Taglines are a great way to have your marketing speak directly to potential clients. Similar to Domain names, they should be short and catchy enough that they stay in the mind when potential clients are looking for something. The best email taglines use these tags at the top of the bulk list emails.
You have the best, most precious and memorable list (see how I flatter you?), which is why it takes you time to craft and test your email taglines. But at last, here is a handy collection of the best email taglines from marketers all over the web.
Email subject line best practices
Here are some general email subject line best practices to follow in your email marketing efforts.
- Test your subject lines. Write 3-5 subject lines for every email and then choose the best—or use A/B testing to pick winners Note that due to the iOS 15 update, declaring winners based on open rate may not be the best route.
- Keep it brief. Between 30 and 50 characters. According to a MailChimp study, emails with 50 characters or less have 12% higher email newsletter open rates, and 75% higher click-through rates than other emails.
- Avoid spam traps. Don’t use weird spacing, an excess amount of punctuation or caps, or special fonts and avoid spam trigger words like earn extra cash, make $, get out of debt, click here, 100% free, will not believe your eyes, and other clickbait terms.
- Personalize when possible: Not just by including their name, but information specific to their location, their purchase, interests, and more. You can use email automation with dynamic tokens for this.
- Use preheader text. This is like your subject line’s subtitle, where you can add more detail to increase the email’s appeal. Move the “view in browser” links and other mumbo-jumbo to the bottom of the email so you can make the most of the preview field.
Preheader text adds value and also looks cleaner in the inbox.
How to write great email subject lines
- Hook them immediately. Use interesting words, a compelling stat, a relatable phrase, or convey the value.
- Have fun with them. An ample amount of alliteration attracts! And rhyming. And song lyrics. And emojis. Those tiny little communication miracles of the metaverse.
- Write conversationally. Write like a human being. Even if your brand has a more serious tone, it’s still best to use a conversational style for readability and friendliness. For example, use contractions like “you’re” rather than “you are.”
- Call readers to action. It’s never a bad idea to try a call to action phrase in your email subject line. This makes it clear what your email is about and readers like that.
- Ask a question: Asking your readers a question, as opposed to a standard statement, immediately engages them. Questions enter an instant dialogue with users, making them more likely to be opened.
- Rough day?
- Are you making these X mistakes?
- Will you save 50%?
- Look at your own inbox. If you see great subject lines that you think will work for your business, snag’em! Tweak to your liking and adjust to your brand voice.
- Emphasize scarcity: We have a deep, inherent terror of being left behind, of missing out. That flock mentality was a survival instinct once, but now it’s just another way of adding urgency to our subject lines.
- Pay X for Y (48 hours only!)
- Ends today! 36-hours outlet sale. This is your last chance…
- 5 hours only!
- Use brackets and parentheses: These are a good way to call out important information without caps, or to organize lots of information.
- Use you/your. While name-calling is on the out, it’s still considered a best practice to use “you” and “your” wording to speak directly and comfortably with readers.
- Be specific. Even if you’re incorporating an element of mystery into your subject line, it should still give the reader some idea of what they can expect.
Unfortunately, the lack of specificity in this subject line has not won my trust…
Catchy email subject lines
There are lots of different ways to catch your readers’ eyes and attention. You can be…
Controversial (just be careful with this one)
- Your Marketing Sucks: Why You Need to Think Local
- Why Your 5-Year-Old Is More Digital Than Most CMOs
- Pet Training Best Practices Need a Redo: Here’s Why
- Cat’s outta the bag! Surprise sale tomorrow—up to 50% off!
- It’s confirmed: Our prices are lower than the temperature outside—come on in!
- Pressure’s on: How much can you save this week?
- Wait what? Game-changing tips you’ll wish you knew sooner.
- Marketing attribution: Tips & Types, Which One is Right?
- How’d we do? Help us help you?
- 2024 Ecommerce Trends: The Old & New, Tried & True
- Join the Rover pack on social!
- Click click click BOOM dynamite.
- New arrivals! Seriously cool (warm) jackets.
- Last chance to score savings on game-time gear!
- Hmm no posts last week? [Tips if you’re stuck!]
- Madison, are you making these lawn care mistakes?
- 30 seconds to spare? [3-click survey!]
Lyrical (this is a big one)
- LEAN STARTUP: Baby Got (Feed)Back – Putting the Lean in Learn
- Oops [figure in the news] did it again…
- Shine bright like a…[something unexpected here]?
- [Topic]: You. you. you. oughta. kno-ow.
Inspired by current events
- [Trend] might be all the rate…but we’ve got something even better
- Kristen, take a break from [event] with [your product]
- [Event] ends [date] but our sale carries on!
- 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Y
Good email subject lines
There’s a lot to be said for minimalism. While creative marketing helps to distinguish your brand and connect with your audience, there are times when simple (presumably boring) and direct subject lines are best. Time is of the essence and your users want to know what’s what without having to think. Good email subject lines can be…
- 10% Storewide – December 1-12
- Enjoy 15% off + Free shipping ✈️
- Get ready for Easter with [company]
Cut and dry
- PODCAST: 5 Steps to Accelerate Career Growth
- [GUIDE]: Name of Guide
- Tax Tips Webinar Monday @1pm
- [Important news event]: What You Need to Know
- Our hours are changing! (Opening earlier ☀️)
- Your order has shipped. Yippee! 🤸🏾♂️
Cold email subject lines
It is possible to grow your business with cold emails—if you get them right. And the first step to getting them right? A good subject line. And this may be personal preference, but whenever I see a “quick question” subject line, I immediately delete it. Here are some alternatives.
- [Your company + their company]…2 minutes later today? 🕰
- Read your blog post on [topic]
- Tips to improve [company name]’s X
- Congrats on [latest achievement]!
- A [better/easier/faster] way to [goal]
- Resources for [company]…take or leave! (this is the BYAF concept)
- A new solution for [pain point] 😮
- [Achieving goal] is easier than ever now with [your company name]
- Your thoughts on [what you specialize in/the pain point you solve]?
- How do you compare to [competitor]? Touchy subject?
Content promotion email subject lines
Sharing content via email can help drive traffic to your website and give exposure to content that your readers might not know to search for online. Remember, a great blog post title makes for a great subject line, so indicate the value of the content and quantify when possible to give the reader an idea of what to expect.
- How to Plan Your Move in an Hour or Less 🕑
- [Ebook] ⚡️ Speeding up the Development and Design of Websites ⚡️
- Steal our Marketing Hacks (Seriously!)
- 15 Business Card Templates Up for Grabs
- [FREE GUIDE]: Name of Guide
- Guide Inside! 8 Ways to [Achieve Benefit]
- How to Start a Business [Free Guide]
- 🙌 Finally—a cheat sheet to [topic]! 🙌🏾
- The last guide to [topic] you’ll ever need.
- Top Secret! 🤫 X Lesser-Known Ways to Improve Your [X]
- Name, X% of [compelling stat from or relevant to your content]
Customer appreciation subject lines
Engage your customers with customer appreciation emails, and not just on Customer Appreciation Day! (Changes annually, usually in April or May). You can send these emails whenever you want—on holidays, anniversaries or just because. Personalize these when you can, and do NOT use the words “valued customers.”
- Free gift. No catch. Just because. ❤️
- Our way of saying thanks…
- Hi Kristen, enjoy this token 🏆 of our appreciation.
- Customer Appreciation Day calls for a celebration…
- Customers like you deserve freebies like these
- Thank you for X years together! 🎁
- Happy [business name]versary! Grab your discount
Funny Subject Lines
If your subject line makes your subscribers laugh, then they’ll simply have to open it. After all, have you ever read a subject line that tickled your funny bone and you didn’t read it?
Being humorous requires a bit more thought and creativity, but it can really pay off in terms of your open rates.
Here are some funny email subject lines to make your subscribers laugh.
- Eater Boston: “Where to Drink Beer Right Now” (Sent at 6:45am on a Wednesday.)
- OpenTable: “Licking your phone never tasted so good”
- Groupon: “Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)”
- The Muse: “We Like Being Used”
- Warby Parker: “Pairs nicely with spreadsheets”
- UncommonGoods: “As You Wish” (A reference to the movie The Princess Bride.)
- Travelocity: “Need a day at the beach? Just scratch n’ sniff your way to paradise…”
- TicTail: “Boom shakalak! Let’s get started.”
- Thrillist: “Try To Avoid These 27 People On New Year’s Eve”
- Baby Bump: “Yes, I’m Pregnant. You Can Stop Staring At My Belly Now.”
- Gozengo: “NEW! Vacation on Mars”
- The Hustle: “Look what you did, you little jerk…” (This one’s a reference to the movie Home Alone. We hope.)
Everyone has a bit of vanity. People love to be liked, accepted and even revered by others. It’s just a part of being human.
That’s why some of the most clever subject lines use vanity to get you to open the email. To do this, you can either promise something that makes the subscriber look better to their peers, or invoke the fear of being shamed.
Here are some great examples of clever email subject lines that leverage vanity…
- Guess: “Don’t wear last year’s styles.”
- Fabletics: “Your Butt Will Look Great in These Workout Pants”
- Jeremy Gitomer: “How Have You Progressed Since the Third Grade?”
- Rapha: “Gift inspiration for the discerning cyclist”
- La Mer: “Age-defying beauty tricks”
- Pop Physique: “Get Ready. Keep the Pie Off Your Thighs Returns.”
- Rapha: “As worn in the World Tour”
- Sephora: “Products the celebs are wearing”
You may not think of yourself as a “greedy” person, but it can be really tough to pass up a great deal… even if you don’t really need the item right now. That’s why sales, discounts and special offers work really well in your subject lines.
However, be careful about offering really huge discounts– the higher the percentage, the less reliable effect it has on your open rates (perhaps because consumers don’t believe large discounts are real).
Regardless, you can usually expect to see an increase in your click rates whenever you offer a discount in your subject line. That’s probably because the people who open these emails are already interested in your offer, so they’re naturally inclined to click.
Here are some great email subject line ideas for hitting your subscriber’s “greed” button…
- Topshop: “Meet your new jeans”
- Topshop: “Get a head start on summer”
- HP: “Flash. Sale. Alert.”
- HP: “New must-haves for your office”
- Seafolly: “A new product you won’t pass on”
- Guess: “25% off your favorites”
- Rip Curl: “Two for two”
- La Mer: “A little luxury at a great price”
- Rapha: “Complimentary gift wrap on all purchases”
- The Black Tux: “Get priority access.”
Another common trait among all humans is sloth, or the tendency to avoid work. Even people who aren’t inclined to be lazy would prefer a silver bullet over the long and hard route.
You can give subscribers an easier way to achieve their goals by offering a shortcut, or a useful resource that saves a lot of time and energy. (These useful emails are perfect for lead nurturing too!)
Here are some great examples of email subject lines that satisfy sloth…
- Syed from OptinMonster: “✔ 63-Point Checklist for Creating the Ultimate Optin Form”
- Syed from OptinMonster: “Grow your email list 10X ⚡ faster with these 30 content upgrade ideas”
- Ramit Sethi: “How to email a busy person (including a word-for-word script)”
- Digital Marketer: “Steal these email templates…”
- Digital Marketer: “A Native Ad in 60 Minutes or Less”
- Digital Marketer: “212 blog post ideas”
If you really understand your buyer persona, you should know their biggest pain points. Use those pain points to get subscribers to open your emails by solving that problem for them.
Here are some examples of email subject lines that bring out the subscriber’s pain points and offer a solution…
- Pizza Hut: “Feed your guests without breaking the bank”
- IKEA: “Where do all these toys go?”
- IKEA: “Get more kitchen space with these easy fixes”
- HP: “Stop wasting money on ink”
- Sephora: “Your beauty issues, solved”
- Uber: “Since we can’t all win the lottery…”
- Thrillist: “How to Survive Your Next Overnight Flight”
- Guess: “Wanted: Cute and affordable fashions”
- Evernote: “Stop wasting time on mindless work”
- Duolingo: “Learn a language with only 5 minutes per day”
Retargeting emails are sent to subscribers when they fail to complete an action or a step in your sales funnel (e.g. when they abandon their cart or fail to purchase after their free trial). These emails serve to bring your subscribers back to your sales process.
You can write effective retargeting subject lines by overcoming objections, offering something to sweeten the deal, or alerting them that something bad is going to happen if they don’t take action.
Here are some excellent examples of retargeting email subject lines…
- Nick Stephenson: “How you can afford Your First 10,000 Readers (closing tonight)”
- Bonobos: “Hey, forget something? Here’s 20% off.”
- Target: “The price dropped for something in your cart”
- Syed from Envira: “Mary, your Envira account is on hold!”
- Syed from Envira: “I’m deleting your Envira account”
- Ugmonk: “Offering you my personal email”
- Animoto: “Did you miss out on some of these new features?”
- Pinterest: “Good News: Your Pin’s price dropped!”
- Unroll.Me: “⚠ Unroll.Me has stopped working”
- Vivino: “We are not gonna Give Up on You!”
Email subject lines that are personalized by including a name boost open rates by 10-14% across industries.
But including your subscriber’s name is only one way to make your subject lines more personal. You can also use casual language, share something personal, or use copy that implies familiarity or friendship.
Here are some examples of personal email subject lines that get attention…
- Guess: “Mary, check out these hand-picked looks”
- Rent the Runway: “Happy Birthday Mary – Surprise Inside!”
- Bonnie Fahy: “Mary, do you remember me?”
- Kimra Luna: “I didn’t see your name in the comments!?”
- John Lee Dumas: “Are you coming?”
- UrbanDaddy: “You’ve Changed”
- Influitive: “So I’ll pick you up at 7?”
- James Malinchak: “Crazy Invitation, I am Going to Buy You Lunch…”
- Brooklinen: “Vanilla or Chocolate?”
- Sam from The Hustle: “I love you”
- Ryan Levesque: “Seriously, Who DOES This?”
- Jon Morrow: “Quick favor?”
- Mary Fernandez: “you free this Thurs at 12PM PST? [guest blogging class]”
- Mary Fernandez: “? your detailed results…”
- Syed from OptinMonster: “300% increase in revenue with a single optin + a neat growth trick from my mastermind!”
- Revolution Tea: “Thanks for helping us”
- Harry’s: “Two razors for your friends (on us)”
When in doubt, make your subject line simple and straightforward. Contrary to what you might think, these “boring” subject lines can actually convert really well.
The key to making this work for your list is to consistently provide value in all of your emails. Don’t ever send an email unless you have something important to say: always make sure your campaigns are packed with value. If you do this, you’ll train your subscribers to open your emails no matter what the subject line says.
For help with writing better emails, check out our post on 19 quick and dirty tricks for writing better emails.
Here are some examples of email subject lines that get straight to the point…
- Al Franken: “Yes, this is a fundraising email”
- AYR: “Best coat ever”
- Barack Obama: “Hey”
…and these “boring” subject lines performed the highest out of 40 million emails, with open rates between 60-87%…
- “[Company Name] Sales & Marketing Newsletter”
- “Eye on the [Company Name] Update (Oct 31 – Nov 4)”
- “[Company Name] Staff Shirts & Photos”
- “[Company Name] May 2005 News Bulletin!”
- “[Company Name] Newsletter – February 2006”
- “[Company Name] and [Company Name] Invites You!”
- “Happy Holidays from [Company Name]”
- “Invitation from [Company Name]”
Top Subject Line Keywords
There have been many studies analyzing the effectiveness of using specific email subject line keywords. Use these keywords when crafting your own email copy and subject lines to boost your open rates even further.
According to Alchemy Worx, which analyzed 21 billion emails sent by 2,500 brands, the top five most effective subject line keywords were:
In another study from Alchemy Worx, which analyzed 24.6 billion emails, the top subject line keywords for open rates were:
Based on Digital Marketer’s analysis of 125 million emails they sent in 2018, some top subject line keywords to try are:
- “$ today, $$$ tomorrow”
- numbers (e.g. “7-figure plan”, “212 ideas”, “60 minutes or less”)
- [brackets] (e.g. “[EMAIL MARKETERS] $95 today, $995 tomorrow,” “[In Case You Missed It] Our best-performing blog post of all time,” “[NAME’s Last Reminder] Up to 90% off our best-selling products gone in 3…2…1…”)
Adestra analyzed over 2.2 billion emails, and found the following top subject line keywords:
- “free delivery”
In another study from Adestra, which looked at over 125K email campaigns, the top performing subject line keywords were:
- “thank you”
- “*|*|*|*|” (i.e. a subject line that has multiple stories delineated by pipes. For example, “Headline 1 | Headline 2 | Headline 3 | Headline 4”)
- “order today”
Finally, a report by Smart Insights looked at a random sample of 700 million emails, and found that the top performing subject line keywords were:
- “get your”
- “on orders over”
- “orders over”
- “off selected”
- “your next order”
- “brand new”
- “great deals”
- “sale starts”
- “back in stock”
- “sale now”
- “now in”
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Conclusion: Some Final Tips for Crafting Irresistible Subject Lines
Before choosing a subject line at random, keep these tips in mind for the highest possible open rates.
Most People Open Emails on Mobile
Regardless of which of the above techniques you decide to use, make sure your subject line is optimized for mobile users.
While mobile access to email saw a dip at the end of 2018, it’s still the preferred way people access their email.
You can use free marketing tools like Zurb’s TestSubject to see how your subject line will appear on a variety of popular mobile devices.
Sending emails to your customers is a great way to stay in touch with them, but that can be difficult. Many marketers view email automation as being expensive. Today, we are going to explore some of the most effective email taglines. The goal is to attract leads and retain customers. These taglines will hopefully inspire you to develop killer subject lines that get results.