Research shows that 47% of email recipients decide to open an email based solely on the subject line. On the other hand, a massive 69% of email subscribers simply mark emails as spam based on the subject line alone.
What does that tell us?
Your subject line needs to be spot on if you want your email engagement and conversion to go up. But writing the perfect subject line is super tricky, we know.
That’s why we’ve compiled 105 email subject line examples to make life easier for you. No matter the occasion, whether you’re welcoming new customers or trying to re-engage old ones, you’ll find great examples for all possible subject lines here.
19 Different Types of Subject Lines (+ Examples)
There are various email categories all marketers know of, such as promotional emails or cart abandonment emails. Naturally, every category also comes with its own type of subject line.
You can’t use the same “Hello David, welcome to our site” subject line when the email is about your latest Father’s Day sale.
But fret not, because we’ve got examples you can easily use for every kind of subject line known to humankind. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
When a new subscriber or customer signs up, send them a friendly hello to start your relationship on the right foot. This is the only opportunity you have to make the perfect first impression, so make good use of it by writing the best subject line ever.
Here are some welcome email subject line examples you can use as inspiration:
- Welcome! Here’s some free stuff as a thank you for joining
- Welcome to the start of a beautiful friendship, David
- Thanks for signing up. Let’s get you started…
- A warm ☀️ welcome to our newest subscriber!
- Just signed up? Best. Decision. Ever!
- Nice to meet you. It only gets better from here
These subject lines don’t beat around the bush at all. They’re straightforward and give a rundown of the email’s primary purpose, so your reader can decide if they want to open the email to read further.
Such subject lines are typically used for upcoming events or updates that affect the customer or relate to your business. You’ll understand better once we go over these sample subject lines:
- [Important store update]: Our operating hours are changing
- Upcoming launch event (you don’t want to miss this)
- Your order just shipped. Yay 🥳
- Sign up now for our upcoming webinar series with Oracle
- We’re moving 🚗 to a location near you soon
Adding a touch of personalization to your subject lines helps create trust and establish better, longer-lasting relationships. It shows your customers that you view them as more than just a data point in your email list.
Let’s see these elements in action with a few personalized email subject line examples:
- Hey David, here are your updates from last week
- Happy birthday! 🎂 Use code [BDAYCAKE] for a little gift
- How time flies… It's been a year since we’ve known you!
- Noticed you’re looking for 👠 - here’s some you might like
- Valentine’s is almost here. Surprise her with this gift set
Curiosity doesn’t just kill the cat; it’s also a great marketing tool to prompt your readers to take a specific action.
These subject lines don’t spell it all out in black and white, they leave some room for mystery. This piques the reader’s curiosity and their need to know more, driving them to open and further read the email.
Build your reader’s curiosity with these intriguing email subject line examples:
- (Mostly) good news! Exciting things are happening
- Don’t open this email if you’re trying to save 💰💰
- We did the thing we said we wouldn’t (but it’s a good thing)
- Why Opera thinks you should freeze your clothes 🤯
- The FIRST thing to do this Christmas morning
- We’ve been waiting months to say this to you…
Another great way to personalize your subject lines is based on your customer’s location. But there are various ways you can incorporate location into your subject lines, which is why this type deserves its own section.
Location-based subject lines aren’t limited to updates about your company, such as any sales you’re having in a specific locality. They can also be more general about events and happenings in that area since that is content your readers can benefit from and engage with.
Let’s look at some location-based email subject line examples:
- 20% off raincoats for this confusing New York weather
- Weekly Updates: Concerts happening this weekend in Avalon
- Show up, Boston! Tickets to the Celtics’ next game on sale
- Ditch the Florida heat 🥵 Book cheap flights to Alaska now!
- VIP pass to the Red Brewery soft launch at Arlington St.
How-to emails give your readers beneficial instructions on a particular topic, and the subject line must reflect that.
This means you don’t have much wiggle room for creativity because you must write precisely what the email is about. So if the email has the recipe for a garden salad, your subject line should reflect that with something like, “How to prepare the most scrumptious garden salad ever.”
Here are more examples of how-to subject lines:
- How to impress dad this Father’s Day: here’s our gift guide
- How to get the most out of your Dyson vacuum cleaner
- How to win Employee of the Month - 5 productivity tips
- How to take portraits with your Fujifilm polaroids 📸
- How to feed your family using Thanksgiving leftovers
If you communicate a sense of urgency in your subject line, it automatically triggers the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) response in your customer’s mind.
What’s the FOMO response?
When your customers are afraid they might miss out on a great offer or sale, they act quickly to grab the deal.
The fun thing about such subject lines is that they’re an excellent opportunity to use a wide range of emojis such as the timer, clock, or hourglass. Here’s what we mean:
- Only 4 seats left on this flight ✈️
- Tick tock…time is running out on this fantastic deal
- 30% off on all shoes. Hurry, you’re missing out!
- Your discount code [JULY20] expires tonight
- Uh-oh, your trial ends soon ⏳ Upgrade your plan now
- HO HO HO! Last day to shop our holiday sale
In this age where Instagram and TikTok introduce new trends daily, who doesn’t need a little help keeping up with what’s cool and what’s not. Help your readers by letting them know the latest trends in your sphere, whether it’s tech, fashion, sports, or lifestyle.
Highlighting these latest fascinations in your subject lines will excite your readers into instantly opening your email. Worried about what sort of subject lines to write? We have examples, locked and loaded for you to use:
- Here’s what Haily Bieber uses for Insta-approved beach waves
- Ring ring! It’s the 70s, and they’re bringing back corduroy
- In case you missed it: latest TikTok cooking hacks 🍳
- Confused about crypto? Here’s everything you need to know
- What are the cool kids talking about these days? We know!
Looking for a genuinely attention-grabbing subject line? Saying something controversial is the way to go.
A fair warning, though: use this type of subject line at your own risk. While it can produce great results for you, it can also bring negative consequences. You don’t want to anger any customers, so be careful.
These examples will better explain what we mean by controversial email subject lines:
- Why your current Quality Assurance team sucks
- Is your brand stuck in the stone age?
- Let’s talk about why you need to let your customers go
- Everything you know about graphic design is WRONG
- Why these 3 platforms need to shut down immediately
The human mind is naturally drawn to organization, finding it easier to skim lists than reading paragraphs. And if you add a number to that list, such as “5 best garden salad recipes to lose weight,” it’s a sure-fire way to build interest.
That is why mentioning lists in subject lines has become a common tactic to draw in more readers. Here’s how you can mention lists in your subject lines:
- 5 must-attend talks at MailCon 2022
- 8 email marketing mistakes most rookies make
- 10 celebrities who need to be ❌ canceled ❌ in 2022
- 6 recipes to elevate your Thanksgiving leftovers
- 3 must-have maxi dresses for your next beach vacay
- 101 email subject line examples to boost engagement
Adding statistics helps bring a sense of authority to what you’re saying and increases the chances of readers opening your email. Instead of writing vague statements, send out crisp subject lines with data-driven claims at the forefront.
Let’s look at two possible subject lines.
Which one piqued your interest more? Clearly, the first one, since it objectively tells you exactly how much improvement you can expect.
Here are more ways you can add statistics to your subject lines:
- Email list not growing? These tips will help grow it by 50%
- 87% chance of rain today - time to buy a raincoat, perhaps?
- Learn how I increased my ROI by a whopping 300%!
- 8% of men are color blind. Are you? Take the test today
- 95% of NBA final tickets already sold - get yours now
Adding questions in your subject lines, especially open-ended questions, creates an instant dialogue with your audience. It makes your readers wonder what the answer to that question is, prompting them to go through your email to quench their curiosity.
Let’s look at some question-based email subject line examples to help you understand better:
- Are you coming? Soft launch on 09/17/2022
- What do you think about this color palette?
- Quick question: do you like our updated website?
- Are you still looking for a vintage record player?
- Vanilla or chocolate? We need to know
- Can you trick yourself into getting more sleep?
Humans are emotional beings, easily swayed by emotions. The trick is to pick the right words that trigger the right emotions. You don’t want to hit the wrong nerve and drive someone away from your brand.
There are so many different emotions that we feel. So it comes as no surprise that there are several types of emotional subject lines you can come up with. Here are a few examples:
- All dad wants for his birthday this year: your time
- Would you give 5 minutes to save an animal’s life?
- Make your parents proud by working on yourself - sign up now
- Your body does so much for you. Time to reward it?
- You. Winters. Cozy sweaters. Mug of cocoa. Shop now
Adding humor to your subject lines is an excellent way to build emotional connections with your audience. Humor keeps things lighthearted, making everything more relatable and fun for your readers.
The cleverer your puns are, the more likely you are to attract readers. Just don’t overdo it, though; there definitely is a thing as too many puns.
How do you make subject lines funny? We’ve got you covered with these email subject line examples:
- Black Friday is coming - get your one-click finger ready! 👆🏼
- Dad deserves it all. Best we can do is this grooming set
- She’s not like a regular mom. She’s a cool mom 😎
- You get a freebie. You get a freebie. Everyone gets a freebie
- I saw your browser history (you watch too much New Girl)
- Best Amazon party dress to make your ex regret leaving you
15. Pain points
Focusing on your customers’ pain points and highlighting them in the subject line makes your email hyper-relevant. This also shows how you understand your customers and constantly work towards providing them with a better experience.
Here’s how you incorporate pain points into your subject lines:
- It’s okay, we can’t assemble Ikea furniture either 🛠
- Too tired to cook? We’ve got you covered
- Daydreaming about your next vacation? Book one now!
- Get more storage space with these easy hacks
- Your hot girl summer outfit dilemmas SOLVED 💃🏻
- Confused about the world of NFTs? Let us explain
So many holidays, so little time. And with every holiday come exciting deals and discounts. Even if you don’t have any special offers going on, simply wishing your readers a happy holiday goes a long way in establishing a good customer relationship.
Holiday subject lines are super fun to write because you can make hilarious puns or play around with relevant emojis to make your email stand out. Let’s look at some examples:
- Time to unleash your inner Santa. 15% off all costumes
- Thanksgiving Special: Why did the turkey 🦃 cross the road?
- Don’t be such a Grinch this holiday season. Get busy giving
- Best spots to watch the 4th of July fireworks 2022 💥💥
- Happy Holidays from the [Company Name] family to yours
- New year, same old us: shop our vintage watch collection
In situations where your readers aren’t responding to previous emails, do you just let it slide? Obviously not - you send a follow-up email. Not replying doesn’t mean your reader isn’t interested, it just means it probably slipped their mind, or they need a little push to get them over the edge.
Here’s a list of follow-up email subject line examples:
- We’d love to know your thoughts 🤔💭
- Do you still want to hear from us?
- Hey David, what did you think of Horizon Zero?
- How’s your recent laptop purchase treating you? Let us know!
- Did you get a chance to look at our holiday gift 🎁 guide?
Sometimes, life isn’t fair. You do everything right, and yet, your customer just leaves you high and dry. We know how it feels. But don’t just sit around and mope, try winning them back with re-engagement emails.
You can get super creative with your re-engagement email subject lines, such as:
- We miss you! Is it really over? 😢
- Forget to check out? Pick up right where you left off!
- Never gonna give you up (so please get back to us)
- Come back, we need you (like the desert needs the rain)
- It’s been a while… Here’s a discount code [WEMISSYOU]
- Let us teleport you back to your shopping cart 🛒
If you have a sale, discount, or some amazing offer going on, why hide it within the email copy? Scream it from the rooftops so no one misses this great opportunity. Okay, maybe no screaming, but you can definitely highlight it in the subject line of your sales email. Here’s how:
- Flash 🚨Sale🚨 Alert!
- One-time offer: get priority access to our summer collection
- Winter sale live NOW! This is not a drill
- $10 deal day - get ’em while you can!
- Save 30% on our annual subscription plan - act now!
- Black Friday sale sneak peek, for your eyes only 👀
Subject Line Best Practices to Make Your Emails Stand Out
You’ve seen tons of subject line types and examples, now, let’s look at how you can write engaging subject lines yourself. There are a few best practices to keep in mind, so your email doesn’t get marked as spam and gets the maximum number of conversions. Let’s see what they are.
Keep it short
You’re writing a subject line, not a dissertation, so try keeping it short. The ideal subject line length is 9 words or 60 characters.
If your subject line is longer than 9 words, then your reader won’t be able to make sense of what you’re trying to say. That can only lead to one thing: the reader instantly hitting delete.
Here’s a great email marketing tip to make your email stand out amidst the inbox clutter: add emojis to your subject lines.
The possibilities are endless when you bring emojis into the mix. Just try not to overdo it, though. A good practice is to use one to two emojis per subject line. Also, make sure it’s relevant. If you’re using a Santa emoji for a sale on your summer wardrobe, that will confuse your readers.
Hold back the exclamation marks
We know you’re excited, there’s such a fantastic deal going on, your readers need to see how big of a deal this is. How can you not add tons of exclamation marks in your subject line? We get it.
But there’s a downside to showing so much excitement - too many exclamation marks in your subject line end up looking spammy. What’s more, they can actually get your email marked as spam.
One exclamation mark is fine, and that too, only if what you’re saying is a huge deal. But anything more than that, and your reader will think it’s spam. Instead, show your excitement in other ways, by using the right words or adding fun emojis.
Don’t forget the rest of the email
Your subject line is what influences whether your audience opens your email. But once that email is open, you can no longer rely on the subject line. Your email copy and design will have to do the rest of the work and carry your email over to the finish line.
So while you’re focusing on crafting the perfect subject line, don’t ignore the rest of the email. Here are some best practices to keep in mind for your email body:
- Ensure the same tone of voice you’re using in your subject line continues through the rest of the email too
- Keep the design clean and simple, opting for mobile-friendly email layouts
- Add persuasive and straightforward CTAs (Calls To Action), so your readers know what’s the next step to take
- Break the monotony by adding graphics, GIFs, or interactive elements in there
- Try incorporating email accessibility best practices throughout your emails as well, by choosing readable fonts and high-contrast colors
Last tip - and this one will save you loads of time - instead of attempting to design a professional-looking email yourself, opt for free email templates.
This way, you can pick the design you like, customize it as you want, and then easily export the final product to all major ESPs (Email Service Providers).
Practice A/B testing
A/B testing includes creating two or more variations of your content, in this case, your subject lines. You then send these variations to your audience, with one reader receiving subject line A and the other receiving subject line B.
All that’s left to do is sit back and see which one your audience responds best to, that’s going to be your winner.
Make sure the two variations are different enough, though. Don’t just change one word in each and call it quits. Try using a statistic in one and an emoji in the other to see which one gets greater traction.
After going through 105 email subject line examples, we hope you’ve found some inspiration on how to write your own effective subject lines too. This small piece of content may seem insignificant at first, but do not make the mistake of overlooking its importance.