Email marketing is one of the most powerful forms of online marketing there will ever be. However, if you don’t know how to write a clever and creative subject line, you’ll never get anyone to open your emails.

Today, you’re going to discover how to create a massive boost in your email engagement using these 8 powerful subject line themes.

If you would like to listen to this podcast episode, you can check it out over at: MarketersParadise.com

Here they are…

Subject #1: Self-Interest

What’s In It For Me, or WIIFM, is the hidden mantra of every email subscriber and potential customer. Putting your prospect’s Self-Interest in your email subject line is guaranteed to get their attention.

Tell your subscribers how they’ll benefit from opening the email by focusing on a specific need or desire they have. Follow up on this promise in the email by explaining or demonstrating how buying your product or service leads to an even great outcome.

Subject #2: Curiosity

Based on the human psyche’s need to close open loops or unanswered questions, curiosity subject lines work extremely well.

Crafting the ideal curiosity headline will take practice but the upside of this email theme is huge engagement. The right hook, or unanswered question, in your subject line will have your subscribers opening emails instantly.

For best results, combine a curiosity hook with an element of Social Proof or Self-Interest. By themselves, these are both powerful themes but mix in an element of curiosity, and you could be creating your most successful campaign yet.

Subject #3: Special Offer

Everyone loves a special offer, especially if it’s connected with a solution to a problem they need to resolve. Make your special offer the star of your email subject line to encourage prospective buyers to make that all important purchase.

A common mistake that many marketers make is to assume they need to discount their pricing to create a ‘Special Offer’.

For most buyers, value is more important than price.

So rather than offer a discount, and risk devaluing the perceived value of your product, consider adding an extra bonus product to create the special offer.

The bonus could be a digital training course, an ebook or, a complimentary sample of an additional product.

Subject #4: Scarcity & Urgency

Another extremely powerful psychological motivation is the fear of missing out, so Scarcity works very well as an email subject line.

You can use deadlines to create time-based scarcity or a limited number of products available to create a volume based scarcity.

Without a believable backstory, your scarcity theme may fail to generate the maximum lift in sales.

To back up the Scarcity theme, give a reason for the limited supply or the time-based deadline in the main body of your email.

You can associate the limited supply to a wide range of factors including a test run of a new product, limited seating at an event venue, or an offer tied to a public holiday or calendar event.

Subject #5: Human Connection

Despite the mostly digital nature of our communications, people still buy from people, and personal relationships are an essential ingredient in developing the important Know/Like/Trust factors that influence a purchasing decision.

Big corporations often fail to create any form of human connection with their audiences. After all, who can identify with an anonymous member of the email marketing team at a Fortune 500 Company?

You, however, can create a personal connection with your subscribers.

Sharing important milestones in your life, both personal and professional, can help your audience to identify with you as a person.

This is a very effective way to differentiate your company from the competition and build a human connection with your subscribers.

Subject #6: Breaking News

We all like new things, and if there is a new way to solve an existing problem you will get the immediate attention of your subscribers.

The best news is that you don’t have to create a new product to use this subject line theme.

You can create a ‘Breaking News’ style announcement to explain a new way to use an existing product or to discuss a new side benefit that your product can create.

Subject #7: Social Proof

Email subject lines that talk about the success other consumers of your product have achieved are powerful because we often make buying decisions based on observing others.

A great real world example of this would be to think of a busy restaurant, with a queue of hungry people lining up outside. Now compare that to the image of an empty restaurant devoid of customers.

Given the choice, most consumers would want to know what was so special about the restaurant with a queue of people outside. The crowd would have a huge influence on their choice of dinner venue.

The other big advantage of ‘Social Proof’ themed emails is that they demonstrate success is possible.

If your product or service helped someone else achieve their desired outcome then it’s likely that the email recipient can also get the same positive outcome.

Subject #8: Story

Starting a story in your subject line is a great way to quickly engage your email subscriber and invite them to open the message.

We’ve been hooked on stories since we were very young, and it’s a great way to wrap a meaningful narrative around your products.

Can you tell how your product helped a consumer achieve an unexpected outcome or overcome a challenging situation?

Weaving a dramatic narrative into both your subject line and the body of your email, is a proven way to captivate your audience’s attention.

The story form will also help them to visualize themselves successfully using your product, a key step that almost always precedes a purchasing decision.


Chris Luck builds businesses. Since 1999, he has been building Internet businesses in the education and technology industries generating over $25 million dollars in revenue.

Chris is the Founder of Marketers Paradise.

Marketers Paradise is the place where marketers go to get the latest marketing news and education they can use to help them grow.

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