14 Professional Email Subject Line Examples

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.

professional email subject line examples


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.

Step 1: Sum Up Your ContentDetermine the main message or content you want to convey in your email. Provide a concise summary to guide your subject line creation.
Step 2: Determine Your Target AudienceIdentify the specific audience or segment you are addressing with the email. Tailor your subject line to resonate with this audience's needs and interests.
Step 3: Narrow Your OfferRefine your initial message to focus on the specific value or offer that will benefit the recipient. Highlight this value in your subject line.
Step 4: Provide Just Enough InformationAvoid revealing all the details in your subject line. Instead, aim to create curiosity and interest without giving away all the content. Leave room for intrigue.
Step 5: Include the Most Important Information FirstRecognize that readers often see only the beginning of subject lines. Place critical information, such as urgency or key points, at the start of the subject line for maximum impact.

14 Professional Email Subject Line Examples

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]


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?

14 Professional Email Subject Line Examples

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

14 Professional Email Subject Line Examples

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

14 Professional Email Subject Line Examples

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.

Lead With Your Value PropositionHighlight what recipients will gain or benefit from opening the email, whether it's a deal, new content, or valuable information.
Make It Enticing, But Not SpammyCraft subject lines that generate curiosity without resorting to spammy words or phrases that trigger spam filters.
Say Something Out of the OrdinaryBreak away from common email language by using unconventional or attention-grabbing words or phrases, while staying relevant to your audience.
Use Humor or AlliterationConsider incorporating humor, puns, or alliteration to make your subject lines catchy and memorable, aligning with your brand's tone.
Start a ConversationEncourage engagement and community-building by posing open-ended questions that provoke thought and response from recipients.
Include a Call to ActionClearly state the desired action recipients should take upon reading the email, such as RSVPing or taking advantage of limited-time offers.
Keep It ShortMaintain brevity in subject lines to ensure they are concise and easily scannable, as recipients often make quick decisions based on subject line length.

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.”

Conclusion: Mastering the Art of Email Subject Lines for Effective Marketing

Email subject lines serve as the gateway to your audience’s engagement with your emails. Crafting compelling subject lines is an essential skill for any marketer aiming to capture attention and drive engagement. In this guide, we’ve explored why email subject lines are crucial in marketing and provided valuable insights into writing professional and effective subject lines.

Email subject lines play a pivotal role in marketing because they are often the first point of contact between your message and the recipient. In a crowded inbox, a well-crafted subject line can be the difference between your email being opened and read or left unread. Trust and professionalism are also associated with using professional email addresses, further emphasizing the importance of your subject lines in building customer trust.

To write professional email subject lines that stand out, consider several key factors. Start by summarizing the content of your email effectively. Understand your target audience and tailor your subject lines to their needs and interests. Be specific and offer just enough information to pique curiosity without giving away all the content. Importantly, prioritize including the most critical information at the beginning of the subject line, as many readers only glance at the first few words.

We’ve explored various types of effective email subject lines, each catering to different scenarios and objectives. From curiosity-driven subject lines to humorous and personal ones, the choice of subject line depends on your content and your audience’s preferences. Including elements like urgency, exclusivity, and value propositions can significantly impact the effectiveness of your subject lines.

Furthermore, we’ve covered essential tips for writing email subject lines effectively. These tips include leading with your value proposition, maintaining a balance between enticing and spammy language, adding an element of surprise or humor, and starting a conversation with your audience. Additionally, including a clear call to action and keeping subject lines concise are crucial practices to boost engagement.

In summary, email subject lines are the bridge between your message and your audience’s attention. Crafting compelling subject lines is a skill that can lead to higher open rates, increased engagement, and ultimately, more successful email marketing campaigns. By understanding your audience, staying creative, and adhering to best practices, you can master the art of writing effective email subject lines that drive results in your marketing efforts.

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.