How to Make your Email Stand Out in a Crowded Inbox

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As an ecommerce marketer, it’s your job to get your company’s emails to stand out in this sea of other marketing emails. Open rates are primarily influenced by three factors: “from” label, subject line, and preheader text. All marketers understand that but how can they create an email when numerous others companies send at the same time of day and on the same days of the week?

Optimize the “From” label

The CAN-SPAM Act has some stipulations regarding the “from” label of an email — namely, “from” labels must identify the sender and can’t be intentionally misleading.

Email Tip: Including a first and last name or a first name in addition to your company name can help ensure that your email is opened. Assigning a name to the “from” label adds accountability, and thus immediately humanizes the sender. People are more apt to open an email from an individual rather than a corporation, so leverage this in your “from” labels.

Craft a attention grabbing subject line

There are various ways to improve your subject lines like you can visually differentiate your email from the others. When someone is skimming their inbox, you want their eyes to be drawn immediately to your email.

A way to visually differentiate your emails is to include numbers in the subject line. This works especially well if you’re sending a sequence of emails. Psychological studies have shown that numbered lists catch people’s attention. If you’re sending a sequence of three emails, for example, try numbering them 1., 2., and 3.

You can stand out in a crowded inbox by using unconventional capitalization. This can mean either all lowercase text, or all-caps. Be careful when using all-caps, though, since this can sometimes trigger spam filters.

Email tip: A unique way to stand out is to include emojis in your subject lines. This is still a relatively uncommon tactic, so odds are you’ll be the only email in a recipient’s inbox with an emoji in the subject line on any given day. Emojis can sometimes be tricky to use, since they’re not always uniform across email clients — so, while one emoji might display in Gmail, this same emoji might not display in Outlook.

Add in preheader text

The preheader text is what is displayed in the inbox preview of an email. This is an oft-forgotten area of an email because it usually is just the first line of text within the email, but it’s important because it works in tandem with your subject line. In fact, most of the tips that apply to subject lines apply to preheader text, too, so try using emojis or numbered lists to catch your recipients’ attention.

Email tip: Preheader text is especially important on mobile, where it’s given a lot of visual real estate. You can use preheader text as a continuation of your subject line, or to summarize your email.


Understanding what visual cues attract people’s attention should inform your email marketing strategy. They eye is drawn to names, numbers, and images, so use these factors in your emails to increase your open rates.

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