How to find the perfect email subject with the C.U.R.V.E method

Writing emails is an art for itself. This holds true at least if we want to write e-mails that are not only received but read. Through the subject line, we can either lose or win our readers. Most e-mails are never opened, which is above all owed to the subject line not winning the reader over. With the so-called CURVE method, we find subject lines that catch the reader’s attention. 

The C.U.R.V.E. method

The perfect e-mail will probably never exist. But we can most definitely increase the rate at which our emails are opened by tailoring our emails to our readers and offering them something that they also want to read. The CURVE method is a tool that we can use to show readers that an email contains something that is of interest to them.


But what exactly stands behind the CURVE method?


C – Curiosity

U – Urgency

R - Relevancy

V – Value

E – Emotion

C – Curiosity

Curiosity should already be awakened by our email with the subject line. However, the line between curiosity and clickbait is very narrow, so we should be careful not to overpromise in the subject line, so we can keep true to that in the email.

A successful way to arouse curiosity is to formulate the already known in a new way and to use it in form of a question.

An example: Ever gone down a ski slope without skis?

This example arouses interest among winter vacationers and could be linked to offers with snowmobiles, sledges and snowboards. The way the question was asked automatically piques the reader’s curiosity, since it is common to ski down ski slopes.


U – Urgency

Urgency is another way we can increase the rates at which our emails are opened. But here, too, we must make sure that we do not promise anything in the subject line that the email itself can not keep.

A special offer should therefore only be advertised with urgency in the subject line, if it is truly a time or quantity limited special offer.

An example: Use our early bird discount until Sunday and save 10%!

A subject as given in the example is honest, offers the reader an interesting offer, through which he/she can get savings, and can be fulfilled by the email itself by inserting the link to the special discount in the body of the mail.

R - Relevancy

Almost more important than urgency and curiosity is the relevance. If we do send e-mails, these e-mails should be relevant to the addressee, otherwise we will only be sending out spam.

An example: Let's just take the two previous examples to clarify relevance.

The first subject should certainly be sent only to guests who go on a ski holiday and are returning winter guests. The second e-mail, in turn, should be aimed specifically at guests who have already made early bookings in the past.

V – Value

The value of an e-mail is ultimately the all-important factor. Even if all other factors of the CURVE method have been met, everything stands and falls with the value. In the previous examples, we've already seen that the two subject lines are relevant to specific audiences. However, the actual value results from the fact that we inform in the first example and offer a special offer in the second one.

Information and offers or discounts are fundamentally the content that adds value to our email subject and the email itself.

E – Emotion

We must not neglect the emotions of our readers, which are ideally addressed by our emails. When it comes to an e-mail in the hotel industry, for example, hints on the weather, the beach, the pool, the food or just the wonderful landscape of the environment are sensible for triggering emotions in the reader.


See - Which visual images can be linked to the offer in the e-mail?


Listen - What sounds or music are there that are related to the content of the email?


Feel - Can your readers hold something special in their hands with the offer in the e-mail?


Taste - What culinary delights are there to be expected?


Smell - Which scents are related to the advertised product or service?

The CURVE method works

Not every subject line will cover all the factors of the CURVE method, but the more of these factors are covered, the more likely it is for a reader to open and read our email. Use the CURVE method to create as many subject lines as possible and then select the best one from that pile.

Write a comment

Comments: 0