Skip to content

Best Email Titles For Open Rates

See what the highest converting email subject lines from companies like Apple, Dropbox, Uber, and more are doing to boost open rates. Our 2017 study on email marketing performance shows you the best email titles ever used by major brands.

Did you know that simply by changing your email subject line, you could increase your open rates. A lot of people don’t and are losing out on sales/opportunities because they’re using the default subject lines.(source) Open rates are one of the main factors that’s used to rank your emails in their inbox. (source) You can read more about it in the source.

What is an Email Open Rate?

Email open rate is the percentage of the total number of subscribers who have opened an email.

These rates depend on various factors, including email subject line, relevancy for subscribers, personalization, and content.

subject line statistics
Source: AnchorComputer

However, a 20-40% value can be considered a healthy open rate. Various factors impact open rates, and the subject line is one of them.

Read Also: How to Write an Introduction Email to New Subscribers

Email Subject Line – A Defining Parameter

Did you know that 47% of email recipients open email depending on the subject line, whereas 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line?

So, you can see how subject lines directly impact email open rates.

People read or trash emails based on what they see in the subject line.

However, when you add personalization to subject lines, they are 22% more likely to be opened. So, the more catchy the email subject line is, the more people will be inclined to open the email.

Now that you know about the importance of that ‘one line’ that has the potential to grab the attention of customers, let us take a look at some of the best email marketing subject lines from the industry in 2022.

Why You Need Good Email Subject Lines

Did you know that 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone? At the same time, 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line.

why you need good email subject lines open rates report as spam

In other words: your subject lines have the power to make or break your email marketing campaigns.

The best way to write email subject lines for higher opens (instead of being marked as spam) is by leveraging natural human tendencies and psychological principles.

Here are 164 examples of the best subject lines for email marketing, and the proven principles that make them work…

Fear of Missing Out

One psychological principle that is practically impossible to resist is the fear of missing out. You can use this fear in your subject lines by adding an element of scarcity (limited availability) or urgency (limited time).

In fact, subject lines that include words that imply time sensitivity–like “urgent”, “breaking”, “important” or “alert”–are proven to increase email open rates.

Here are some great sample subject lines for emails that use the fear of missing out

  1. Warby Parker: “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring”
  2. JetBlue: “You’re missing out on points.”
  3. Digital Marketer: “[URGENT] You’ve got ONE DAY to watch this…”
  4. Digital Marketer: “Your 7-figure plan goes bye-bye at midnight…”
  5. Digital Marketer: “[WEEKEND ONLY] Get this NOW before it’s gone…”
  6. Jersey Mike’s Subs: “Mary, Earn double points today only”
  7. Guess: “Tonight only: A denim lover’s dream”

Curiosity

Humans have a natural desire for closure– we don’t like having gaps in our knowledge. You can leverage this desire for closure by leaving your subject line open-ended so subscribers will be curious, like a cliffhanger that can only be satisfied by opening the email.

You can make subscribers curious by asking a question, promising something interesting, or simply saying something that sounds strange or unusual.

Here are some great examples of curiosity-inducing subject lines

  1. Manicube: “*Don’t Open This Email*”
  2. GrubHub: “Last Day To See What This Mystery Email Is All About”
  3. Refinery29: “10 bizarre money habits making Millennials richer”
  4. Digital Marketer: “Check out my new “man cave” [PICS]”
  5. Digital Marketer: “Is this the hottest career in marketing?”
  6. Thrillist: “What They Eat In Prison”
  7. Eat This Not That: “9 Disgusting Facts about Thanksgiving”
  8. Chubbies: “Hologram Shorts?!”
  9. The Hustle: “A faster donkey”
  10. Mary Fernandez: “? a surprise gift for you! {unwrap}”

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.

  1. Eater Boston: “Where to Drink Beer Right Now” (Sent at 6:45am on a Wednesday.)
  2. OpenTable: “Licking your phone never tasted so good”
  3. Groupon: “Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)”
  4. The Muse: “We Like Being Used”
  5. Warby Parker: “Pairs nicely with spreadsheets”
  6. UncommonGoods: “As You Wish” (A reference to the movie The Princess Bride.)
  7. Travelocity: “Need a day at the beach? Just scratch n’ sniff your way to paradise…”
  8. TicTail: “Boom shakalak! Let’s get started.”
  9. Thrillist: “Try To Avoid These 27 People On New Year’s Eve”
  10. Baby Bump: “Yes, I’m Pregnant. You Can Stop Staring At My Belly Now.”
  11. Gozengo: “NEW! Vacation on Mars”
  12. The Hustle: “Look what you did, you little jerk…” (This one’s a reference to the movie Home Alone. We hope.)

Vanity

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

  1. Guess: “Don’t wear last year’s styles.”
  2. Fabletics: “Your Butt Will Look Great in These Workout Pants”
  3. Jeremy Gitomer: “How Have You Progressed Since the Third Grade?”
  4. Rapha: “Gift inspiration for the discerning cyclist”
  5. La Mer: “Age-defying beauty tricks”
  6. Pop Physique: “Get Ready. Keep the Pie Off Your Thighs Returns.”
  7. Rapha: “As worn in the World Tour”
  8. Sephora: “Products the celebs are wearing”

Greed

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

  1. Topshop: “Meet your new jeans”
  2. Topshop: “Get a head start on summer”
  3. HP: Flash. Sale. Alert.”
  4. HP: “New must-haves for your office”
  5. Seafolly: “A new product you won’t pass on”
  6. Guess: “25% off your favorites”
  7. Rip Curl: “Two for two”
  8. La Mer: “A little luxury at a great price”
  9. Rapha: “Complimentary gift wrap on all purchases”
  10. The Black Tux: “Get priority access.”

Sloth

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

  1. Syed from OptinMonster: “✔ 63-Point Checklist for Creating the Ultimate Optin Form”
  2. Syed from OptinMonster: “Grow your email list 10X ⚡ faster with these 30 content upgrade ideas”
  3. Ramit Sethi“How to email a busy person (including a word-for-word script)”
  4. Digital Marketer: “Steal these email templates…”
  5. Digital Marketer: “A Native Ad in 60 Minutes or Less”
  6. Digital Marketer: “212 blog post ideas”

Pain Points

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

  1. Pizza Hut: “Feed your guests without breaking the bank”
  2. IKEA: “Where do all these toys go?”
  3. IKEA: “Get more kitchen space with these easy fixes”
  4. HP: “Stop wasting money on ink”
  5. Sephora: “Your beauty issues, solved”
  6. Uber: “Since we can’t all win the lottery…”
  7. Thrillist: “How to Survive Your Next Overnight Flight”
  8. Guess: “Wanted: Cute and affordable fashions”
  9. Evernote: “Stop wasting time on mindless work”
  10. Duolingo: “Learn a language with only 5 minutes per day”

Retargeting

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

  1. Nick Stephenson: “How you can afford Your First 10,000 Readers (closing tonight)”
  2. Bonobos: “Hey, forget something? Here’s 20% off.”
  3. Target: “The price dropped for something in your cart”
  4. Syed from Envira: “Mary, your Envira account is on hold!”
  5. Syed from Envira: “I’m deleting your Envira account”
  6. Ugmonk: “Offering you my personal email”
  7. Animoto: “Did you miss out on some of these new features?”
  8. Pinterest: “Good News: Your Pin’s price dropped!”
  9. Unroll.Me: “⚠ Unroll.Me has stopped working”
  10. Vivino: “We are not gonna Give Up on You!”

Personal

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

  1. Guess: “Mary, check out these hand-picked looks”
  2. Rent the Runway: “Happy Birthday Mary – Surprise Inside!”
  3. Bonnie Fahy: “Mary, do you remember me?”
  4. Kimra Luna: “I didn’t see your name in the comments!?”
  5. John Lee Dumas: “Are you coming?”
  6. UrbanDaddy: “You’ve Changed”
  7. Influitive: “So I’ll pick you up at 7?”
  8. James Malinchak: “Crazy Invitation, I am Going to Buy You Lunch…”
  9. Brooklinen: “Vanilla or Chocolate?”
  10. Sam from The Hustle: “I love you”
  11. Ryan Levesque: “Seriously, Who DOES This?”
  12. Jon Morrow: “Quick favor?”
  13. Mary Fernandez: “you free this Thurs at 12PM PST? [guest blogging class]”
  14. Mary Fernandez: “? your detailed results…”
  15. Syed from OptinMonster: “300% increase in revenue with a single optin + a neat growth trick from my mastermind!”
  16. Revolution Tea: “Thanks for helping us”
  17. Harry’s: “Two razors for your friends (on us)”

Straightforward

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

  1. Al Franken: “Yes, this is a fundraising email”
  2. AYR: “Best coat ever”
  3. Barack Obama: “Hey”

…and these “boring” subject lines performed the highest out of 40 million emails, with open rates between 60-87%…

  1. “[Company Name] Sales & Marketing Newsletter”
  2. “Eye on the [Company Name] Update (Oct 31 – Nov 4)”
  3. “[Company Name] Staff Shirts & Photos”
  4. “[Company Name] May 2005 News Bulletin!”
  5. “[Company Name] Newsletter – February 2006”
  6. “[Company Name] and [Company Name] Invites You!”
  7. “Happy Holidays from [Company Name]”
  8. “Invitation from [Company Name]”

Conclusion

You’re probably reading this post because you’re struggling to get people to open your emails. If you always send the same subject lines then people have already gotten used it and no longer open it. Trying a new approach on your email marketing is the answer now! Check out these simple strategies which will hopefully help increase your email open rate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.