How many emails do you receive in your inbox every day? 10? 100? 1000?
The average person receives hundreds of emails every day from coupons to subscriptions, to services, invitations and more. And it is unfortunate to say that most of these emails will end up in trash and junk mail folders before they are even opened.
Are your emails suffering the same fate?
Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing strategies for your company. It allows you to directly contact your consumers and gives you an opportunity to boost your conversions and sales. But how do you make your emails stand out from the crowd?
It all starts with a catchy, killer subject line that makes your subscribers want to open and read more. Think of your Subject Line as the first impression, and we all know that first impressions definitely do count.
There are many strategies out there on how to write and craft the perfect email subject line but we thought it might be more fitting to share with you some of the best and most inspiring lines from around the web. This way you can learn from what others are doing and be inspired to create your own.
Here are 12 of the most killer email subject lines that you should learn from:
1. iSubscribe: “Need a Holiday? You could win an African Safari”
This subject line is effective because it starts out with a question that almost everyone will answer “Yes” to- “Do you need a holiday? Of course I do!”
iSubscribe also goes on to sweeten the deal by letting you know that you could win an African Safari, an experience that most would like to have and one that would be of great value to win.
Starting your email headline with a question instantly helps to engage your readers and makes them stop, even if it is just for a moment, to ponder their answer. Then following up with something of value, such as a free vacation is definitely a big draw to help them click on the email.
2. Warby Parker: “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring”
The popular glasses retailer, Warby Parker has had a lot of success with this email because not only is it sent out to their customers at the right time, it also has a tone that helps attract readers attention.
Using conversational words like “Uh-Oh” can help evoke the feelings of ‘friendly’ and ‘helpful’ and avoids pushing the fact that you need to renew your prescription and fork over more money.
3. Groupon: “Best of Groupon: The Deals that Make Us Proud (Unlike our Nephew, Steve)”
While this email line may seem long, it works well because it evokes humour and is rather unexpected. When you turn something around, like Groupon have done with this subject line, it instantly helps to attract attention and will lead to more click throughs.
To use this strategy, start with a plain and simple subject line and then find a clever and funny way to turn it around at the end. The trick here is that you want to do something unexpected but also something that may force your readers to chuckle, even if it is just a little bit.
4. Rent the Runway: “Happy Birthday Mary- Surprise Inside!”
Personalised marketing is always a winner and can be extremely effective when it comes to email marketing as well. In fact, research has proven that emails that contain the first name of the recipient have higher click through rates than one’s that do not.
This just proves that people love to feel special and that they love to feel noticed, which is exactly what Rent the Runway is doing here with this birthday email.
Mentioning the “Surprise inside” also evokes curiosity as it doesn’t give away too much but is still compelling enough to click through.
5. Barack Obama: “Hey”
‘Hey’ doesn’t look or sound effective however, it is worth mentioning because this email became one of the most successful in Obama’s entire re-election campaign.
This email instantly makes you wonder what Obama could possibly want to say to you and it is vague enough that it doesn’t draw away any interest like an email titled “re-elect Obama” probably would.
This strategy works really well when you pair a casual greeting from someone high up or someone who is respected and admired in the community.
Basically the principle here is that you want to do something unexpected, and what could be more unexpected than the President of the United States sending an email entitled, “Hey”?
6. Manicube: “Don’t Open This Email”
Have you ever been told to not do something? Usually when we are explicitly told not to do something our first reaction is, “Now I want to do it even more!”
That is exactly the strategy Manicube was going for in this email and it helped them receive more click through and open rates than previous campaigns.
This subject line also goes to show that you don’t have to do anything elaborate, sometimes the simple things can work the most effectively.
7. Refinery29: “The broke girl’s guide to a luxury vacation”
This is a good email line to do when you are segmenting your email lists because it uses the tactic of self-identifying.
“Broke Girl” helps the readers to identify with the subject line, making them feel it was exclusively just written for them. The reason this is good with segmented email lists is that you definitely would not do well sending this to a male audience or people who would not identify with being “broke”.
The bottom line here with this strategy is that people love to self-identify, especially when they are being sold something as it creates the feeling of the product being exclusively made just for them.
8. TripAdvisor: “Guess How Many People Have Seen Your Review?”
People are always proud of their work, including the reviews they write on travel websites, which is why this headline is so effective.
The fact that other people might have also read and marvelled in something that your subscriber wrote is also definitely ammunition for them to click on the email.
On top of all of that, TripAdvisor has also posed a question that deliberately sets readers up to get excited- perhaps their review has gone viral? Perhaps their review has received lots of likes or comments? And this level of excitement is sure to yield high click through rates.
9. JetBlue: “You’re missing out on points”
No one wants to miss out, in fact most people have a fear of missing out, which may explain why we are all constantly glued to our smartphones and social media all day.
The airline, JetBlue is definitely taking advantage of this common fear here by leading people to believe that they are missing out on collecting valuable points that could save them money.
To copy this type of headline format, think of a benefit you can offer your readers, such as saving them time or money and then let them know they are missing out by not taking advantage of your services.
10. Buffer: “Buffer has been hacked- here is what’s going on”
Buffer, the social media management tool recently got hacked bringing about a lot of angry customers, speculation and more. This email instantly reads as being upfront, honest and full of the necessary information a user might need in order to protect their personal information.
In a crisis situation, it really pays to be upfront and honest, which is exactly the strategy that Buffer is going for here. It is also definitely not the time to make jokes or be funny as hacking is a serious matter and Buffer definitely conveys that they are not taking it lightly.
It is pretty hard to evoke feelings of calmness and being in control in an email headline, but that is exactly what Buffer has done here, so it is definitely worth noting.
11. Thrillist: “DO NOT Commit These Instagram Atrocities”
Just like no one wants to feel that they are missing out, no one wants to feel that they are doing something wrong either.
This subject line by Thrillist definitely plays on the natural human fear of ‘doing the wrong thing’ and encourages them to open the email and find out if they are guilty of committing these “atrocities.”
Another point worth mentioning here is that instead of saying “Do not”, Thrillist has made it a point of writing in capital letters in order to grab readers attention and stress the wrongdoing.
This headline is definitely an example of ‘negative marketing’ and while it can be effective, it is important not to over use this strategy.
12. DocuSign: “What are our customers saying?”
This email is a good example of what to do during the lead building stage as it allows readers to know what other customers have experienced from working with this company.
In this email, DocuSign collated some of their top reviews and case studies in order to convey to potential customers what they could also experience.
The subject line is effective as it poses a question that perhaps the potential customer has been asking themselves.
It is always interesting to see what others companies are doing with their email marketing however, it is also important to develop your own style and voice which highlights your brand and targets your audience.
There is no mistaking it though, a good email subject line can make a powerful impact on your readers and help drive your click through rates.
The words you choose have a big impact on whether or not your subscribers will open your email, so take some time to think about what impact you want to make.