20 examples of Email Subject lines that work well in Email Marketing

17 October, 2017 by NewsMDirector
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subject lines that work well in email marketing

Using subject lines that work in email marketing is one of the keys to your messages achieving their desired results. It’s entirely possible that you have the perfect content, an incredible design and call to action that doesn’t leave anyone indifferent. But, who is going to know what exactly is hidden in your email if no one decides to open it?

You can go and see for yourself, if you open up your inbox you will probably have a fairly wide range of emails waiting to be opened. Some will be promotional, others transactional or informative newsletters. But what makes you choose to open one email over another? What you see at first glance: The subject!

Take a look through your emails and see what catches your eye. What’s so special about them? At the moment there is a lot of competition amongst brands, and making their products stand out from everyone else is difficult, especially when you only have between 30 to 70 words to play with to grab the users attention. Would you like to find out how to create flashy, attractive messages that explain what you are offering as well as impacting the reader?

We know that writing titles that work well in email marketing can sometimes give you a headache so that’s why we are bringing you 20 great examples that will help inspire you to create the best subject lines for your emails:

Subject lines that work in Email marketing

1.- Include numbers with decimals

By including specific numbers it gives the subscriber the impression that you know what you are talking about. It gives you a more professional image as it shows that you have compared and contrasted your data.

The recipient will always value detailed numbers more than just general information and they will also notice that you have done your research.

Here are some examples of subjects that work:

  • “3,21 kg in a week without feeling hungry”
  • “Find out how to make a campaign on Twitter with €0,01”

2.- Humanize the percentages

Closely connected to the above example, is the trick of using percentages. Do you want your readers to know that you fully understand the subject you are talking about?

People love statistics. There isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t receive at least some kind of data. But that doesn’t mean we know how to use it. They only work to give us an overview of what is being transmitted.

It’s a good idea to try and humanize the numbers that you give since it can sometimes be hard for the user to comprehend exactly what is being shown and that’s why making a rule of three seems lazy and unnecessary. Why don’t they just give us the information?

For example, a subject like “99 out of every 100 men have problems sleeping. Except 1…” will work better for you than “99% of men have problems sleeping. Except for 1%…”

3.- Exclamation and Question marks

The intimacy of the interaction is key. Why not act like a friend? Nowadays, we are used to using more colloquial style of language in digital spaces like Whatsapp, where it is commonplace to see multiple question marks being used for emphasis.

By taking advantage of this technique you will be able write great titles that really work in email marketing, for example you could use subjects like:

  • Are you seriously going to miss it?? You’re definitely going to regret it!!
  • “Don’t you know what just happened, you have to find out!!”

We are so accustomed to brands sending us more serious emails that treat us with respect and keeping us at a distance. That’s why these kinds of subject will really grab the attention of the reader. However, don´t cross the line. You should always maintain a little distance.

4.- Using special characters

The main aim of a good email-marketing subject is that, above all, they really stand out from everyone else and so anything that you can do to make that happen is welcomed.

That being said, you should be careful when using special characters because the recipient’s inbox could perceive the message as spam. So it is a good idea not to go too overboard with this technique.

For example:

  • “Include [ VIDEO ] of how to make an infographic in 3 minutes”
  • “{Include Photos} Homemade recipe to improve your skin“.

5.- Emoticons

We are continually trying to stand out from one another and so maybe a good trick to try and do this would be to use popular emoticons. In fact, thanks to their colourful look you will get the readers attention straightaway.


  • “20 ideas for success on Valentines day”
  • “Who has a 60% discount today?”

6.- Use the first words for the important issues

As with all communications of this type, the most important part is the beginning. If you leave the most important information to the end, the user might not read it or even think it is important enough to pay attention to.

Don’t waste the opportunity to show what really has value from the beginning and leave out any unnecessary words that just act as filler. This is essential if you want to create email-marketing subjects that really work well.

  • “3×1 on light bulbs, today only” instead of “Throughout today there will be a promotion on light bulbs”

Do you see the difference?

7.- The text should be straightforward and to the point

We often make the mistake of wanting to tell the reader everything in the subject for fear that they won’t open the email and in doing this we tend to give excessive explanations, use too many verbs, adjectives, etc.

And the only thing we get from it, is that the sentences are either not very well understood or they are quite long and boring.

Take advantage of a direct phrase like “ We finally open on Thursday!” rather than saying: “Dear customer, we would like to inform you that we will be opening next Thursday.”

8.- Don’t include the name of the sender in the subject

Another common mistake that we make is that of including our name in the subject. As you already know, titles should be clear, short and concise. Don’t keep repeating the same thing over and over because it’s not effective.

For that reason it is better to go for a subject like “The value of SMS Marketing” rather than: “At MDirector we tell you why it is important to adopt SMS Marketing strategies”.

However, you must remember to send it from an email account that contains the brand’s name so that the user can still see who it has come from.

9.- Pose questions

Try starting your communications by posing questions to your readers that will automatically put them in a position where they answer in their head. If the answer is positive they will probably open your email and read it. However, it is important to know how to ask these questions.

Do you want to save €30 on each email campaign? The answer is either yes or no.

What would you do if you could save two hours of work a day? The answer makes the recipient think about the benefits of having more free time.

10.- Creating curiosity

Are you looking for another technique to grab someone’s attention? There’s nothing like planting the seed of curiosity to make the user want to know more. Using these kinds of headlines will always leave little bit of doubt and make the user question whether they have all of the information of if they are still missing something.

You can take advantage of phrases like: “Do you know why you should use Facebook in sales?” or “6 reasons for starting your Email Marketing strategy today”.

11.- Reference your target

Thanks to the ability to segment your database you will have more information available to you about your target such as where they live, what they like, or what they do and by using some of theses detailed characteristics you can send them appropriate and relevant messages.

  • “5 applications that every Community Manager needs”.
  • “Plans for this rainy weekend in Bilbao”
  • “7 bars to have a great night out in Moncloa”

12.- Addressing the reader by name

A personalised email that speaks to the readers using their own name will help to project a closer relationship and come across as more friendly.

  • “Maria, we know that you have a sweet tooth and so you are going to love these recipes”
  • “Do you know what day it is today, Diego?”
  • “These 5 tricks are designed for you, John”

13.- Including the name of the product or service

Although it’s not a good idea to include your company’s name in the email subject line but it is sometimes necessary to remind the recipient of the name of your latest product.

Occasionally repeating the name of your last acquisition can make it stick in the recipient’s memory and make it sound more familiar in the long run. A good example of this is:

  • “Landing Optimizer, the solution for those who don’t know anything about design”

14.- Sharing your clients opinions

A good way of generating confidence with users is by showing them what others think of your brand. But not only that, you can also share their experiences with your product or services.

In fact, most of the time it is the users themselves that actively seek out opinions in order to sway their final decision when buying a product or service. Give them that information and you will increase the number of opens.

  • “Our clients have spoken, find out what they have said about us”

15.- Creating a sense of urgency

Generating the feeling of scarcity, that there are only a few items left is a good way to push the recipient into buying them. What if they have left their shopping cart with the same item in it? What better tactic to encourage you to complete the buying process than to showing that the product is running out?

See how the following example, creates the need to leap into action straight away:

  • “Last Day!! 20% off products from the new season”

16.- Include keywords

If you already work in the digital marketing world you don’t need to be reminded on the importance of keywords. If you use keywords in the subject lines of your bulk mailings you will get the conversion from the user which will in turn take them to your landing page.

  • “Steps for creating the best email subject lines”
  • “The keys to generating conversions with your landing page”

17.- “How”

Your subject line must generate a reaction from each reader. You should try to take them to different places, make them think, pique their curiosity and present them new objectives. You can do this by using the word “HOW” to create expectations.

Thus, the reader will automatically expect answers and solutions to a subject that they probably had never given a second thought to up until that moment

  • “How to cook the perfect omelette”
  • “Discover how to be in fashion without spending a penny”
  • “How to increases your subscriptions with just a click”

18.- Keep social networks in mind

A good practice for an email marketing campaign would be to include social network buttons, this way you will revitalize your content.

Subjects have to be thought about in terms of how they are going to be shared. Bet on titles that manage to fit into the limitations of Twitter for example, it will help you to be more concise without losing context.

  • “5 places you cant afford to miss this Spring”

19. Take advantage of special dates

Birthdays, anniversaries, special days… Everything you can think of, leave nothing out, anything goes! In addition, sending personalised emails on these days will really help to humanise your brand.

  • “Happy Anniversary Marta! Today we have been together for a year, would you like to know what your gift is?

20.- Create a helpful subject

If you have a company that specialises in something, take advantage of that wisdom and help the users with any problems or needs that they may have. Users look the Internet for solutions to a great deal of their problems so get ahead of them, and help resolve their doubts. Like this title:

  • “Tricks not to fall into the trap of..”

These are just some of the techniques that you should be using in order to create subject lines that work in email marketing. Don’t delay, start using the ones that you like and see the improvement in your email marketing campaign’s results.

Do you want to try out any of these examples and see which ones work best for your business? Create your campaign with MDirector in just a few minutes. In this professional email marketing software you have all the tools necessary to put together creative email subject lines that will be the basis for your digital marketing success. Sign up to MDirector today!

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