There are dozens of articles about creating the perfect email, but not so many dedicated to crafting the perfect subject line. The science of getting someone to open an email is just as important as what’s inside these messages. These 10 examples of best subject lines in email marketing will help you write subject lines that get read and create results for your email campaigns.
You’ve already got your highly-personalized email all drafted up. You’ve got the “from name,” subject line and pre-header text ready to go. But what you still don’t have is that winning subject line that will make your email stand out in the crowded inbox of a busy consumer. We’ve compiled 20 of the best subject lines from brands large and small, as well as a few tips for crafting your own attention grabbers for your next email marketing campaign.
How to Write the Best Subject Lines
- Use the subject line to get the reader to open the email.
- Try to be brief and to the point.
- Try to be a little different and quirky, but don’t overdo it!
- A/B test your subject lines so you can see what works best for your audience
Give it away.
If you’re not sure what to offer in exchange for the prospect’s contact information, try giving something away. This could be a free template or checklist, a free consultation or analysis, a free trial of your product or service—or even just a sneak peek of it. You can also offer discounts on existing products and services if you have any that would benefit the audience.
The point is to give them some tangible value up front as an incentive for filling out your form and giving you their email address so that you can provide them with more value later on down the line.
Create curiosity with a question.
- An open-ended question. If a question is too narrow and specific, it can come across as pushy or self-serving. If your audience doesn’t answer it, they will probably just move on to the next email in their inbox. Instead, create a question that is broad enough to catch people’s attention but still relevant enough to what you are selling that they might actually be interested in answering it. For example: “If you could have any wish fulfilled right now, what would it be?”
- A surprising question. It works best if there isn’t an obvious answer or solution for this one—and if there is one, make sure your email includes information about how to get started!
- An implied solution within the subject line itself—such as “Do You Want X? Then Download Our Guide On How To Do Y Today!” Here’s an example from HubSpot: “Does Your Marketing Need A Tune-Up?” This type of subject line gives subscribers something tangible (like a guide) while implying value behind it–making readers want more from that brand!
Consider the sender name.
You’ve already considered the recipient name, but that’s not all you need to think about when it comes to subject lines. The next step is to consider your own sender name. This is how the recipient will identify you in their inbox, so make sure it’s something recognizable and consistent throughout any email marketing campaigns that you’re running.
You should also keep in mind that it should be short enough to fit inside the subject line without being truncated (so no “From: Bob Smith” style names), but long enough for recipients who know your company well or have been on a list for some time will still recognize you as “From: John Doe,” rather than “From: John D.”
Play on fear of missing out.
“I wanted to let you know that we’re having a secret sale today and tomorrow. If you don’t act fast, the deal will be gone forever!”
This is a classic sales strategy used by businesses to increase their revenue. The idea is that if you can create a sense of urgency in the minds of your customers, they will be more likely to make an impulse purchase from what they see as limited stock.
Here’s how this works: when people feel like there’s something special about your offer and it’s only available for a limited time, then they will want to find out more information about it before it runs out. They’ll become curious about whether or not it’s worth their money or time (especially if there are other similar offers around). This curiosity can lead them down the path towards purchasing from your company instead of someone else who isn’t offering anything different but has no time limit on their products.
It might seem like an intimidating thought but fear not! You don’t have to rely solely on fear tactics when trying to get someone interested in what you have to offer–you can also add in some positive words such as “free” or “special”.
Get to the point.
- Be specific.
- You can’t be too specific when writing subject lines. When you write, “It’s about your product,” you are saying nothing and potentially misleading the reader. If it’s about your product, say so! The same goes for any subject line: if it’s about something specific to them, say that! Your readers will appreciate having the context of a more detailed subject line and will often respond more positively to an email with a clear purpose than one that is vague or confusing.
- Use words and phrases that are relevant to your recipient.
- We all know what makes us tick—and our inboxes are no different! If there is anything applicable or relevant to someone in their life (e.g., hobbies, interests), don’t hesitate to mention it in your subject line; this tends to grab people’s attention much faster than generic content ever will be able to do alone.#ENDWRITE
Make them laugh.
Humorous subject lines are a great way to make a connection with your readers and keep them engaged. Include something that will make them laugh, but be careful not to offend anyone. For example, if you’re sending an email about the benefits of dental insurance for employees, don’t make fun of those who have bad teeth; instead, talk about what it’s like to be in pain or how much better life is when you have clean teeth.
Keep it light! Humor doesn’t work well in all situations—if your email is regarding something serious like company layoffs or an upcoming product launch date change, adding humor might come across as inappropriate or disrespectful.
The subject line is not an advertisement; it’s an invitation to open your email and see what you have to say.
The subject line is not an advertisement; it’s an invitation to open your email and see what you have to say. The purpose of the subject line is to pique the reader’s interest and get them to click, so don’t make a sales pitch in it. If you’re not sure what type of content will be inside an email, don’t include any specific information in the subject line—that could lead the recipient to believe there are only certain kinds of content inside; instead, keep things broad by using phrases like “Important Update” or “An Important Message From [Company Name]” rather than saying what exactly about their account has changed or that this message contains important news about something specific.
You should also be aware that some email clients truncate long URLs (for example, Gmail cuts off after around 100 characters). This means that if you’re including a lot of information within your URL path or if your URL itself is very long (e.g., https://www.examplecompanynameherecom/newsletter/?utm_source=em&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=article), it might be cut off when someone else sees it! To prevent this from happening—and thereby encouraging engagement—consider breaking up long links into smaller pieces by inserting periods between each segment so they’ll fit better within those character limits without losing any valuable information about what users would want/need before clicking through into another site altogether.”
Know your goals for the email and use them to guide your subject line writing.
Before you write your subject line, it’s important to know your goals for the email. Your subject line should clearly communicate what you want the reader to do.
If you’re trying to get a click or sale, the subject line needs to explain exactly what action they need to take—and why they should take it now (or soon). For example: “Get 20% off our best-selling product!”
If your goal is to build a relationship with someone, make sure that your offer is clear and offers value without being pushy or promotional in tone. For instance: “We’ll send you weekly updates on our work as we launch new products this year.”
Use the above examples to refine your own subject lines. Study the ones that have already been successful and replicate the key components. It may take a few tries before you get it right but, if you stick to it, you’ll soon see an increase in your open rate which will lead to more conversions for your business.