Q&A from our "Get More Opens with Great Subject Lines" webinar


In the busy inbox, you have just a few milliseconds to convince someone to open your email. Beyond the relationship you’ve been building with your contacts, your subject line must capture their attention and entice them to open and read your email.


We recently hosted a webinar where we discussed how taking a few moments to create an enticing subject line can help to improve your open rate. A few highlights from the webinar included:

  • The basics of a good subject line
  • Trends for writing great subject lines
  • Tips for getting creative with your subject lines


In this post, you can watch the webinar in its entirety and read some of the questions asked by our attendees. Interested in our free, future webinars? Sign up here to stay informed!



Subject Lines and Preheaders


What is the difference between the subject line and the preheader? I thought I only needed to include a subject for my emails.

The subject line is like the headline on a newspaper article, whereas the preheader is the subheading that can expand upon your subject a bit more. The subject line (other than the From Name) is the first thing your recipients see when your email lands in the inbox.


Do all the templates include the preheader option? I've come across one that I couldn't add a preheader to.

All templates except those created under our Event tool include the preheader option.


How can we be sure the preheader shows on all emails?

Some email clients don’t display preheaders so there's no way to force one to show but it's worth including some preheader text for those who are able to view it.


What punctuation or special characters can you use in subject lines? What about using all caps so it stands out?

You can use most punctuation and special characters in the subject line but it’s important to note that excessive usage of either of these can cause the email to be marked as spam. This is also the case with using all caps when creating your subject line. We have an article about optimizing the subject line that contains a lot of great tips.


Can I include my contact’s first name or other personal information in the subject line? What happens if there is no name under their contact details? 

Yes! This is called subject line personalization. This lets you add in contact details such as a first name or other information you have saved for the contact. While editing the personalization, you can choose an optional, secondary text to go in its place (such as “reader” or “friend”) in case the contact doesn’t have a first name saved.


What are the spacing guidelines so the body of your email doesn't appear in the preheader text/email preview?

Different email clients and mobile devices have different character limits and ways of displaying the subject line and preheader so there isn’t one solid answer. Some not only display the preheader but also the first sentence or two from your email. Generally, most email clients will truncate - or cut off - subject lines with greater than 60 characters.


The emojis provided in the editor seems limited. Is there a way to add more?

While we have our own selection of emojis to choose from, we understand that our customers may be looking for something more unique. You can copy and add emojis into your subject line. We recommend Emojipedia which has a great selection!


Do we need to upgrade to a different plan to use emojis?

Nope! This is available for all users of our Third-Generation Editor.


Do emojis display in the resend to non-openers email?

Great question. At this time, emojis and special characters (such as a trademark or copyright symbol) do not display in a resend to non-openers email so it’s worth keeping it in mind if you decide to use this feature.



Resend to Non-Openers and A/B testing


What is A/B testing? Where do I find it in my account?

Subject line A/B testing is a tool that allows you to compare two subject lines in a small group of contacts to see which is most effective. After a period of time, the “winning” subject line will be sent to your remaining contacts. Once the test is complete and the email has been sent to all contacts, you can review the reporting for your A/B test and use it to make future decisions on how best to entice your readers to open your email.


Why should I use the Resend to Non-Opener feature?

As much as you’d love to hope your email is always opened and read by every one of your contacts, it’s understandable that it might get lost in the shuffle or contacts might not have found it of interest to them that day. That’s when the Resend to Non-Openers feature comes into play. You can choose to have your email resent a few days after the original send (we recommend three days but you can choose something different) to those who didn’t open it the first time. The best tip is to make sure you update the subject line so it doesn’t get marked as spam.



Open Rates and Reporting


What's considered a good open rate for email campaigns?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question but we understand our customers look for a number to strive towards. Generally, 30% is a very good open rate but for most accounts, we see the number average between 10-15%. Our Knowledge Base has an article that lists out the average industry rates, including open and click rates. 


If our email is viewed on a computer, will viewing the email without clicking it count as an open?

If it's in a preview window of the email client, then no, unless the images were downloaded or a link was clicked. See our Knowledge Base article on how opens are tracked


Do you have a way to track emails that may have come back as undeliverable or if it’s an invalid email address? 

Yes, you can view the bounce report for each email that is sent out. From there, you can delete the bounce, which is suggested to keep your contact lists clean.


How do you know if an email you send goes into a spam filter?

The short answer is you do not. Unless you're marked as spam, Constant Contact can only tell you whether your email was delivered or not. You can always try sending test emails to different email clients ahead of time to see where they end up, to be safe. We can provide some information about ways to improve deliverability rate.


Do too many images or too many links make it more likely to go to spam?

It's possible! Try to balance between your text and images. Too many images will increase the chance of going to spam. A good rule of thumb is one image for about 20 lines of text.



Is there a recommendation to how often you send emails to your customer or distribution base?  How much is too much, or too few in any given month?

It varies from business to business and industry to industry. Set the expectation with your contacts on how frequently they expect to receive emails from you. Maybe create multiple lists with contacts that want to receive emails at a certain frequency and then send campaigns accordingly. Our Blog has an article that explains more about how often to send emails

What are the best days and times to send the email?

Just like other industry rates for opens and clicks, there isn’t one answer for everyone. We have a list of suggested best times to send based on your industry but you can also review your own reporting to see when your contacts are most likely to open your email. 




We had so many great questions from our attendees that we had to come back do to another quick video and cover even more topics, including a deeper dive into A/B testing, best practices for emojis and special characters, and how to engage with contacts before they even open your email. Check it out and let us know what you think.




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