It’s a new year and email marketers such as yourself will find numerous opportunities to grow their emailing lists and even nurture new readers for your email campaigns.
The number one problem, though, is that there is so much competition within the email marketing space that most email campaigns are struggling to stand out from the rest.
If you are working to improve your email’s open rates, then this blog post is perfect for you. Read through this article and discover the easiest ways to stand out from the crowd of email campaigns and finally skyrocket your email’s open rate.
In this post, you are going to read an analysis of 10 ways to construct effective email subject lines, and the best practices on how you can use them for your next email, along with 119 examples.
Why a Good Subject Line Is Important
Everyone gets a ton of emails, so it’s common to leave emails unread. For email marketers, this can be a nightmare. What happens to the value you are offering that is left untouched inside your recipient’s inbox? You certainly don’t want it to go to waste.
This is why good email subject lines play a key role in email marketing campaigns. They serve as the window from which your readers can peek to see if your email is worth reading.
Email subject lines, after all, are the dealmakers or dealbreakers for most readers when they skim through their inboxes. So, you better make sure that your email subject lines are good enough to convince your recipients to read your emails.
1. Personalized Email Subject Lines
If you have been doing email marketing for quite a while now, you will surely know that personalized subject lines are a favorite when it comes to email subject lines.
And, for good reason.
A personalized email subject line is a tried and proven method of boosting an email’s open rate. Personalizing your subject line makes your email feel less robotic and more conversational, making your target users want to open your email more.
But, what does a personalized subject line even mean? Does this only mean that you include the recipient’s name in the header? Certainly not. While this is common practice for most email marketers, this has become so common that recipients no longer find appeal in these types of email subject lines.
Elevate the way that you construct your personalized email subject lines by using language that signifies familiarity and friendship. Do not be afraid to use casual language to engage your recipients and encourage them to open up.
You can also use other personalization tools in your email marketing software like geo-locations, or set up nicknames for each of your recipients.
These personalized email subject lines will surely look unique and appealing for your readers to open up your email campaigns!
2. Mysterious Email Subject Lines
Readers like to mix it up a little and indulge in a curious, mysterious read every once in a while. This is the reason why mysterious email subject lines are such a great way to evoke interest in readers and inspire them to open your email campaign.
Take, for example, this subject line:
"👀 You NEED To See This”
Whether or not you actually need to see the content, you are enticed to know what is inside the email.
A word of caution, though.
While mysterious email subject lines are a great way to lure recipients to read your email, you also need to make sure that the content of your campaign actually delivers to the expectations set by the email subject line. Otherwise, you are just setting up your newsletter for a disaster.
Let’s go back to our sample email subject line. What if your readers did not derive any kind of benefit from your email campaign? Or found that your email campaign was purely a waste of time for them?
This will severely damage the prospect of your readers opening up your email campaigns in the future because they will begin to think that your campaigns are just pure clickbait.
Mysteries are meant to be solved, after all, so make sure that you satisfy their curious appetite after they read your email’s content.
3. Scarcity Email Subject Lines
The third way to construct your email subject line is to add an element of scarcity.
People have an inherent psychological fear of missing out on something, which is way stronger as a motivating factor compared to a promise of gaining something. Take advantage of this psychological fear by adding elements of scarcity in availability and time in your email subject lines.
For example, you can say that your product is only available to the first 15 people before 12 midnight. This implies that both the slots and their time are running out, which can be a driving factor for them to open up your email campaign and find out what exactly they are missing out from.
Incorporate words like:
- Missing out/Don’t miss out
- Today/this month/week only
You will see that your emails garner an improved open rate overnight.
These email subject lines are also perfect if you want to flag your products as more valuable since scarce items are typically perceived by people as more premium over others.
Take, for example, a famous cookie jar experiment where researchers placed 2 cookies in one jar and 10 cookies in the other and asked people to rate these cookies. The two cookies in the first jar had a higher average rating than the other 10 cookies in the second jar, despite being of the same quality and manufacturer.
If you want people to perceive your product or service as more valuable from the get-go, then use fear of missing out (FOMO) as a tactic to help them decide to open up your valuable email campaign.
4. Shocking Email Subject Lines
Have you read any tabloids in the past? Or just a simple editorial article from a reputable journalistic newsletter?
If you did, chances are you read these articles because of their attention-grabbing element. More specifically, their sensationalized, controversial aspect shocked you and drove you to read the article further.
This same strategy is applicable to email subject lines as well. If you want to test your creative waters and generate interest for your email, then these email subject lines are a great way to do just that.
It is important to take note, though, that shocking subject lines can sometimes offend recipients, so you really need to painstakingly watch out for the details that you put inside these types of subject lines.
Know your audience: their demographics, tendencies, tastes, perceptions. If you are confident about your readers’ sensitivities, then you can definitely use this type of subject line.
While these email subject lines can be a bit of a gamble for your email campaigns, the results can actually pay off pretty well for your email marketing. Your readers will feel like you have a good grasp of their humor and perception of the world which will promote higher chances of better open rates for your future email campaigns.
Remember to use controversy and shock, only if you are sure that your readers, or a majority of them at least, will receive these email subject lines favorably. Otherwise, use another strategy for your email subject lines.
5. Email Subject Lines With Comedic Value
Emails can be a tad bit business-y most of the time, so it can be a good idea to set your email campaigns apart by incorporating humor into them.
Like shocking email subject lines, though, comedy and humor can potentially rub off people’s sensitivities in the wrong way so you need to be conscientious about using comedic elements in your subject lines.
Because of the risk of offending most of your users in your email lists, this email subject line is best used for highly targeted emails, where a joke can be well-received, and thereby increasing the chances of your email being opened by your recipients.
Furthermore, these email subject lines can also be used in instances where your audience belongs to a specific niche, where inside jokes can be clearly understood without the need for explaining them.
For example, if your readers are Harry Potter or Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, engineers, or fur parents, then using these email subject lines can be pretty great for installing yourself as an authority in their niche because you know the inside jokes very well.
Besides, humor only really works with people that belong to the same wavelength as you, so use this email subject line on folks that will get it.
6. The Minimalist Email Subject Lines
So far, you have seen the types of subject lines that can improve your email’s open rate, and they are all good.
But, what if we told you that you can also improve your email campaigns by using just one word as your email subject line? That’s correct, only one.
You might be thinking that this is ridiculous. How can one word ever catch the attention of your readers?
Truth be told: all your readers value their time, and with the multitude of emails they receive every single day, it’s no wonder that they might feel exhausted just by reading an email subject line.
When you take a look at your email inbox, the first thing that you would notice is how long email subject lines are and you will no longer bother reading them. Perhaps, you will even mark them as read or outright delete them because you don’t want to see any more clutter in your inbox.
One word email subject lines can stand out in these types of inboxes. Demanding little effort to read and less time from the reader, minimalist email subject lines are a breath of fresh air.
7. Email Subject Lines of Affirmation
This is a far more simple email subject line. All you need to do is to take the time and thank all your audience for subscribing to your list.
Incorporate words like “thank you” or anything to that effect. This will make your readers feel like they are subscribing to an emailing list that actually thinks about them and cares about what they feel.
Use this tactic from time to time. You can use these email subject lines on occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. A simple thank you can go a long way for emailing lists, making sure that your readers are nurtured to open email campaigns as a result of your marketing’s thoughtfulness.
Some things you can thank them for would be subscribing to your list, ordering a product, sticking with you for a certain amount of time, or participating in your events.
Regardless, always make sure that you incorporate words of affirmation in your subject lines to increase your email’s human appeal.
Words of affirmation may also come in the form of promising your audience something once they read your email. Invoke the sense of vanity in your audience by making promises on how more people will accept, revere, and like them.
8. Social Proof and Stories As Email Subject Lines
Nobody wants to read an email newsletter that has not proven itself to be effective.
This is the reason why email subject lines that convey social proof are very effective at catching the attention of readers, especially the ones that are already trying to find solutions for their problems.
You can either tell a story as short as:
“She was not selling anything until she did THIS”
Or create an outright social proof subject line such as:
“They Skyrocketed Their Sales With This Process”
People want to hear about how effective your service is, and so they want to know if there is any proof of the viability of your product or service.
One key thing to remember about social proof or story email subject lines is that they should pertain to something specific. Take, for example, our email subject lines above. Instead of using words like our client or our customers, we opted to use she and they, which makes it sound like we are referring to real people, thereby increasing the reader's trust in what social proof we have to offer.
Leverage your experience and your previous client’s success stories to establish authority, which will drive your readers to open your emails in a heartbeat.
9. Lists As Your Email Subject Lines
Integrating lists and numbers in your email subject lines is also a great way to stand out in your reader’s email inbox.
Like minimalist email subject lines, lists can easily break the monotonous nature of email inboxes that are always filled with words to the brim. This is also the reason why you chose to open this blog, which makes this a very successful tactic not only for email subject lines but for blog posts as well.
You have already seen this method being used by some email newsletters, and even by big publishing companies. This is because lists are so easy to spot compared to other types of headlines and even promise a quick and easy read.
Use lines like:
- 7 best places
- Top 10 most amazing
- 3 ways to improve
- 5 best [x] to wear
If you want to make your email subject lines easily stand out in your reader’s email inbox, then use lists and numbers since they are proven to draw attention as they tend to be visually jarring for readers, piquing their interest in your email.
Next time you send an email campaign, keep in mind this tactic that will surely arrest the eyes of your readers and make them more likely to open your emails.
10. Questions and Unusual Punctuation As Email Subject Lines
Just like numbers, and minimalist lines, question marks, exclamation points, and even other unusual characters can be used for your subject line to stand out from the rest of the crowd since these characters tend to have an impact on readers.
Asking them a question, for example, can stimulate instant engagement with your readers, leading to a higher chance of opening your emails. Furthermore, exclamation points tend to give energy and excitement to your email subject lines. However, exclamation points are now commonly used in email subject lines, so they no longer have the same impact as before.
As an alternative, you can use emojis and other unusual punctuation and characters to give life to your email subject lines and make them unique.
Experiment with these different symbols and find the perfect combinations that can truly convey the emotions of your email subject lines. Trust us, they work like ✨magic✨.
119 Email Subject Lines That You Can Use for Your Email Campaigns
You now know all the ways to make your next email subject line amazing.This time, we’re going to show you 119 of the best examples that you can use for free. We have scoured the internet and our email inboxes to determine what works, and this is what we got. Feel free to use them and watch your email open rates improve throughout the year!
- How are you liking [PRODUCT]?
- Renew Today. Protect Your Career.
- [NAME], have you tried our [PRODUCT]?
- You deserve some [BENEFITS] this week (top picks inside)
- Can You Believe It’s Been [LENGTH OF TIME]?
- Your [PAIN POINT] SOLVED
- Hey… Were You Gonna Delete This?
- Peep Triple Cash Back deals before they’re gone!
- 🌹 Will you accept this Double Cash Back?
- ⚠ FINAL Chance for free access!
- The CRAZIEST [FACT/TRIVIA] I’ve ever heard
- [NAME], are you part of the [PERCENTILE]?
- Get it before it’s gone!
- Crown jewel of [PRODUCT/NICHE].
- You’re Invited
- Shhhh… Don’t tell anybody
- For your eyes only 👀
- There’s Still Time To Save On These Exclusive Items
- Free clearance will end on [DATE]
- New must-haves for your [PAIN POINT]
- How to email a busy person (Template included)
- Get more [BENEFIT] with these easy fixes
- Wanted: Cute and affordable [PRODUCTS]
- [NAME], do you remember me?
- ⏰ 30 minutes left to save thousands
- Frankly, my dear, I don’t [FAMOUS PRODUCT].
- [NAME], Will You Marry Me? 💍
- Struggling with [PAIN POINT]? Open this email.
- The New Rules of [NICHE]
- The Ultimate Guide to [NICHE]
- 📕 100 Books Every [AUDIENCE] Should Read
- We're feeling lucky + generous! 🍀🍀🍀
- The [PRODUCT] that sold out in 3 days is BACK!
- Don’t keep it to yourself.
- Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!
- Write better headlines TODAY
- New Guide: How to grow [BUSINESS] during COVID-19
- [Name], need measurable results right now?
- It’s there and then it’s GONE. POOF. 💥
- Rum-pum-pum-pump up the holiday jams
- A Sale of ❄ and 🔥
- It’s Arrived.
- They did WHAT with [PRODUCT]?
- They said it couldn’t be done
- “Want.” — everyone
- Rumor has it…
- Let's get this [PRODUCT]
- Welcome to [NEWSLETTER]! Your offer is waiting
- Are you publishing the right types of blog posts?
- How to increase your Instagram Story views
- Looks like you forgot something
- ⚠️ Your private invitation expires tomorrow night
- Question about [GOAL]
- [OUTDATED METHOD] is not the answer…
- Wanna Know a Secret?
- The BIG secret behind [SUCCESS STORY]
- Seriously, Who DOES This?
- [NUMBER] secrets of wildly successful [SUCCESS STORIES]
- Start using this new [PRODUCT]
- Rough Day?
- Steal these [TEMPLATES/BENEFITS]
- [NUMBER] blog post ideas
- Boom shakalak! Let’s get started.
- Licking your [PRODUCT] never tasted so good
- We Like Being Used
- Don’t Open This Email!
- A surprise gift for you! 🎁
- [WEEKEND ONLY] Get this NOW before it’s gone…
- Something new (and virtual!) from [BUSINESS]
- New things are happening!
- Customize your visitor feedback experience 😠😃🥰
- Pssst… your friends are cooking up a storm!
- Time to get lit [NAME]
- Make a mid-week creative comeback
- Reduce Content Creation Time by 40% with [PRODUCT/SERVICE]
- 5 Tips to [BENEFIT]
- Let’s fix your offer together
- Yes, this is an [PURPOSE] email
- Thanks for helping us
- I love you
- [NUMBER] views?
- Issue #40: pick 3…
- No [AUDIENCE] should miss this…
- [NAME], THANK YOU!
- I’m closing the doors…
- Don’t Make These [NUMBER] Mistakes
- [NUMBER] Reasons Your [PAIN POINTS]
- The Complete Guide To [BENEFIT]
- How To [BENEFIT]
- [NUMBER] options to start
- [NUMBER] Lessons I learned from [MISTAKES]
- Grow Your [BENEFIT] With These [NUMBER] Steps
- You have my permission to copy this
- Try To Avoid These [NUMBER] People On [EVENT]
- Bad Decision Time!
- Real talk: the TRUTH about [PRODUCT]
- This is a little embarrassing…
- Quick favor?
- Huge Announcement: Brand new [PRODUCT/SERVICE]
- Top [NUMBER] [PRODUCT] under $[PRICE]
- [NUMBER] Gift Ideas for [EVENT]
- I knew I was right…
- This, friends, is how you sell with [PRODUCT]
- Important message (about tomorrow’s big announcement)
- The highest-level training we offer
- Ask me anything?
- Meet me in [PLACE], [NAME]?
- Don’t buy this from [STORE]!
- I called. You didn’t answer
- Better than [PRODUCT]?
- Bad news…closing down
- The power of empty pockets
- A tested and proven framework…
And that’s it! These are all the best email subject lines that we can find (for now). If you want to stay in the loop, then check us out from time to time because we are going to update this pretty extensive list of amazing email subject lines in the future.