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25 Irresistible Email Subject Lines to Boost Open Rates (Part 1)

Email Subject Lines

Some say email marketing is outdated, but I refuse to agree, you know why? Because the numbers say otherwise. According to estimates, there will be 4.3B email users in the world by 2023. Furthermore,  for every $1 spent, email generates approximately $44. However, despite its stellar reputation as a successful customer acquisition tactic, email demands its marketers to follow a certain code to triumph.

Though the body of an email is always the most important element to focus on, the first thing that will engage your audience is the subject line. Typically, a subject line is often considered trivial and doesn’t have a lot of thought put into it—but, let me remind you this—using a striking email headline is always one of the best ways to achieve high open rates. In fact, 47% of email recipients will open an email based solely on the subject line.

More Reasons to Invest in Email Subject Lines

And every so often, you give the most obvious, easiest, and the most undeserving excuse for not having a winning subject line strategy—not enough reasons as to convince yourself to have one. But, not anymore.

Subject Line Statistics

25 Best Subject Lines to Boost Up Your Email Engagement Levels

Writing a highly-converting subject line is easier said than done. There are a lot of factors in play here. Firstly, you need to understand who your target audience is, what they are looking for, and what triggers them most. To make things a bit easy for you, we’ve compiled a list of email subject lines to get you started with.

Simple, and Straight to the Point Subject Lines

It’s obvious that everyone embraces the power of mystery and curiosity, but not many have explored the power of simplicity and straightforwardness. Contrary to what you might think, these “boring” subject lines can actually reinforce your conversion rate.

The important thing when writing a straightforward subject line is to provide some value. In fact, explore this option only when you have something important to say. Make sure your audience likes what you are offering, and write a subject line around the same.

Here are some examples for “straight to the point” email subject lines:

  • Your March Issue of [Magazine Name] is here
  • Seasonal Greeting from [Company Name]
  • [Company Name] Sales & Marketing Newsletter
  • [Company Name] Invites You to the [Event Name]
  • Get 10% Off on Our [Product Name]

Personal Subject Lines

It seems like every single eCommerce store is chasing personalization, but why?

The answer lies in a psychological principle known as the Cocktail Party Effect.

This theory suggests that people focus on information relevant to them. According to Brain Research , a key trigger for “tuning in” is when people hear their names.

While addressing a person by their name in the subject is still a popular email personalization strategy, it’s no longer sufficient to drive massive levels of engagement. Marketers should step beyond the norms to unveil novel means to display their personalization skills.

Having experience facilitating hundreds of brand’s marketing efforts, we recommend our clients to exceed the basic personalization and forge a connection with their customers as if they’ve known them for years. Undoubtedly, it’s a long journey, but the secret of getting ahead is getting started, isn’t it?

YouVersion—an online and mobile Bible platform beautifully illustrates this principle. Check out this subject line from an email I received recently:

Personal email subject line

Rather than addressing the recipient by the name, they used a nickname.


Think about that for a moment. Being on first-name terms with someone is personal, but not that personal. Your hairdresser knows your name, but they don’t know you. A nickname, on the other hand, is often given by someone who likes you—and that’s special.

Anyhow, when it comes to personalization, data is the only limit. Additionally, there are other ways you can personally connect with your customers through a subject line. Marketers can segment their subscribers based on transaction history, birthday, location, browsing history, etc to implement this.

Here are some examples of the personalized subject lines:

  • Cathy, We Handpicked these Items for You
  • Stevie, We’d Love to Hear from You
  • Hey Bob, Our Spidey-sense Says You Need Weight-loss Assistance
  • Alex, Your Special Birthday Bonus
  • Don’t Miss Out- Your Favorite Espresso Machine at 50% Off on [Company Name]

“Latest Trends” Subject Lines

Going with the trend is a pack mentality thing. As social beings, humans crave for acceptance. We do what the other does to be an accepted member of society. In a nutshell, we’re wired to follow the majority – it’s a survival trait. Besides this, it’s important to remain relevant.

To put this into context, look at this email I received from Medium recently.

Latest Trends Subject Line

Since the COVID-19 crisis is the hottest topic

around the globe, right now— Medium finds it as their best bet to engage their readers. Moreover, it spreads awareness and thus providing value to the reader.

Here are some examples of subject lines featuring latest trends:

  • Apple Announces $399 iPhone with Smaller Screen | [Author Name] in [Website Name]
  • “COVID-19: The Deadliest Day in the US records”. Sign in to [Website Name] to Read More
  • “Free Speech in Britain ‘under attack’ warns Toby Young.” Opt for [Website Name] Premium to Access Full Article
  • The Whole New [Product Name] is Here. Preorder Yours
  • “Preparing your marketing plans for the Coronavirus downturn.” Join Us, It’s Free.

Social Proof Subject Lines

Psychologist Robert Cialdini who brings the social proof theory to the mainstream says that a person who does not know what the proper behavior for a certain situation is—will look to other people to imitate what they are doing and to provide guidance for his actions.You can apply the same concept to an email subject line. Including social proof elements in your subject line will bring out the credibility factor, unlike any other. Using celebrities to create social proof is a preferable tactic too. Here are some examples that you can refer to,

  • [Celebrity Name] Wears Our [Product Name]
  • Bring Out the Best in You. Shop from Our [Celebrity Name] Collection
  • Here’s What Global Tech Leaders Had to Say About Us
  • NBA Superstar [Celebrity Name] Spotted Wearing a [Product Name]
  • Our Customers Love What We Offer. You’d Love Us Too.

Cart Recovery Subject Lines

Did you know 28.3% of all eCommerce revenue comes from successful cart recovery emails? But, what makes an abandoned cart email effective from others? When designing cart abandonment recovery emails, there are a few key components that should always be included. Subject lines are one of such; for they communicate the promise of value.

Here’s an example of a cart abandonment email:

Abandoned cart email

Now, here are some great email subject line ideas to kickstart your cart recovery campaign.

  • Forgot Something?
  • 20% Off Just for You!
  • You Left Something Behind
  • Don’t Leave Your Favorites Behind
  • Your Cart is Going to Expire

Final Thoughts

At the most basic level, email marketing is about successfully conveying a message. And an important factor that defines the effectiveness of a message is how it’s presented before the audience. An email subject line sums up the notion an email carries—but in a short and splendid manner. Most importantly, it piques the interest of recipients and compels them to take action.

Now that you know how important it is to optimize your email subject lines, it’s time for some action. Go ahead and choose one of the subject line examples that I’ve shared and make it your own. You may also want to consider including some of the top subject line keywords to boost your email open rates even more.

Picture of Georgie Vineeth

Georgie Vineeth

Georgie is a Content Specialist at TargetBay. A curious marketer and communicator, he believes in simple yet relevant messages that create a human connection, and in innovation beyond the norms.

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