30 mei 2019 Marketing 6 min

Grow Faster With Direct Mailing - Part 3: The Power of Subject Lines

Andy Greenwood

The power of subject lines

Grow Faster with Direct Mailing is a nine-part series about how an event organiser can use Direct Mailing to get more out of their ticket sales. In this part you'll read about the power of subject lines.

A subject line is an incredibly important part of your email correspondence as it is the first thing that a potential visitor to your event will read. The subject line needs to have the right balance between action and interest to open the email: If the subject line is too pushy you run the risk of losing the visitor, but if it doesn’t trigger the visitor, you may also lose them.

The goal you are working towards is that visitors will subscribe to and be added to your mailing list. Once a visitor becomes interested, this is the beginning of the (personal) connection you are trying to establish. These visitors are essential for your event and can be categorised as fans. The difficult task is to make sure that you remain interesting (enough) by sending the ‘right’ emails. The first step is a good subject line.

How do I choose a good subject line for a mail?

1. Choose the purpose

First of all, it’s important that you decide what the purpose of your email is. Do you want people to purchase tickets? Do you want to update them about some news related to your event? Or do you simply want to generate extra interest? Determining the purpose of your correspondence is of the utmost importance if you're going to achieve the optimal result from your Direct Mailing. To measure the results, you can track your emails in several ways (we’ll show you how to do that here).

2. Decide what action(s) your visitors are going to take

This step is linked to step one. Whereas in step one we decided what our goal was (generate leads, increase retention, or boost conversions etc.), in step 2 we determine what action should be attached to the goal we want to achieve. For example, people enter their personal details or click on a link to a page.

Once you have decided the goal of your mail, you can start to determine the subject line. Make sure to consider the actual content of the subject line carefully; it is okay to add a healthy dose of sensation; it does work after all (to a certain degree).

3. Determine the length of the subject lines

The length of the subject line doesn’t matter too much. Do keep in mind that the people you are sending the emails to will be opening them on various devices and that on devices with smaller screens these subject lines may not be fully displayed. Our suggestion is to keep the subject line short and concise so that it captures the reader’s attention and avoids essential information from being lost.

4. Use the 4U model for a convincing subject line

The 4U model stands for Ultra-specific, Urgent, Useful and Unique.

Make sure that your subject line isn’t misleading and that it covers the load of your email. If that isn’t the case, the reader can experience this as being annoying. A misleading subject line can cause you to lose visitors.

The urgency ensures that a visitor is more likely to answer the ‘Call To Action’; which is based on the principle of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

A study carried out by MailChimp showed that the terms ‘urgent’, ‘breaking’ and ‘important’ work best.

Subject Line in MailChimp study
EVENTIX TIP: Be careful

Carefully consider subject lines that say ‘Get your tickets now!’ or something along those lines. If your (potential) visitor isn’t very familiar with your event, then an email that says ‘Get your tickets now!’ can be mistaken for spam and you will have lost them.

Ask yourself the question: ‘Why would a visitor want to open my email?’. Make sure to stimulate your visitors' interests without being misleading.

Be creative when it comes to your subject lines. You could choose to set yourself apart with a funny title, but be careful not to get carried away as this can put people off and make your message less concise.

5. A personalised subject line

It is nice to receive an email with a customised subject line. By using either a recipient’s first or last name (or both), you pull yourself a little closer to the reader. Since you are addressing the visitor personally, it feels like you are giving him your undivided attention. Keep in mind that the line between ‘cool’ and ‘creepy’ is unusually thin, so make sure that the personalised email is relevant to the reader.

Name personalization in MailChimp and study

6. Avoid spam!

Make sure your emails don’t end up in your visitor’s spam box. Phrases such as ‘50% OFF’ and ‘FREE’ will quickly be marked as spam by email filters. It would be a shame if phrases like these would stop your reader from seeing your email.

Good luck finding the magic words! If you need any help or would like some more tips and tricks about choosing a suitable subject line, feel free to contact us through

Author image

Andy Greenwood

Content Marketeer

Once took a peek behind the scenes at events and never wanted to leave again. Has a serious passion for music and plays guitar in his band.