10 Subject Lines Ideas to Get Your Emails Opened

Are people ignoring your messages blog image large

Are people reading your emails? Or are your messages sitting ignored in their inboxes?

Not being noticed brings back awkward junior high memories for us, so we decided to put together a list of ways your emails can grab the attention of your campers’ parents–a.k.a the popular crowd.

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Email subject lines are the first thing people see when they receive a message and, therefore, are really, really important. They’re also ideal to optimize. By switching up the words and phrases you use in subject lines, you can improve your email open rates. Try these 10 ideas and finally get your emails the attention they deserve.

1. Be Specific

Your campers are more likely to open an email sitting in their inbox if they know exactly what information it will contain and that it will be relevant to them.

2. Ask Questions

Get parents’ attention by making them curious or firing up their trivia skills. Just make sure that the question you ask in your subject line directly relates to the content of your email.

email subject lines for camp directors

3. Offer Value and/or Urgency

Incentivize camp parents to open your email or make them feel the urgency of a limited time offer.  Think about what the recipient will gain by reading on and use that as the focus for your subject line.

email subject lines for camp directors

4. Use Numbers or Lists

People like to read short, bite-sized things. Using numbers or lists in a subject line hints that the content of the email will be easily readable.

email subject lines for camp directors

5. Try Personalization

Test out using a participant or parent’s first name in your subject lines to see if it increases your open rates. (Obviously, you’ll want to make sure the email is to the parent.)

email subject lines for camp directors: personalization

6. Throw in Non-Sequiturs

Use nonsense–things that don’t fit together–to grab the eye and stir curiosity.

email subject lines for camp directors: non-sequitors

7. Don’t Finish Your Sentence

It’s only natural for people to want to finish the sentence or see what’s behind the curtain.

email subject lines for camp directors

8. Use the Rule of 3

Lists of three (whether it’s in a subject line, in bullet points, or even three paragraphs of text), tend to get the most response and readership. So try it out!

email subject lines for camp directors: rule of 3

9. Try Shock & Awe

Throw in words with a little edge or surprise to attract interest and attention.

email subject lines for camp directors: shock and awe

10. Refer to Pop Culture

This is an easy way for you to capitalize on what’s “trending” or what’s already on people’s minds in their everyday lives.

email subject lines for camp directors: pop culture

3 More Tips:

Tracking Performance

Whether you use one of these 10 ideas or come up with your own creative ones, just remember to track your open rates to see what’s working and what’s not. In the end, the results are all that matters.

How Long is Too Long?

We also recommend that, in this day of increasing mobile and tablet use, you keep your subject lines to around 50-60 characters. If you must go longer, put the “value prop” (the compelling part of your message) in the first half, in case the subject line is cut off on a smaller, mobile screen.

Now that you’ve mastered the art of subject lines, get the 31 Email Templates for Camp Directors e-book and take your game to the next level!

31 Camp Email Templates Every Program Director Should Have on Hand