Email subject lines should provide a short but informative peek at the message you’re sending. Sometimes, these snippets come to you easily. In other cases, you may need help or inspiration to come up with what to write. Here are some of the best email subject lines to get you started.
Why Are Email Subject Lines Important in Marketing?
Good email subject lines in marketing should grab the recipient’s attention and entice them to read the rest of the message. The subject line is likely the first thing they’ll notice about each email. And yours is probably competing with lots of other notes in their inbox. So a quality subject line could determine whether or not they even see what you’re offering.
How to Write Professional Email Subject Lines
A great subject line may vary depending on the content of the message. However, there are a few common factors that tend to make these messages stand out from the rest and get amazing open rates. Here are a few to keep in mind.
Step 1: Sum Up Your Content
Before you craft an enticing message, you need to determine what you’re trying to share. A sentence or two should be enough to get you started.
Step 2: Determine Your Target Audience
Who is your email trying to appeal to? Instead of just speaking to your entire email list, consider who is most likely to benefit from what you’re sharing. Then write to those individuals. Many email programs even allow you to segment your list.
Step 3: Narrow Your Offer
Your initial summary may be a bit bland or general. Once you have the reader or recipient in mind, consider the actual offer or value they may get from opening your email. Then lead with that.
Step 4: Provide Just Enough Information
The goal of a great email subject line is to get people to open your message — not to make sales or bring clicks to your website. The copy of your message should work to achieve these goals. Instead, focus on providing just enough to entice them, without giving all your content away immediately.
Step 5: Include the Most Important Information First
People often only look at the first few words of a subject line when going through their inboxes. So the best email subject lines generally include the most important details right away. Use this space to create urgency or get a point across, instead of leaving these details for the end of the sentence or phrase.
Effective Email Subject Lines Example
Of course, a great email subject line should be personalized to the type of content included. But they should generally promote a sense of urgency, curiosity, or exclusivity. Here’s an example:
Don’t wait! Get [offer] by [deadline]
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More Professional Email Subject Lines Examples
Great email subject lines vary depending on the type of content you have to share. So here are several examples that can work in various instances.
Curiosity Subject Lines
Pique your subscribers’ interest by offering secrets or information they’ve always been curious about. This may include anything from celebrity skin care secrets to business tools that successful brands use.
Ever wondered how [person/business] gets [result]? We’ve uncovered their secret!
Funny Subject Line
Bring some fun to your email marketing by poking fun at current events, industry trends, or relatable moments. For example, after a large Mega Millions drawing, you may share something like this.
Sorry you didn’t win the lottery… here’s a discount code to ease your suffering
Personal Subject Line
People are more likely to open emails they relate to. Including a detail about an item they purchased, an event they attended, or a piece of content they interacted with can help.
We loved seeing you at [event name]! Will you join us again?
Cold Subject Line
Cold email subject lines may be the first contact you have with someone. It often helps to include the connection or mutual friend that brought you together.
Got your email from [contact/business name] — could we connect about [subject]?
Exclusive Subject Lines
Sharing an exclusive deal just with your email list may make them more inclined to purchase. They could feel like they’re missing out if they don’t take advantage of the opportunity. So make sure to call attention to the exclusivity factor.
Just for email subscribers! Get [deal] before our inventory runs out!
Limited Time Subject Line
Limited time offers also bring exclusivity to an offer. Instead of just putting a purchase on the back burner, subscribers may be more inclined to act quickly if an email subject line includes a clear deadline.
Only this weekend: Get 50% off our entire site!
Urgent Subject Line
Messages with urgency tend to entice readers, even if there isn’t a specific deadline attached. For example, coaches or content creators might create urgency by sharing how important their message can be.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to learn this important business lesson…
Helpful Subject Line
What’s a question you get from readers or subscribers over and over again? Share an email subject line that explores what type of helpful information you’re providing in the message.
How to [complete X task] like a pro
Announcement Subject Line
Do you have a new product, service, or event to unveil? Make a big announcement that proclaims your new offering and gives a small preview.
New for [month/season]! Come shop our brand new collection of [product line]
Pain Point Subject Line
In some cases, your value proposition may be to solve a specific problem or pain point. In those cases, lead with the problem and tease the solution.
Sick of [pain point]? Here’s what to do about it
FOMO Subject Line
Fear of missing out can be a powerful motivator. This type of email subject line should make it seem like your offer is something more important than many people are participating in.
Don’t let your loyalty points expire! Shop by midnight to redeem your rewards
Surprise Subject Lines
Surprises are exciting and mysterious. Often, good email subject lines don’t give much away. But you need to include just enough to make them curious.
A surprise for our favorite email subscribers…
Abandoned Cart Subject Lines
Businesses often use their email list to retarget those who may have left items in their cart before completing a purchase. In these instances, it’s usually best to remind shoppers in a playful way.
Oops! Looks like you forgot something… click here to complete your order
Tips for Writing Email Subject Lines
The subject line example categories above should provide some inspiration. And these tips can help you make each message relevant to your content or business.
Lead With Your Value Proposition
What are you providing for the recipient that should get them to open the message? A deal? An exciting new piece of content? Explore how they’ll benefit from opening your email.
Make It Enticing, But Not Spammy
A little mystery or attention-grabbing headline may get people curious enough to open your email. However, avoid spam words like “free stuff” or “buy now,” which could get your message sent to the spam folder.
Say Something Out of the Ordinary
People get used to the common words and phrases found in their inboxes. So if you want to get their attention, you may need to mix things up. Add a shocking revelation or exclamation to catch their attention. Just make sure it’s also relevant to your target customer base as well.
Use Humor or Alliteration
Catchy email subject lines often include jokes, puns, or alliterative phrases. It’s not a must, but it can make strong messages even more eye-catching or memorable. Just make sure this type of message fits with your brand voice.
Start a Conversation
Email marketing isn’t just about sharing news. It can be a powerful tool for starting conversations and building community. So consider asking open-ended questions to get people thinking.
Include a Call to Action
What do you want people to do upon reading your message? RSVP for an event? Take advantage of a limited-time sale? Include any deadlines or action steps in your subject lines.
Keep It Short
If your email subject runs too long, what does that say about your actual email? People make split-second decisions when cleaning out their inboxes. So don’t let your message get cut because you couldn’t get to the point. A few words or a short sentence is almost always enough.
- READ MORE: 7 Cold Email Template Ideas
What Makes a Catchy Email Subject Line?
When writing subject lines, the most important thing is to share something of value for subscribers. If you have a great offer, make it catchy by including descriptive words, alliteration, humor, or a personal touch.
What Is the Best Subject Line for Email Marketing Campaigns?
Good subject lines vary depending on the content of the message. However, the best subject lines generally create some mystery, urgency, and exclusivity. For example, “Only for subscribers! Upgrade your account now to get 50% off.”
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