How to Write An Email Using the Best Words in the Subject Line

With everyone’s email box overflowing, how do you get someone’s attention to read yours? Baydin, the company that helps you manage your email inbox, analyzed five million emails and discovered the subject lines that got the most responses and those that did not.

But I was most interested in the best words to use in email titles — and the ones to avoid. Five million emails seem like a pretty definitive sample to me. I’ve copied the part of the infographic with the best and worst words. Best words: apply, opportunity, demo, connect, payments, conference, cancellation. Worst words: confirm, join, assistance, speaker, press, social, invite.

Funny about the word “invite.” I tend to read those emails. You know, the opportunity for free food and drinks. But maybe that’s only me.

Best words to use in email titles

Leave a Reply


  1. Hi Jeannette,

    it is often the little things like these words that you would never think could make a difference. Like you I am fine with invite. What is also interesting is the word confirm which is normally used when people subscribe. I haven’t had too many not verifying but I wonder if that does have an affect on sign ups.

    • Thanks, Susan, for your comment. Sorry for the delay in responding. You make a good point about “confirm” because it’s the word most often used when asking readers to subscribe. Hmmm.

  2. Interesting Jeannette. Can’t help thinking of how many junk emails I find in spam that have the word payment in the subject line. Maybe the reason they go straight to the junk folder is because someone opened them because of the word payment?

    Actually, saw one junk mail with the word cancellation in the subject line recently. Seems some of the guys who flood us with emails we can do without have read Baydin’s advice?

    • Catarina — I think I would open an email that said “payment.” It would be interesting to survey some of those people behind the emails to find out why they did or didn’t open emails depending on the subject line.

  3. Interesting article, Jeannette. It’s interesting how certain words just seem to turn people off.

    It’s also interesting how many people are reading e-mail before 6 am. I’m certainly not one of them!

    • Doreen — I don’t read email at 6 a.m. either. I’m a night owl, though. So I’m often reading email at midnight!

  4. Great list of words to use and words to avoid, Jeannette. I imagine the list of positive words are thought of as “non committal” words which imply that you will not need to spend a lot of time and energy reading those email messages and any actions required will be simple and painless; whereas the negative words imply that you need to take some lengthy action and make a commitment. It would be interesting to understand whether any of these words when used in varying contexts would yield different results.