29 Email Marketing Subject Lines That Guarantee Increase The Open Rate

Email marketing, though effective, can be a tricky task if you don’t implement it correctly. Sending thousands of marketing emails will make no sense if the recipients don’t even open them to see what’s inside. When you’re starting a campaign, you need to focus on writing email marketing subject lines that compel recipients to click. An analysis of over 40 million marketing emails by MailChimp revealed that descriptive and straightforward subject lines had the highest open rates.

This survey also found that “salesy” email marketing subject lines achieved the lowest open rates. For instance, subject lines like “Last Minute Gift — We Have the Answer” and “It’s Still Summer in Tahoe!” had the poorest performance. Their open rates ranged somewhere between 1 and 14%. On the other hand, the email marketing subject lines with the best performance had open rates between 60% and 87%. Some examples of these top-performing subject lines are “Invitation from (Company),” “October 2005 Newsletter,” and “Website News — Issue 3.”

Now let’s take a look at 29 excellent email marketing subject lines that have been proven to help businesses increase open rates.

29 Excellent Email Marketing Subject Lines

1. “Hey”

This is one of the most effective email marketing subject lines because of its powerful pairing with an important sender name — Barack Obama. How would you react to getting an email like this in your inbox? Regardless of your political leaning, you would be intrigued to see why someone as important as Barack Obama would be addressing you with a familiar “hey.”

2. “Best of Groupon: The Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)”

Adding some humor to your email marketing subject lines is a great way to reach a higher open rate. In this example, the quip turned a typical-looking subject line into an interesting and funny one that’s much more appealing to recipients.

3. “Thanks for Joining — Here’s What’s on Sale”

A study conducted by Adestra analyzed 95,000 subject lines from across the globe. Researchers found there are over 200 popular trigger words to increase your open rate. Among these, the use of “Sale” resulted in an open rate of 23.2%, whereas “Save” delivered only 3.4% opens.

4. “Top 10 under $10”

Email marketing subject lines with numbers or lists are intriguing and attention-grabbing. The human brain is naturally drawn to numbered lists. Implementing this to your email marketing strategy could effectively persuade more recipients to open your emails.

5. “Uh-oh, Your Prescription is Expiring”

Warby Parker gets its timing right by sending out prescription renewal emails two weeks before the actual expiration date. The tone in these email marketing subject lines is also conversational with the usage of “Uh-oh.” The rest of the email looks like this:

6. “212 Blog Post Ideas”

Short, simple, and straight to the point; this subject line conveys the email’s content in just four words. Select email marketing subject lines that offer the desired product or blog post without being too “salesy.”

7. “How (Company) Got Your Name”

Regardless of your product, email marketing subject lines like this can attract your readers and compel them to open. It sparks recipients’ innate interest in learning more about your company, thus enabling you to establish a connection with them.

8. “7 Most Annoying Twitter Moments of the #Oscars2014”

This is another great example of using “lists” in email marketing subject lines. SocialBro sends out emails notifying readers about new posts by simply using the post title as the subject line.

9. “10 Jaw-Dropping Drift Videos on YouTube”

YouTube’s subject line is exciting and eye-catching in your inbox. It speaks to the user who’s most likely interested in viewing videos of this genre. Since the email contains a link to the videos, it compels readers to open it.

10. “Introducing our Latest (Product/Feature/Service)”

Email marketing subject lines like this create a curiosity in the recipients. They’ll click open to see what’s the latest product or feature they could buy? It’s also direct because you’re already telling them what the email is all about.

11. “You’re Missing out on Points”

Nobody wants to miss out on great benefits. JetBlue takes advantage of this the right way in its email marketing subject lines. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is strong in today’s society. This email compels readers to find out more about what they’re unaware of.

12. “Your Order #…”

In the previously mentioned MailChimp study, it was found that short, descriptive emails have better open rates. So when you’re communicating with a user who’s already connected with the content you’re delivering, it’s best to be specific. See how Shutterfly sends an email about an existing order using the order number as its subject line:Shutterfly sends an email

13. “The (Company) Holiday Catalog is Here”

This is another direct and simple subject line that creates a curiosity in the recipient. Readers would be curious as to what new products your company has to offer for this season.

14. “Buffer has been Hacked — Here is What’s Going on”

When Buffer got hacked awhile go, they sent out reassurance emails with this attention-grabbing subject line. It’s direct, concise, and serious so that recipients know Buffer is calmly resolving the issue.

15. “Rough Day?”

So simple yet so intriguing, Sephora sent out personalized emails with this question as a subject line. The email shows that the company cares about how the reader’s day went, driving a higher open rate.

16. “Don’t Make These Seven AdWords Mistakes”

This email marketing example compels readers to click open because it might benefit them. At the same time, the subject line creates curiosity as to what they could be currently doing wrong with AdWords.

17. “DO NOT Commit These Instagram Atrocities”

No one likes to make mistakes or fail. Thrillist plays on this natural human tendency in its email marketing subject lines. They have capitalized “DO NOT” for stronger effect, therefore making it even more compelling.

18. “My Gift to You…”

Who doesn’t like getting gifts? When you’re sending out an email with offers and deals, this subject line could be a great way to attract readers. Recipients are more likely to open the email like unwrapping a present.

Read the full post on Shane Barker’s Digital Marketing blog.