13 Best Tips for Captivating Email Subject Lines


Your email marketing campaign is ready to take off. You’ve spent hours crafting an informative, engaging email for your audience, making sure to avoid spam words that could land your email in the recipient’s spam folder. Your email campaigns are all set and you’re ready to hit send. But wait, there’s one crucial element that could make or break your email marketing efforts: your email subject line.

Email subject lines are your first line of communication with your audience. These simple subject lines carry the weight of making a first impression on your email recipients. Therefore, writing great email subject lines is a task that deserves your attention. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll navigate the art and science behind creating catchy email subject lines that won’t end up in the spam folder.

email open rates statistics infographic about subject lines and open rate

Email Subject Lines: The Gateway to Your Content

In the realm of email marketing, your email subject line acts as the front door to your content. It’s the first thing your email recipients see and the deciding factor whether they will proceed to explore the rest of your content or not. That’s why it’s crucial to create subject lines that stand out and utilize strong subject line keywords, piquing the interest of your recipients enough to entice them to open your email. For the ultimate, full email marketing guide to learn even more click here to open it in another tab to check it out after this blog post.

Subject Lines for Emails: Crafting Your First Impression

Remember that in an overflowing inbox, your email subject line is your first, and sometimes only, chance to make an impression. Consider it like a handshake; it should be firm, friendly, and leave a lasting impression. The power of a well-crafted subject line for emails lies in its ability to grab your recipient’s attention amidst a sea of other emails.

1. Keep it Short and Sweet: In today’s fast-paced digital world, where cell phones are king, it’s crucial to keep your subject lines concise. A long-winded subject line could get cut-off on smaller screens, leaving your message lost in translation. Strive for simplicity, and aim to create a simple subject line that can effectively communicate your message in fewer words.

For instance, consider a subject line like “Your Monthly Update.” It’s a great subject line example that’s simple and concise so the reader knows what to expect.

Email subject line length vs open rates pie chart

2. Utilize Actionable Language

Actionable language incites your recipients to act. Words such as ‘download’, ‘subscribe’, ‘register’, or ‘claim’ encourage your recipients to engage with your email and take the desired action.

A catchy email subject line example such as “Unlock Your eBook Now!” is direct, actionable, and can trigger immediate action.

Consider one more catchy email subject line example: “All these toys and you decided to play with my heart.” This subject line is humorous, intriguing, and bound to get a chuckle out of the recipient, increasing the chance of an open.

3. Personalization is Key

Personalized subject lines can create a sense of connection with the actual person in your audience. By integrating the recipient’s name or other personal details, you demonstrate your recognition of them as individuals. This also enhances your email’s relevance as a personalized subject line helps your email stand out and increases your open rates.

For instance, “Sarah, Your Personalized Fitness Plan Awaits!” is a perfect example of a personalized email subject line that can resonate with Sarah and make her curious to know more.

The Psychology Behind The Best Email Subject Lines

emails and brain psychology basic image

Understanding the psychology behind subject lines can greatly improve your email marketing strategy. It’s about leveraging human behaviors and emotions to prompt email opens.

1. The Scarcity Principle

The principle of scarcity can be a powerful tool in your email subject line arsenal. People are more likely to desire something if they perceive it as scarce or available only for a limited period.

An effective subject line such as “Hurry! Only 5 Seats Left for Our Webinar” can evoke a sense of urgency and trigger immediate action.

2. Curiosity Subject Lines

Crafting curiosity subject lines can tap into your reader’s innate desire to learn more. These types of subject lines get people thinking which slows them down just enough to consider opening your email.

An intriguing subject line like “The Secret Strategy for Boosting Sales” would pique your subscriber’s interest, motivating them to open the email.

3. Leverage Social Proof

Social proof refers to the psychological and social phenomenon where people’s actions are influenced by the actions of others. In the context of writing email subject lines, demonstrating social proof can really encourage subscribers to open your emails.

For example, “Join 5,000+ Members Enjoying Our Fitness Tips” or “See Why 10,000 Readers Loved This Book” capitalizes on the human inclination to follow the crowd. The idea is simple yet powerful: if others are benefiting, they should, too.

social proof subject line example

Understanding the Power of Pain Points in Subject Lines

A good email subject line often addresses the reader’s pain points. These are the problems, large or small, that your readers face. By crafting your subject lines for emails to articulate these issues, you speak directly to the reader’s needs and desires.

If you’re a digital marketing service provider, for instance, a subject line like “Struggling with Low Traffic? Boost Your SEO!” can be highly effective. It identifies a common pain point – low website traffic – and proposes a solution, piquing the recipient’s interest.

Crafting Catchy Email Subject Lines for Different Purposes

email subject line stats bar chart

Emails serve different purposes, and this should be reflected in the subject lines. Whether it’s a promotional email announcing a sale or a newsletter delivering valuable content, the subject line needs to align with the content inside.

1. Promotional Emails

Promotional emails aim to drive action. For these, catchy email subject lines that evoke excitement and urgency work best. These can include subject line keywords such as “sale”, “discount”, or “new product”.

For instance, “Flash Sale: 50% Off All Items – Today Only!”

2. Newsletters

Newsletters typically aim to inform and provide value to the reader. Therefore, your newsletter subject lines should make it clear what information or value the email contains.

An effective subject line might look like this: “SEO Trends 2023: Your Monthly Digital Marketing Update.”

3. Welcome Emails

Welcome emails aim to greet new subscribers or customers. The subject line should make the recipient feel valued and set the tone for future communication.

A warm and personal email subject line could be: “Welcome to the Family, John!”

gmail inbox showing welcome emails

4. Retargeting Emails

Retargeting email subject lines aim to re-engage customers who have shown previous interest in your product or service. Your subject line should remind them of their interest and prompt action.

An example might be: “Still Thinking About That Red Dress, Susan?”

Hey, [name]! We have reserved your shopping cart for you.

Did you forget this discount coupon?

The Role of Mobile Devices in Email Marketing

As of 2023, more than 60% of emails are opened on mobile devices. As such, it’s critical that your email subject lines are optimized for these devices. Given that they display fewer characters in the subject line than a desktop email client, aim for good subject lines around 40-50 characters to ensure your message doesn’t get cut off. Take into consideration the types of devices that people may be viewing their emails on and tailor the length of your subject line and preview text appropriately. A good practice is to put the most critical information at the beginning of your subject line to ensure it’s visible even on small screens.

For example, instead of “Our Biggest Sale of the Year Starts Now – Don’t Miss Out!” you might shorten it to “Biggest Sale Now On – Don’t Miss!”

Effective Email Subject Lines: A Balancing Act

boost email subject lines image

Crafting great email subject lines is a balancing act. On one hand, you want your subject line to be enticing and captivating. It can be a hard sell to get your audience to open an email, but a well-crafted subject line can tip the scales in your favor. It should captivate the reader’s attention and leave them curious for more.

A catchy email subject line, like “Uh oh, your prescription is expiring,” can stir a sense of urgency or evoke an emotion that makes it almost irresistible to open the email. On the other hand, it’s crucial to avoid spam trigger words, like “free,” “buy now,” or “earn cash,” that could land your email in the recipient’s spam folder.

Email subject line examples abound, and finding the best email subject lines often means looking at what works and why. It’s the difference between a good email subject line and a great email subject line. The best subject lines are the ones that get opened, read, and acted upon.

The Allure of Personalized Email Subject Lines

chart of email subject line examples with ranked open rates

Personalized subject lines can drastically improve the performance of your email marketing campaigns, so let’s dive a little deeper. These types of personal email subject lines leverage personal data about the recipient, such as their name, location, or behavior, to create a highly personalized message that resonates on a deeper level. A personalized email subject line can make your email stand out in the recipient’s crowded inbox and give it a much-needed personal touch.

Imagine receiving an email with the subject line, “John, your favorite toys are back in stock!” The use of your name and referencing something you’re interested in is bound to grab your attention. It feels like the email was specifically designed for you and that they were thinking about you. That’s the power of personalized email subject lines to evoke emotions inside the reader that result in them paying attention to your message and increasing the chance that they will open the email.

Here’s some great email subject line examples using personalization:

“Tom, we thought you might like these new releases.”

“You’ve Changed”

“Bill, do you remember me?”

Cold Email Subject Lines That Work

If you’ve ever had to send a cold email, you know how daunting it can be to come up with a subject line that will get your email opened and read. Cold email subject lines are tricky because you have no prior relationship with the recipient, and you need to make a strong impression.

An effective cold email subject line is straightforward and clearly states the email’s purpose. This subject line clearly states what the email is about and is likely to get opened by recipients interested in guest blogging. Here’s a few examples:

“What more could you want?”

“Tips to help increase sales during a tough time”

“Discover what’s possible with [X]”

“Introducing our guest blogging class”

Funny Email Subject Lines Grab Attention

As marketing emails flood inboxes, it can be tough to stand out. However, using a funny subject line can be a game-changer. Not only does it grab the recipient’s attention, but it also sets your email apart from the mundane. Humor humanizes your brand and makes the reader want to engage with you. Not to mention, when people enjoy their interactions with a company, they are more likely to stay loyal, increasing your long-term ROI. A study by Emma found that emails with a humorous subject line saw a 21% higher open rate than serious or formal ones. So, go ahead, flex your comedic muscles and see your email open rates and click-through rates soar. Here’s a few great examples:

“Is It Too Late Now to Say Sorry?”

“Click me; I’m French.”

“There’s probably a cookie in here.”

“Help us stop the bad guys. Buy our product.”

Avoid the Spam Folder with the Right Subject Lines

Crafting the perfect subject line is just half the battle. Even with a great email subject line, your email marketing campaign can fall flat if your emails end up in the spam folder. Ber mindful not to use spam trigger words, such as “free,” “guarantee,” or “no cost,” that could trigger spam filters. When writing your next subject line, remember to avoid making false promises; aim to keep it real, relevant, and enticing. After all, the email subject line makes the first impression. If your subject line can catch your reader’s attention, you’ve won half the battle.

Spam filters also tend to flag emails with subject lines in all caps or with multiple exclamation points. To make sure your emails reach the inbox, keep your subject lines simple, relevant, and genuine.

scribbling an email subject line

Newsletter Subject Lines to Boost Open Rates

Newsletters are a critical part of many email marketing strategies. However, creating newsletter subject lines that pique interest and compel opens can be challenging. The best email subject lines for newsletters are often concise, descriptive, and provide a clear idea of what the content is about. Great subject lines can significantly increase the open rates of your newsletters. Add some different subject lines with a bit of personalization or curiosity to boost the open rates even further while potentially improving your click through rates as well. Here’s a few examples:

A great subject line for a newsletter could be: “Your July Tech Digest is here!” This is direct and gives the recipient a clear idea of what to expect in the email.

“Your April Marketing Digest” or “The Latest News from XYZ Corp” are simple subject lines, yet they set clear expectations about the email content.

Sales Email Subject Lines That Drive Action

email inbox showing sales subject line

Sales emails aim to drive conversions. As such, your sales email subject lines should create a sense of urgency, leverage scarcity, or offer unique value to the recipient. One stellar example of this could be a subject line like, “Price dropped on your favorite item – Grab it now!” This effectively grabs the recipient’s attention and generates curiosity. Check out these other sales email subject line examples:

“Limited time offer: Get 20% off your first purchase!”

“Don’t miss out on our biggest sale of the year!”

“Exclusive offer: Buy one, get one free!”

The Secret to Writing Good Email Subject Lines

Writing good email subject lines is no walk in the park. It requires a keen understanding of your audience, their interests, and their pain points. You need to tap into their curiosity, offer value, and create a sense of urgency.

Here are some additional examples of good email subject lines:

“Jane, your prescription is ready for pickup!”

“Only a few spots left for our guest blogging class.”

“Uh-oh, your membership is about to expire!”


Remember, writing effective subject lines that stand out requires creativity, understanding your audience, and constant testing and refinement. The people reading your emails are just that, people. We’ll leave you with one last tip to continue you on the right path: for the next 10 days, be mindful each time you open your own inbox and pay attention to which one’s catch your eye! Whether it be some unique welcome email subject lines, funny or catchy subject lines, or just some interesting subject line keywords, this will help you generate further ideas when writing subject lines for your own campaigns.

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