Email Subject Lines: What the Industry Learned in 2021

To emoji or not to emoji — that is the question. From emojis and special characters to knowing when to personalize a subject line, the industry learned a lot about navigating subject lines for emails in 2021. And while all that information can seem overwhelming, we’ve pulled together a list of do’s and don’ts.



Keep it short. Subject lines should be short, sweet, and to the point. Mailchimp recommends using no more than nine words and 60 characters, so try a short phrase or sentence.


Use too many special characters. If you go with a sentence, keep your punctuation to one character. Having multiple special characters can cause your email to be sent to the spam folder. On the same note, save emojis for the preview text so they don’t lose their formatting and turn into a string of confusing code.



Pique their curiosity. Your subject line should be specific enough that the reader recognizes who it is from and is interested in clicking through to read the email.


Clickbait the receiver into opening your email. You want to pique their curiosity and interest, but you also want to build and maintain trust. Deceiving subject lines are not the way to go.



Include a call to action. Incentivize the reader to open the email by telling them what’s in it for them. Is there a discount code or special offer inside? Get them excited to open that email.


Use caps lock. You want your reader excited to open the email, but you don’t want to yell at them. Capitalizing the entire subject line can be harsh to look at or feel like spam.

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Which best practices would you add to our list? Let us know.

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