Writing email subject lines that open (+ examples) (2023)

Good email subject lines can mean the difference between a failed campaign and a successful one.

Writing good subject lines that will get a real person to open the email takes a lot of testing. But it is arguably one of the most important elements of an email marketing campaign!

Content to hide

1. What is an email subject line?

2. What is an email pre-header?

3. Why are email subject lines so important?

4. 7 ingredients of a subject line that converts

5. Email Subject Line Best Practices

6. 11 Tips for Writing Great Subject Lines

7. 12 examples of catchy email subject lines

8. Main outlets

9. Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some stats for you:

  • companies only have seven seconds make a good first impression on the customer;
  • A large percentage of376 billion emailssent daily remain unopened, let alone unread.

If you're an email marketer, these facts are linked by a single thread: email subject lines. In this post, we're going to focus on writing good subject lines to increase your open rates and therefore your bottom line.The Email Marketing Campaign!

What is an email subject line?

The subject line of an email is the line of text that people see when they receive an email.

It's the first impression they have of the email's content.

With a 7 word subject line and around 41 charactersis generally considered the sweet spot for subject line length.

What is an email pre-header?

This is another sometimes overlooked element of compelling email subject lines.

This is the text that follows the subject line and gives a taste of the email content. This is a second chance to get attention in your email campaign!

Why are email subject lines so important?

Email subject lines are the first contact email subscribers have with your email marketing campaigns.Learning how to find an email subject line can make or break your campaign.

The right email subject line encourages people to open, click and buy. About half of recipients open emails based on catchy subject lines alone. Nearly 70% report emails as spam on the same basis.

On the other hand, the wrong email subject line can drive customers away and even get your brand relegated to the spam folder.

No matter how well crafted your campaigns are, your efforts will be futile if your audience never views your content. This is why email marketers need to write catchy email subject lines.oneTime - no exceptions.

While the process takes some extra work, you can improve your open and click rates, increase brand awareness, and avoid the trash (or spam folder!).

Are you new to email marketing? Find out more by checking out our guide to “How To Get Started With Email Marketing!

7 ingredients of a subject line that converts

Most industries that use email marketing see a21% open rate, with 30-40% above average. But with the right email subject line, you can boost those stats.

The best email subject line tips start with a few ingredients. Think of them as your spice rack: while you don't have to use them all the time, mixing and matching can yield fantastic results.


Now more than ever, marketers can leverage data about their audience to deliver the best customer experience. Email subject lines are no exception; Alittle personalization here provides the sense of importance and connection that readers crave.

2.To use

When opening marketing emails, most people ask: "What's in it for me?

Your email subject line provides the perfect place to answer that question in advance. Including or promoting freebies, discounts, or new information can result in higher open rates from your audience.


usually subscribersRead emails to stay up to date or learn more about a brand or topic(or get a sweet discount).

Creating email subject lines that are relevant to their lives, trending topics, and their brand is a great way to generate clicks.


Most people live in chronic FOMO, or the fear of missing out.

VonCommunicate urgency in your subject line and offer a solution, you can help readers get rid of that itch. (For example, you could set a deadline for a sale or a countdown to the start of an upcoming event.)

Still, you should use this tactic sparingly. Otherwise your urgent emails will become "just another Tuesday".


Sometimes email subject lines work because they have upfront benefits. other times it isbecause they convey a riddle or a question to readersterresolver.

Engaging email subject lines often increase open rates because readers need to click through to satisfy their curiosity.


adding aRelevant celebrity name in your subject line can increase clicksbased purely on name recognition. (And a desire to know what Kim K. is currently up to.) However, only use this strategy if it fits your brand; Don't Throw Out Famous NamesJustfor recognition.

7.attractive views

Views aren't necessarily part of your subject line, but they're almost as important.. Preview text gives you a quick look at the content of your email next to the subject line.

Use this opportunity to supplement your subject line and further engage with your audience.

Email subject line best practices

Each email campaign has its own purpose, which means that the email subject lines must match this.

As the style, tone, and direction of your subject lines change, following these best practices will help you get the most out of your online marketing efforts.

Determine the CTA – if available

Not every email subject line needs a call-to-action, but every email does.

if you meIntegrate your CTA into your subject line, use it to let recipients know why they should open it, either to get free content or to get important information.

Segment your lists

Many marketersSend emails to everyone on your lists. But sometimes it causes more confusion than clicks. For example, if you send a list of the best "local" bars to someone 3,000 miles away, you're not being fair.noprovide relevance; They show that you don't know your readers.

Keep this in mind when creating that ultra-personalized subject line.

If you're not sure how to segment your email list,Tailwind Email Marketing ToolIt has super simple features that allow you to create segments as specific as you need to engage your audience.

Just open Tailwind Email in your dashboard, navigate to Contacts and click Manage Lists!

Haven't started using Tailwind's marketing suite yet? You can easily manage your social media platforms, email marketing and campaign planning all in one place.Explore our suite of time-saving marketing tools with a free forever plan!

Use personalization tokens

You've heard about appreciation - now we're talking about personalization.

search showsthat including the recipient's first name in email subject lines can lead to a higher click-through rate.

But it doesn't have to be just names! Places, businesses, and hobbies can also create a sense of familiarity.

That said, you don't want to get too personal too often so you don't feel creepy. Sporadic little touches every now and then should suffice.

Personalization is very easy to set up. Here's how to do it in Tailwind Email! First add an attribute for first_name.

When a new subscriber joins your list, be sure to fill in the first_name field. If you add this field to your subject line, your attribute (your subscribers first name) will appear in the subject line.

Avoid spam traps

Various subject line factors can motivate readers to senddirectly tospam folder. Or even worse, the email spam filter does it automatically.

Some spam traps look like this:

  • High punctuation marks (LIKE ALL CAPS and lots of exclamation marks!!!!)
  • Include multiple types of punctuation in the same subject line !?*–/!}{
  • Aggressively promotional or clickbait-like language ("FREE!", "Buy Now!", "Get $$$ Today!")
  • Weird spacing issues
  • Special or unreadable fonts
  • False or misleading statements not completed in your email copy

Instead of focusing on that “one-of-a-kind” advertising style, try offering experience, information, or even a little wit to build real connections.Also, make sure your email provider uses built-in best practices to avoid spam traps or violations of federal law. Tailwind Email was designed with these factors in mind.

Plan your emails wisely

Overall, you should research when your audience is most likely to respond to your emails.The time you send emailsis important,but with “Timed Email Subject Lines” you can take it one step further!

For example, a food magazine might send out an email just before happy hour with the subject line "The best drinks in [City] tonight." This would likely generate more clicks than waiting until midnight.

Be unique but brand conscious

To create actionable subject lines, you need to understand your audience and your brand.Use email subject lines to highlight what your brand does well.

Don't be afraid to post your business name to build familiarity and engagement. At the same time, you have the courage to take a small risk.

For many readers, there's a fine line between memorable and repulsive. By finding your happy spot, you can carve out a unique niche for yourself while having fun.

11 tips for writing great subject lines

Writing subject lines that convert is an art, and like any art, it takes practice and testing. These tips can help you find your voice.

1.be human

Even more reputable brands can benefit from a conversational tone.

Remember, your readers are humans, not robots – which means readability, connection, and likeability often trump a cold tone.

Even small and simple changes like using contractions can have a big impact!

2.Keep it short, simple and sweet.

Today,Half of emails are read on mobile devices, reducing the number of visible characters.

At the same time, readers are quickly checking their inboxes, giving you just milliseconds to grab their attention.

Research shows that short subject lines –about 40 characters or 7 words– best cut. Precise, concise subject lines offer clear benefit, intrigue, or relevance without becoming verbose.

"Increase your conversions by 50%!" offers fewer words and more benefits than "How to increase your marketing performance and get better conversions at the same time".

3.Start with action-oriented verbs

A great email subject line is designed to attract clicks andNothing generates clicks like action verbs. Animated verbs convey a sense of urgency or emotion to the reader that boring descriptions just don't have.

Who would want to go to a "local dinner with a singer" when you can "dine with Lady Gaga"?

4.Make people feel special

Birthdays, weddings and anniversaries...People love to feel special and included.. Instill a sense of belonging that drives loyalty and conversions by making people feel like “insiders” with powerful phrases like:

  • exclusive offer
  • private invitation
  • Only for VIPs!
  • Only for you
  • A gift from us to our dear customers

5.include deadlines

You can harness the power of FOMO— and eliminate distractions — by including deadlines that encourage readers to prioritize your offers.

From leveraging multi-email promotions to building urgency around expiring events, “now or never” language often yields better results.

6.ask persuasive questions

Asking questions expands on the previously mentioned idea of ​​intrigue.. With the right question and a good subject line, you can demonstrate your knowledge, spark curiosity, and pique their interest.

As questions seem incomplete without an answer, you can also inspire readers to open emails to learn more.

These could be anything from "Are you making these 10 critical business mistakes?" to "Do you know how long a giraffe's tongue is?"

You can also get a little more personal with a simple "Rough day?" or "Need a break?"

7.use numbers

Millions of businesses rely on vague subject lines that don't convey real data to drive meager conversions. ButIncluding numbers in email subject lines can improve notification and open rates.

If you are offering "50% off today only!" or a list of the “Top 10 Things We Love About Our Customers!” Numbers offer readers inevitable benefits.

8.be funny about it

A good email subject line should be relatively short – but that doesn't mean it has to be boring.Injecting a little humor with your smug wit can make your audience smile and click through to learn more..

For example, puns give you the opportunity to sound funny and relatable. (Get Quirky's (a cable management product) "Open-cord-open! Yes, we said that.", which offers wit and an inspirational sting.)

You can also delve into other types of puns, such as:

  • the alliteration
  • rhyming
  • word imitations
  • references and allusions

All of these can help your email subject lines stand out in users' minds and grab attention while providing great value.

9. Create multiple subject lines

A crucial part of writing email subject lines isdon't limit yourself to just one option.

Take some time to write your best 4-7 subject lines, each with a different style, tone or angle.

Even if you discard 99% now, you can save the good ones for later.

Do you want to reduce brainstorming time? Use Tailwind Ghostwriter for email subject lines!

Simply enter your email purpose (e.g. newsletter, promotion, welcome email), your preferred tone, and topics such as a new product or upcoming event, and hit generate! Our AI technology will keep offering you a mix of subject lines until you find the perfect one for you.

10. Get feedback

Sometimes you have to gGet out of your own head and see problems from someone else's perspective.

Ask your co-workers, your spouse, or even your children to go over your ideas. And if they have suggestions of their own, don't be afraid to listen!

You don't need to look closelySubject line copy, but suggestions and alternative points of view.

11. A/B test your email subject lines

These tips and best practices can help you get started on your subject line journey. But don't just take our word for it - after all, your brand and your customers are unique and need a personal touch.

VonA/B test your subject lines, you can experiment to see what works for the most biased (and relevant) audience of all: your own readers.

12 examples of catchy email subject lines

Now you have all the tools to start writing email subject lines that convert. For extra inspiration, check out these catchy subject lines that popped up in inboxes 🙂

1. The Best of Groupon: The Deals We're Proud Of (Unlike Our Nephew Steve)

Some rules are meant to be broken - at least for the experts.

From mentioning the brand name to offering benefits and including Steven, Groupon coaches marketers on top-notch subject lines — while violating the most basic rule: keep it short and sweet.

2.Essential oils... Find out what they do!

Mother Earth Pillows is selling, you guessed it, pillows! (Special therapeutic pads.)

But this thread broadens its scope by offering knowledge on a related topic: essential oils – something that many users of therapeutic pillows may be interested in.

Nowthat isknow your audience.

3.real baseball fans eat burritos

Bottom covers. Success directed at hamburgers and beer. Knowing that "real" fans eat burritos - like everyone knows that, right?

Boloco uses this subject line to market its product while convincing readers that Red Sox fans want burritos, not hamburgers.

4.👻 Travel or Crossing! Up to $300 off ends tomorrow

EF's spooky subject line combines whimsical emoji with a sense of time-bound urgency. Absolutely beautiful.

5. Uh-oh, your prescription is about to expire.

Here, Warby Parker combines a chatty tone with a personal, relevant touch. Helpful, friendly and accessible? Time for new glasses!

6.Do not open this email

What's better than answering questions? Get away with something forbidden.

This Manicube subject line makes readers feel like they are doing just that by telling themnoto do the thing - and thereby ensure that your readers do the opposite of what they say.

Pretty smart if you ask us. (Not that you ever did.)

7. 10 Bizarre Financial Habits That Make Millennials Richer

What unites numbers, money and millennials? This Refinery29 subject line is exactly like thisyelling"Open me!" (And we're sure readers will too.)

8. Not cool, guys

If there's one thing BuzzFeed knows, it's how to deliver your clickbait. Just look at the preview text that followed this one-subject-line conundrum: "Okay, WHO left the passive-aggressive post-it note on my fridge?"

9. We need to talk...

With that simple subject line, PPC Protect increased its open rate to 63%. Not only does it look important, but it piques your curiosity (and maybe a little fear).

10. TGIF!

Acronym-only subject lines highlight the epitome of short, sweet, and relatable.

11. Join us for some bling-ing fun

This email subject line from The Basketry relies on the power of spicy (expletive reference) to market your productEnext events. (The remainder of the email contained his contact information and an invitation to an upcoming Breakfast & Bling event.)

12. "Yes, this is a donation email" and "Hey"

Simple, practical... and with open rates close to 80%. These two boring email subject lines, sent by Al Franken and Barack Obama, illustrate the power of celebrity names — and a little honest intrigue.

The central theses

  • Good email subject lines can mean the difference between a failed email marketing campaign and a successful one.
  • Common A/B test subject lines. Keep testing the winner against a new competitor. Improvement never stops.
  • Personalization is a good foundation for a high level of subject line openness.
  • Questions work exceptionally well, don't overuse them.
  • Shocking subject lines can have a negative impact, be careful!

common questions

What is a good example of a subject line for an email?

"Quick question?" – One of the most converting email subject lines is a question. This lets the person know that you won't be long (mind for brevity), but you need their help with something.

What makes a catchy subject line?

Keep it short and personal. Questions work really well too. Just make sure it's not clickbait!

How do you create urgency with subject lines?

"Ends today" - time constraints are a great way to create urgency. This lets the person know that if they're interested, they need to act now.

"Only 2 left!" – Scarcity is another great way to create urgency. When something is only available in limited numbers, people are more likely to act quickly to get it.

Psst! This pin was created in seconds with Tailwind Create.try it yourself!


What is a good opening sentence for an email? ›

Hello [Recipient's Name], I hope this email finds you well. Good [morning/afternoon/evening] [Recipient's Name], I hope you're having a great day so far! My name is [Your Name], and I wanted to introduce myself as [Your Job Role] at [Your Company Name]. I am reaching out to you because [Reason for Email].

How do you grab attention in an email subject? ›

Here are 10 ways to write compelling subject lines that catch your readers' attention:
  1. Keep it short and clear. The purpose of your subject line is to engage your audience and catch their attention. ...
  2. Create a sense of urgency. ...
  3. Personalize. ...
  4. Ask questions. ...
  5. Be honest. ...
  6. Use numbers. ...
  7. Offer real value. ...
  8. Include call to action.

What not to use in email subject lines? ›

We've curated a list of subject line mistakes to stay away from for better open rates and happier customers.
  • Writing a generic subject line. ...
  • Forgetting preheader text. ...
  • Not leveraging urgency in the subject line. ...
  • Not optimizing for mobile. ...
  • Shouting in the subject line. ...
  • Using special characters.

What is a poor subject line email? ›

1. Subject lines with words and phrases that trigger SPAM filters. 2. Subject lines that ask for time.

How do you start a professional email? ›

How do you start a professional email greeting? You should start a professional email with a greeting and the name and title of the recipient (e.g., “Dear Mr. Walken”). Then, you should include an introductory line like I hope this email finds you well, followed by the body of the email.

What is a catchy opening sentence? ›

A good hook might also be a question or a claim—anything that will elicit an emotional response from a reader. Think about it this way: a good opening sentence is the thing you don't think you can say, but you still want to say. Like, “This book will change your life.”

How do you write a catchy email? ›

Email Subject Line Best Practices
  1. Learn from successful email subject line examples. ...
  2. Keep it short and sweet. ...
  3. Use a familiar sender name. ...
  4. Avoid the 'no-reply' sender name. ...
  5. Use personalization tokens. ...
  6. Segment your lists. ...
  7. Don't make false promises. ...
  8. Do tell them what's inside.
Sep 23, 2021

What is a professional email greeting? ›

Beginning emails with “Dear [Name],” is best for formal emails and emails for contacting someone in a position of respect or authority. Using “Dear” as a direct address is common when sending cover letters and resumes to hiring managers and recruiters.

What kind of subject line is most effective? ›

Good subject lines are often personal or descriptive, and give people a reason to check out your content. Whatever your approach, it's important to keep your audience in mind, and test different words and phrases to see what they prefer.

How do you subject a sensitive email? ›

Make Your Subject Line Appealing

So that the reader understands how important and time-sensitive your message is, use words and phrases like “Urgent” and “Approval Needed email reply.” If appropriate, be sure to include a deadline in your subject line.

What are spam trigger words? ›

Spam trigger words are keywords or phrases that email providers see as red flags. You'll often find these words in emails that people mark as spam. As the saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Spam filters catch suspicious words and phrases associated with: Scams.

How can the email subject line so below backfire? ›

In fact, an unusual subject line that only focuses on the opening can backfire by causing your prospect to react negatively to your message.

What is subject in email etiquette? ›

It tells the recipient what the email is about.

If your email is a question, your subject line should say something along the lines of, "Question about your service", or "Question about your latest report", Pachter says. If you're making a suggestion, title your email "Suggestions for today's meeting".

Why are short subject lines desirable in email? ›

Keep It Brief.

Subject lines need to quickly grab the recipient's attention. It's estimated that subject lines with 50 characters or less result in 12% higher open rates and 75% higher click-through rates than emails with longer subject lines.

Which of the following words should be avoided on subject lines for better open rates? ›

On the other hand, there are number of keywords that can be detrimental to open and engagement rates, including: Free: Near the top of the list of words to avoid for email subject lines is “free” due to overuse. It can also harm a sender's reputation. $$$: Symbols and emojis are usually triggers for SPAM filters.

What is the most polite way to start an email? ›

1 Dear [Name]

This email greeting is an appropriate salutation for formal email correspondence. It's typically used in cover letters, official business letters, and other communication when you want to convey respect for the recipient.

What is the most common professional email? ›

The most standard and recommended form of a professional email address is of course the firstname.lastname@domain.tld format. But there are some other ways you can get a professional email address, such as: firstnameinitial.lastname@domain.tld. firstnameinitiallastname@domain.tld.

What is an example of a professional email? ›

I would like to take a moment to introduce myself and my company. My name is [name] and I am a [job title] at [company name]. Our company provides customers with cutting-edge technology for all their email signature needs. At [company name], there are a number of services we can offer, such as [short list of services].

What is a subject line important in an email? ›

The subject of your email is perhaps the most important few words in the entire email. It is the first impression, it is your tagline, it is the reason the recipient will, or will not open it. The purpose of the subject line is to get the person reading to say three simple words: "Tell me more."

What is the subject of an email request? ›

The subject line is the first thing your recipient will see, so make it clear and keep it simple. In the subject line, you can clarify whether your request is urgent, essential, or time-limited. You can make it obvious you're asking for help and why you're asking for help. Don't just copy and paste these.

What does total opens mean? ›

Total opens are calculated by tracking the total number of times an email is opened, regardless of how many individual subscribers those opens are generated by.

What is the best way to personalize a subject? ›

Check out these tips for personalizing your subject lines to drive higher open rates and increase engagement.
  1. Use urgency and personalization. ...
  2. Include the recipient's name or recent content download. ...
  3. Go mobile. ...
  4. Use images. ...
  5. Check out what works for your industry. ...
  6. Implement A/B Testing.

What is a good subject line? ›

Good subject lines are often personal or descriptive, and give people a reason to check out your content. Whatever your approach, it's important to keep your audience in mind, and test different words and phrases to see what they prefer.

What is the subject line for asking for an update? ›

The subject line matters!

Use a proper subject, and be sure that it is clear and direct. Use things like "Following Up," "Quick Status Update," or "Getting In Touch About [Thing]."

Do I need a subject for an email? ›

Writing an email subject line is important because it can increase the success of your email communication. A recipient may see your subject line and any information it contains when they receive your email. Based on its content, they may decide whether they want to open the email and engage with its contents.


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