Are you struggling with ideas for your next email subject line or blog post? We get it – It can be hard to know what to say in the space of fewer than 15 words, especially if you can’t think of a way to condense your email into a single sentence.
Catchy email subject lines are the only way you can get people to click on your emails – In fact, 35% of all email opens are based on the subject line alone. Some people will open these emails regardless of the subject line, but those who wouldn’t open your content normally want to be catching their attention.
Here are 22 excellent email subject lines you can try for your next email newsletter (PS: We have grouped them into 11 categories, so you get a better selection for each technique!):
The urgent call out to your audience
“Don’t miss out on this HUGE discount – Ends at midnight 31/1/2021!”
“Last chance to sign up for our amazing discounted subscription!”
The most obvious way to attract attention is to spark urgency into your email subscriber’s minds. The FOMO (fear of missing out) tactic works very well as you want your emails to feel like a “now or ever” piece of content. If your readers don’t open your emails at that moment, they’re going to miss out on an incentive or good experience, so focus your subject line on how great the thing is that they are missing.
The merge tag technique
“Hey (INSERT NAME), check out your new product suggestions here.”
“(INSERT NAME), fancy treating yourself? We have thousands of your favorites at (INSERT LOCAL STORE NAME)”
One of the most effective forms of personalization involves the use of merge tags. Merge tags are a filler tool that you can use to change a section of your subject line or email copy depending on elements such as:
- The first name of the recipient
- The recipient’s local store
- The recipient’s most recent purchase
For subject lines, it is a great technique to improve your open and click-through rates. Several surveys have reported that subject lines containing the first name of a recipient achieved higher click-through rates than those that didn’t.
Using emojis in your subject lines
“We Wednesdays! Get 20% off now using this incredible offer!”
“Ready for summer? Buy now pay later for your summertime favorites.”
Okay, this one is a little controversial because you need to pick emojis carefully. Emojis in subject lines will almost always improve open rates, but it may sometimes increase your compliant rate – The number of subscribers complaining about the content they have received.
To avoid this, try to pick emojis relevant to the words you wish to say, so if you are sending a holiday-season email, use a Christmas tree, a pumpkin, a firework, etc. If you send clothing emails, send sunglasses, hats, shirts, and shoes as your emojis. Keep your characters as relevant as possible, so it fits in with why your subscribers are interested in the first place.
A shocking statistic in a subject line
“Our customers save an average of 17.9% on every purchase. Here’s why you could too.”
“Women make 300 shopping trips a year. Our new range will make your next trip the best.”
Your subscribers will turn their attention to statistics, as they are a quantifiable way to emphasize the importance of your service and how it can benefit them. Your subject lines can use statistics to show readers how much they could save, the nature of customer habits in your industry, or something more compelling.
The point is to use facts and stats relevant to what you are trying to market and sell to the reader – Make sure your percentages, numbers, and attributes apply to people just like them to relate to common pain points and habits.
A customer mention/success quote
“David Beckham loves our shirts, and you can too! Check out our latest range inside…”
“Come see what customers have been saying out our new Gillette range…”
There is nothing like a great testimonial or endorsement to boost the recognition of your subject lines. Social proof helps your products get more validation, and using your subject line to mention a celebrity’s name will ultimately improve open rates. That’s especially true if the star has worked with similar industries in the past.
Now, it doesn’t just have to be about celebrities. You can mention how many happy customers you have or how many 5 star reviews you have received. Seventy percent of Americans will look at reviews before buying a product anyway, so give them the social proof as reassurance. It could end up being a great way to use a CTA more effectively, as your subscribers may feel more inclined to follow the crowd (i.e., the rest of your customers).
Ask the reader a direct question.
“Need a holiday? We’ve got you covered.”
“Having trouble Christmas shopping again? Let us help before it’s too late!”
Asking questions to your subscribers, primarily in subject lines, can help readers gain an interest in what you have to offer. Problems offer a more personalized approach and will come across as a more direct conversation one on one, as opposed to a subject line designed to speak to many thousands of people.
Questions can often relate to your subscriber’s needs, pain points, and preferences, which improves the likelihood of a better click-through rate for your marketing emails.
The friendly reminder (subscription expiry emails)
“Your premium account is about to expire! Renew your subscription today to ensure you don’t miss out!”
“Uh-oh, your membership is nearing its end date. Stay with us today”.
Your email subscribers may also be subscribed to other elements of your service. They may pay a fee for exclusive content, gifts each month, or membership for discounted pricing across your online store. Whatever it may be, it is essential to focus on your subject lines when re-engaging existing subscribers.
Don’t turn an overdue subscription into a bad thing. Use your subject line to provide a gentle, friendly reminder that your customers will benefit from renewing their membership/subscription.
Readdressing your shopper’s history (abandoned cart emails)
“Still interested in (INSET PRODUCT NAME)”
“You left these in your basket. It’s not too late to buy!”
Sometimes your email subscribers will also be regular visitors to your online store. A common occurrence amongst all shoppers is an abandoned cart. Abandoned cart emails are great for winning customers back if they forget about their basket or browse your website but are hesitant to purchase.
Your subject line would ideally point out the product name and highlight the urgency to head back to your store, regardless of whether products expire there or not.
Making your subscriber’s opinions count (review/feedback requests)
“(INSERT NAME), we’d love to hear from you – Earn free rewards for sharing your opinion.”
“Let us know how you enjoyed your recent purchase and get 10% off your next shop.”
Your customers love to feel valued, and emails are a great way to make their opinions heard. A great way to use email to gather feedback may be to offer an incentive for providing a positive review. This can be done in your subject lines by giving the “if you scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours” approach to your subscribers.
The reverse psychology subject line
“Don’t open this email – seriously!”
“Beware, there is something spooky inside…”
Like in the movies, we humans are too curious for our good, and the same logic applies to opening emails. Whenever somebody tells us not to look, it makes us even more interested in looking. Implement this tactic when you create an email newsletter so you can achieve a higher open rate. Remember to make sure the main content of your email is worth opening up to, though, or else your subscribers might feel a little disappointed.
Combine your product or service with something unrelated/opposite
“Shoes so comfortable even your gran would wear them!”
“Products so luxurious that anyone can afford them, come see for yourself!”
Combining words and phrases that wouldn’t otherwise come together can be an excellent humor tactic for effective email subject lines. This technique should make your subscribers chuckle but also pause and think. It might be that the subject line makes no sense, but once your readers see what your product is about, they quickly realize the point you originally made. This technique is a little different and can help drive your sales rates for those subscribers who have yet to purchase from you.
That’s a wrap!
Our list ends here, but there are plenty of other varieties and techniques you can implement to get the best subject line possible that drives a call to action. We recommend that you assess what type of email you will send before thinking about what type of subject line to write. As a reminder, some standard marketing emails include:
- Re-engagement emails – Such as for expired memberships, online store inactivity, and canceled plans
- Abandoned cart emails – When your subscribers leave products in their shopping trolley on your online store.
- Welcome emails – These are used on new email subscribers and can either be a single contact or a welcome series.
- Product updates/announcements – If you have new products out, use email marketing to promote them.
Lastly, take your time to perfect your subject lines; they will determine your email open rate. Consider A/B testing (testing one style of subject line vs. another, e.g., using merge tags vs. not using them) if you want to understand better what techniques people in your mailing list engage the most.
Subject lines are a vital element of creating a newsletter for your email list. Still, there are more ways you can improve engagement, such as through automation, drip campaigns, and proper segmentation of your subscriber list, and of course beautiful newsletter designs.
We recently launched our new email marketing platform, aka newsletter services, that help you create email campaigns to send an email to any email address with ease.