In today's digital age, all of our inboxes are all but overflowing.
As a marketing specialist, you know how crucial it is to grab readers’ attention quickly — and creatively — if you ever want your emails to be opened in the first place.
As email specialists ourselves, we’ve seen it all when it comes to email subject lines. And today, we’re going to share our experience with you.
In this article, we’ll cover all things subject lines, including:
- Why a good email subject line matters
- Best practices for crafting great subject lines
- Tools to help write catchy subject lines
- 90 examples of the best email subject lines
- How to make sure your emails don’t bounce with NeverBounce
If you’re ready to get your hands on tools and inspiration that will help you write better subject lines that get more opens — let’s get right into it.
Why a Good Email Subject Line Matters
What do you see when you open up your email inbox?
Sender’s names, subject lines, and a little preview text — the short snippet that appears right after the subject line.
That means the subject line is the single most powerful tool for adding context to your message and capturing the attention of your recipient.
And once you’ve got their attention?
It also needs to compel recipients to open your email.
It can do so by offering some kind of value, building trust with your brand, tapping into fear of missing out (FOMO), and applying other engagement tricks.
So, right after we explore best practices to help you nail execution, we’ll dive into examples of some of the best email subject lines that will help you bring it all together and pull off the above tactics.
Email Subject Line Best Practices
To help you create captivating subject lines that stand out in a crowded inbox, we have compiled a list of best practices to keep in mind.
Be Brief But Complete (When Possible)
One really effective tactic for creating engaging subject lines is to keep them concise and clear when possible.
Email experts have found that briefer subject lines — those less than 20 characters, specifically — stand out to recipients because they’re uniquely short.
Of course, this won’t work for every message. And, it’s even more powerful when you don’t try to do it with every single email.
When you have the opportunity, try to hold back some information and create short, punchy subject lines that are easy to comprehend and pique curiosity.
Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
According to HubSpot, personalization is one of the most effective strategies for creating successful sales emails and email marketing campaigns.
Adding a touch of personalization can increase email open rates because it makes the recipient feel appreciated and like clicking into and reading your email will be worth their while.
To personalize emails, try one or more of these tactics:
- Include recipient names in subject lines
- Add information related to their past purchases or behaviors
- Detail relevant promotions, such as one related to their purchase history, location, etc.
Always be Testing
Don’t underestimate the power of testing different subject lines to see what language performs the best.
Deploy A/B testing or split testing by using similar subject lines with similar groups of email recipients. This way, you can accurately compare performance metrics to identify higher open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, etc.
Don’t be Afraid to Get Emotional
Tapping into emotion can be another powerful technique for crafting catchy subject lines.
Triggering emotions such as excitement, urgency, or even humor can make your subject line shine in a sea of hum-drum emails and inspire a click to learn more.
Prioritize Mobile Users
Today, the majority of email opens are happening on smart mobile devices.
That’s why it’s crucial that your subject lines look great on mobile. For the most part, length is what you need to think about here. Be mindful of character limits to ensure your carefully-crafted subject line isn’t cut off on smaller screens.
Tools That Will Help You Create Catchy Email Subject Lines
By utilizing these tools alongside industry best practices, you’ll be well equipped to consistently produce attention-grabbing subject lines.
The email subject line tester from CoSchedule quickly analyzes subject lines to provide a score based on factors such as word choice, length, and emotional impact.
It offers tons of actionable tips for improvement, helping you create better-performing subject lines.
Send Check It
Send Check It’s email subject line tester also allows you to test your email subject lines before sending them out.
Once you paste your line into the tool — and give them your information — a screen comes up that rates it based on scannability, reading level, length, sentiment, punctuation, and more. It also provides a preview of what it may look like on desktop as well as mobile.
With the email subject line generator from ActiveCampaign, you simply choose your keyword and keyword category and the tool uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create several suggested subject lines.
Grammarly’s professional email writer tool also uses AI automation to help marketers create email subject lines and content based on your audience, tone, and a description of the email copy you want to get across.
Grammarly as a product also ensures clear messaging free from grammatical errors or awkward phrasing — vital for maintaining professionalism and enhancing reader engagement.
The Best Email Subject Lines are Nothing if Your Emails Bounce
Ensuring that your email subject lines are attention-grabbing and compelling is just one part of the equation for successful email campaigns.
Even the very best subject lines won't make a difference if your emails bounce.
An email bounce is when your message fails to reach the intended recipient's inbox because the email address is misspelled, outdated, fake, etc.
Bounces are bad for business because of their negative impact on your sender reputation. A poor reputation can cause even more bounces to take place in the future.
To minimize bounced emails and maximize the effectiveness of your email campaigns, you need to keep your emails clean and verified with a platform like NeverBounce.
To use Clean on your email lists, just upload them into your NeverBounce dashboard or integrate the tooling into your workflow using our application programming interface (API).
Another way to keep your email lists high quality is to check each new address you get right at the collection source.
With those cleaned and verified emails at your fingertips, our last tip for improving deliverability is to not overuse them.
Pay attention to how frequently you send emails, because this can also have an impact on deliverability. Sending too many messages quickly may set off spam filters, or annoy recipients into marking your messages as spam or unsubscribing — which is detrimental to your sender reputation.
90 of the Best Email Subject Lines for 2023
Now, let’s explore 90 email subject lines that will help your messages get attention and clicks in 2023 and beyond.
10 Follow-Up Email Subject Lines That Guarantee a Response
Writing a follow-up email is a special art.
And getting folks to open it all starts with a good subject line.
Follow-up emails, in particular, require subject lines that are enticing and personalized enough to jog the recipient’s memory about a previous interaction and get them to engage with the message inside.
Here are some examples of lines that should help you elicit a response:
- Any updates on [specific topic]?
- Our conversation at [event/meeting]: Taking the next step
- Did you receive my previous email?
- Looking forward to your response
- Quick question: Can we reconnect this week?
- [Name], I have a solution for [pain point/issue discussed]
- [Name], let's discuss how we can move forward!
- Meeting request: Exploring opportunities for collaboration
- Following up regarding [specific topic]
- How can I help you with [problem they mentioned]?
10 Great Email Subject Line Examples That Inspire FOMO
One really effective email strategy to engage readers?
Inspire FOMO through creating a sense of urgency or exclusivity.
These email subject line examples offer a mix of urgency, exclusivity, curiosity, and personalization techniques to build FOMO and boost open rates.
Experiment with different approaches to discover what resonates best with your target audience and watch your email engagement soar!
- Last chance: Offer expires in 24 hours
- You're invited: Join our exclusive webinar with industry experts
- Don't miss out
- Unlock VIP access and be the first to see our [new product, new sale, etc.]
- Limited spaces available! Reserve yours today
- Congrats! You unlocked a secret sale
- Your personalized discount code awaits...
- Still thinking it over? Take advantage of this follow-up offer
- Flash sale alert
- You're missing out on valuable opportunities
10 Question Subject Lines That Stir Up a Little Curiosity
When it comes to crafting email subject lines that catch attention, curiosity is a powerful tool.
Try a few of these subject lines to tap into the reader's curiosity and compel them to open the email to find out more.
- Want to know a secret?
- Did you forget about us?
- Have you seen this shocking statistic?
- How to solve your biggest [business] challenge right now
- Ready for a game-changing [offer]?
- Are you making these costly mistakes?
- Guess which expert just recommended us…
- Looking for proven ways to [achieve a relevant goal]?"
- Want to see *exactly* how we [achieve something]?
- Don’t open this if you don’t want to [achieve a relevant goal]
10 Good Subject Lines That Poke a Pain Point
Ready to poke at recipient pain points?
These subject lines grab attention by cutting right to your recipient's challenges or problems, highlighting the benefits or solutions you can offer.
- Struggling with [pain point]? We've got the solution!
- Say goodbye to [pain point] once and for all
- [Name], ready to conquer [pain point] together?
- Don't let [pain point] hold you back
- Tired of dealing with [pain point]? Here's how we can help
- Discover a foolproof way to overcome [pain point]
- [Name], this might be the answer to your [pain point]
- Is [pain point] keeping you up at night?
- [Pain point]: Meet your worst enemy
- You don't have to suffer with [pain point] any longer
10 Cold Email Subject Lines: How to Grab Attention and Get Results
Sometimes, cold calling — or cold emailing — is necessary to get in touch with your ideal leads.
When sending cold emails, it’s important you get to know the recipient as well as possible. You want to be able to craft unique, value-adding, personalized email subject lines that show them there’s much to gain from opening and interacting with your message.
- Increase your [metric] by X% with these tips (freebie!)
- Do you have 5 minutes for a quick chat, [Name]?
- Limited time offer: [relevant discount/product]
- Introducing [relevant discount/product]: You don't want to miss this!
- [Name], this will save you HOURS
- Epic solution for [relevant pain point] inside…
- Congratulations on [relevant achievement]!
- [Mutual connection] suggested I reach out
- [Name]: We found your secret weapon for success
- I saw you had problems with [relevant pain point]
10 Types of Subject Lines That Tap Into Humor
Humor is one of the more unique marketing strategies when it comes to crafting email subject lines that entice recipients to open your message.
By incorporating clever wordplay or references into your email subject lines, you can capture recipient attention and show off your personality as a brand.
Here are a handful of examples that apply humor:
- Who says Mondays have to be boring?
- You deserve a break (and some killer Black Friday deals)
- We’re putting the “fun” in funds with these budget-friendly options
- Spilling the beans on our secret sale!
- $X off — Just because we like you more than pizza (almost)
- Feeling lucky? Our exclusive giveaway is just a click away!
- Look what you made us do… (send you a great deal!)
- Emergency: Your [product category] needs an upgrade — stat!
- Free puppy with every purchase! Just kidding, but wouldn't that be great?
- Caught you looking!
10 Best Short Email Subject Lines
As we mentioned, short subject lines are quite effective because they’re special.
These examples demonstrate how you can use concise language to grab eyeballs in a congested inbox.
- Quick question
- Exclusive offer
- Last chance!
- Just for you
- Introducing [product/service]
- [Name], we have an important update
- No, I’m not kidding
- [Recipient's company] + [your company]
- [Event name] happening soon!
- Fwd: Quick reminder
10 Best Welcome Email Subject Lines
When someone makes their first purchase or signs up for an email newsletter or webinar, welcome emails are the perfect opportunity to make a great first impression.
These welcome email subject lines will help you set the tone for future communications with subscribers, attendees, and customers.
- Thank you for joining us!
- Get ready to dive into our awesome [relevant product, event, etc.]
- Welcome aboard! Here's your exclusive VIP code
- You're in! Let's start this journey together
- Cheers to new beginnings — welcome to our community!
- We've been waiting for you! Let's get started
- Your guide to success starts now
- Welcome, [Name]! Get ready for amazing offers just for you
- [Your company name]: Where dreams come true. Welcome!
- [Name], say hello to exciting opportunities
10 Personalized Subject Lines: The Secret Sauce for Successful Emails
Some of the best email subject lines are those that are tailored to the individual you're reaching out to.
By personalizing the subject line to address them, their industry, their interests, or a previous purchase; you can develop a sense of connection and drive engagement. Look to social media such as LinkedIn to find information for personalization.
Try some of these personalized subject line examples to find the secret sauce for successful emails.
- [Name], need help with [their product/service]?
- [Name], a special offer just for you!
- Hey [Name], want to stand out from [their competitor name]?
- Attention [Name]: Your [their product/service] needs a makeover
- [Name], this tool will revolutionize your [their product/service]
- How to make the most of your [their previous purchase]
- Abandoned cart alert! Come back for a healthy discount, [Name]
- Looking for solutions for [their product/service]? Check this out [Name]!
- [Name], here's how our services can skyrocket [a relevant metric]
- Here’s a [your product/service] that works with your [their previous purchase]
What *Not* to do When Creating Email Subject Lines
When it comes to creating the best email subject lines, there are definitely some practices that you should avoid.
Here are a few things to steer clear of when working hard craftin’ all those clever subject lines.
Get Too Generic
Unless you’re going for the shock value of a super-short email subject line, avoid using language that feels really vague or generic. These types of lines can provide little value or context, making them easy for people to ignore.
Instead, try to be specific and of course personalized in subject lines when possible. Clearly convey the purpose or benefit linked to opening the email.
Be Overly Excited
While it's important to grab attention, it’s possible to go too far.
Excessive exclamation marks, use of all caps, and anything that generally comes across as “yelling” may be perceived as spammy or clickbait. Turning off recipients and causing them to ignore or, worse, unsubscribe or send your emails to the spam folder.
Only Send Promotes
Just like some marketing emails can feel excessively excited, they can also feel way too promotional.
Sending too many emails that are only trying to sell your product or service in a row can start to annoy your audience. So can language that comes across as desperation to make a sale.
Go Forth and Craft Top-Notch Emails
Subject lines are a big part of successfully executing email.
But of course, they aren’t everything.
If you need tips on creating the body of the email, we’ve got several articles you’ll be interested in.
- Learn all the tricks of writing a professional email
- Here’s how to craft closing email phrases that inspire the action you’re looking
- These email marketing designs will help you generate awesome experiences for recipients
Between these guides and the subject line tools, best practices, and examples we’ve provided in this article — you’ll be well-equipped to make a lasting impression with every email you send.