Guidelines for writing email subject lines

When you enter text for email subject lines, consider the possible effects on email deliverability and the reaction of the email recipient.

Remember the following email subject guidelines.

  • Always include a subject line for an email message. Internet service providers (ISPs) and email clients often classify email without a subject line as SPAM.
  • Write a strong headline with 5 to 8 words, or approximately 40 characters including spaces. (Avoid exceeding 65 characters.)
  • State a specific benefit in a straightforward way.
  • Create a sense of urgency, but without using any words that might increase the SPAM score of the message.
  • Include your brand in the subject if it does not appear in the From line.
  • Check for errors. Use a spell checker.
  • Avoid obvious SPAM language such as words in all capital letters, exclamation points, "important!" or "free!". (For examples of obvious SPAM language, check the subject lines of the email in your own junk mail folder.)
  • To avoid possible email rendering issues, avoid non-ASCII characters, such as "em" dashes, curly quotation marks, and apostrophes. Do not copy and paste these characters from text editors that support them.