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PR Tip Line

Email Subject Lines: How to Get A Reporter to Open Your Email

In PR Tip Line on

105 Billion emails are sent every day worldwide. That means, if you want to be one of the very few that actually get opened, you need to do something special; something to catch people’s eyes. Sometimes you might need to be flashy and gimmicky, but other times it just comes down to being properly informed.

An email subject line is critical to a successful email. Whatever the purpose of your message is, one thing is a must: getting people to open it!

A good subject line doesn’t come easy. It’s not something that if you sit and think about long enough will suddenly come to you. It’s more of a knack than a skill. You need to know your audience and that takes time, like learning a language. Trial and error: you need to find out what people respond to.

My first piece of advice: practice. Test out different subject lines, assess the success of each kind and put together some sort of subject-line playbook. Here are some examples of what that may include:

Single Word

One-word subject lines usually do pretty well. If you are able to sum up the main idea in a single word, then email recipients will better grasp the subject matter without making the effort to read a whole sentence. Your email might seem like a familiar face in a crowd of strangers: it jumps out!


Everybody loves to laugh. Getting a little chuckle out of somebody might be the perfect way to get him or her to open your email. Just be careful not to give a funny subject to serious content. You wouldn’t want your joke to seem tasteless.


How about a bit of scandal? If you can figure out a way to craft a controversial subject line, then you have by-definition caught people’s attention. But be cautious because there is a fine line between controversial and offensive.


Books and films have used this literary device for ages. Keep people guessing, add something mysterious and give interesting but incomplete information in the subject line to draw recipients in.

A subject line in some ways is more important than the content of your message because without it generating interest – no one will ever see your content inside. You may end up discovering your own secret sauce by experimenting. If you do – keep it secret so your email gets opened above others!