Writing great subject lines, B2C vs. B2B

Basic RGBHalf the battle of getting your emails read is the subject line. Actually, it’s probably a lot more. If the subject line is not interesting enough to open, then it may get overlooked or worse–immediately deleted.

Writing subject lines is no easy task. It’s actually really hard. But it’s important. Whether your business is marketing B2C or B2B, your subject lines matter. We want to go though a few tips for subject line success.


1. Brief. Keep your subject lines short and to the point–think 35 characters or under 8 words.

2. Use questions and create urgency. Make them curious to learn more so that they not only want to, but need to open that email.

3. Avoid spam. There are words that you should avoid at all cost, like “free” and “help,” if you don’t want your email to look like spam.

4. Don’t yell. We all know (thanks to instant messaging and text messaging) that ALL CAPS usually means you are yelling. So don’t yell at your perspective customers by using all caps in your subject lines.

My favorite B2B subject line:
“Battle of the Bulge—An Obesity Photo Quiz –ConsultantLive
If this doesn’t grab your attention; I’m not sure what will!



1. Effective keywords. A study by Adestra showed that the words “daily” and “review” had higher open rates.

2. Personalize. Add a personal touch (the person’s name) to the subject and really reach your potential reader.

3. Honesty. It’s the best policy, right? Don’t dupe your readers. Tell them what your email is offering.

4. Limit cleverness. While it may seem like the best tactic, too much whit can confuse and even annoy. Be creative but clear.

My favorite B2C subject lines:

“Heel Yes: It’s Time to Get Carried Away!” –ShoeMint
Creative but still clear that the email is promoting high heeled shoes.

“Evin, Evin, Evin, Evin, Evin, Guess what day it is!“ –O’Charley’s
Personalization with a cue to learn more. And if you have to know, it was Pie day!

“Katelyn, can you keep a secret?” –Applebee’s
B2C companies can also find success using questions in the subject line.

“Carve into this…” –Restaurant.com
This subject even included a pumpkin Emoji to catch attention.

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