subject, I partnered with Giving Rocket to release an eBook called “Why Nobody Reads Your Emails”.  It’s full of a ton of coaching and ideas that will help you communicate with your church.