How Your Venue Can Create a Subject Line That Gets Attention


In today’s mobile world, email is boss. Whether you’re marketing a local food truck or an elaborate 500 capacity event venue, email is where it’s at. Long gone are the days of stamps and mailers or, dare I say, knocking on your neighbor’s door (oh the horror!).

But email marketing isn’t always easy. You put effort into creating those masterpieces and the last thing you want is to check your stats and find depressing click-throughs and open rates.

Did you know that the subject line is one of the biggest influencing factors for email open rates? Mind blown, right? Well, maybe not, you probably already know that, but maybe you don’t already know how to make your subject line stand out. Here’s a cheat sheet on the two biggest factors for those of us in the dark on subject line greatness.

Subject line length

First, let’s talk about length. According to Sendgrid, while 7 words is the most common subject line word length (14.0% of subject lines), 3 word subject lines (1.6% of subject lines) have the highest engagement rates. Why you might ask? It’s quite simple, actually, because 64% of first opens happen on mobile devices where you only see the first 3-4 words of an email subject line.

You can’t grab them if they have no idea what you’re talking about. Get your point across in as little space as possible, but use your words! It’s amazing how many marketing emails I’ve personally received that have had no subject line at all! Words work in subject lines, so use them!

Words that work

Now let’s talk “magnet words.” If you’ve ever done anything in the world of marketing at all, you’ve most likely heard the term tossed around. But what the heck are they IRL? Essentially these words act like a magnet for your eyes. They reel you in and engage you just enough so that your brain needs to know more. The FOMO Is real folks. Here are a few of the most effective magnet words: 

  • New
    The human brain craves novelty. We want to think that we’re the first to know or have something, that we’re the innovators, not the followers. Don’t be afraid to utilize the entire family of “new” words like now, introducing, announcing, or discover.
  • Free
    The word “free” used to be big no-no in the world of email subject lines. It would almost always trigger spam filters and send your genius marketing campaign into the abyss that is your client’s spam folder. But not anymore. As we’ve all experienced, the word “free” gives us such a huge emotional charge that we place way more value on the free item then it’s even worth. So use it as often as you’d like, just be wary of the words you use following free, as they may be triggered as spam. Cash, quote, and save are some notable examples.
  • Your readers’ first name
    According to Experian, personalized subject lines boosted open rates by a whopping 29.3% across industries. It’s psychology and what’s more specifically known as “the principle of liking.” We, as humans, place a strong value on things that remind us of ourselves, in short, we’re egotistical consumers. But use this approach sparingly. It’s easy to overdo it, and that can make you seem intrusive to customers.
  • Secret
    This one speaks for itself. Who doesn’t enjoy a juicy secret every once in a while? People are more persuaded by information that isn’t readily available; it’s as simple as that. And, according to World Data, you can get an 11% lift in open rates simply by including the word “secret” in your subject lines.
  • Alert
    As reported by Adestra, the word “alert” can increase your open rate by 33.1%. In the same way that humans are hardwired to react to the words “free” and “secret,” we’re also acceptable to the word “alert”. This time around it affects the part of the brain that causes you to be on the look-out for danger. It’s the kid in us afraid of the boogie man hiding in our closet; you better check that closet before you fall asleep and you better open that email, or else!

Test to achieve success

We’ve really only scratched the surface of the importance of email subject lines, but just remember that not everything listed here may be a good fit for your venue. Test some things out, see what works and eventually you’ll be watching those once depressing CTR and open-rates skyrocket as you enjoy a glass of champagne and crown yourself the king or queen of event marketing.

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