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28 Different Ways to Spice Up Your Subject Lines

September 13, 2019
Written by Salman

Everyone knows email marketing is effective. The catch is that it is only really effective when it is implemented properly and carried out in the right manner. You can send out a thousand emails and more, but it won’t really do anything unless your recipients open your emails to read what’s inside.

Seeing as how important open rates are to email marketing campaigns, it is vital that you master the art of writing effective subject lines. Because a good subject line will nearly all the work in ensuring that your email is opened.

At VerifyBee, we have email marketing experts who have been in the industry for a long while now and know it inside out. In this article, we will give you different ways to spice up your email’s subject lines. All of the following subject lines are either based on actual data from millions of emails or actual subject lines from highly effective marketing campaigns – either way, by following in their footsteps, you’ll be putting yourself one step closer to success.

1) THIS Offer Expires At Midnight

Attach a time limit, and you’ll naturally stir the interest of your subscribers. There is something about the way we are wired as humans that makes us curious about things that we may miss out on, and by highlighting that, you can easily have your subscribers opening your emails.

2) “Hey”

A subject line as simple as this can be highly effective, but only if you already have some leeway with your recipients. If you take a look at some of the more successful emails from the Obama campaign, you’ll find that they used “Hey” and other, similar, to-the-point subject lines to invite their recipients to open the emails.

3) “Save up to 96% on hit indie games”

Here’s a secret for you: people like saving money. This email from Humble Bundle takes advantage of that and is direct to the point. Readers only have to open the email to find a link that will take them to a page where they can purchase hit indie games… for up to 96% off!

4) Your Order #...

This is suited for situations where you already have your subscriber as an actual customer. Send them informative emails containing details about their orders with you, and you bet they will open it, without a doubt.

5) How to...

It sounds insanely simple, but the “How to…” subject lines are a classic for a reason: they work. And why do they work? Just the two words “How to...” act as a promise of sorts. Anyone who sees it knows that when they open the email, they are going to learn something. Ideally, of course, you should follow up “How to…” with something your customer actually wants to learn about. Else… well, else it’s useless.

6) New Video: (Video Name)

We make it a point to make sure our clients know that the point of email marketing goes beyond just increasing brand awareness or revenue. They should be used as a method to build a relationship with your subscribers, and you can do that by providing value to your audience. Creating useful content and announcing it with an appropriate subject line can go a long way. Upload videos, tutorials, ads… Then, let your subscribers know about them.

7) Here’s Our Holiday Catalog!

If you are a brand that has catalogs of items that switch up with seasons, a subject line like this can do wonders when it comes to creating curiosity in your recipient. Readers would naturally be curious about what new products you are offering this season and open your email to learn more.

8) Thanks for Joining!

People like being acknowledged and appreciated. You can pretty much guarantee an open if you are thanking your reader for having done something, and you can start it from the moment they join your mailing list. Then, whenever they do anything else that is beneficial to your business, continue the trend. Thank them.

9) Massive Sales On…

Here’s something you may find interesting: a study that analyzed over 95,000 subject lines from all around the world found that just the use of the word “Sale” resulted in an email open rate of a rather impressive 23.2%. You can utilize “Sale” as a trigger word in a variety of ways, and we can assure you that you will find success with it.

10) A Doctor, An Engineer, and a Software Developer Walk Into A Bar...

Jokes work. People like humor and adding a sprinkle of it to your email subject line can go a long way. Maybe don’t use our joke, mostly because we aren’t sure it really exists, but there are a lot of ways to add a touch of humor to your subject lines and you should try it in your own marketing campaigns.

11) Free X with Every Purchase of Y

You know what else people like? Free things. Tell them that they stand the chance of getting one product for free by purchasing another, and you’ll be tempting them to open your email to learn more.

12) “Rough Day?”

This is a tactic that Sephora used in their marketing. Simple and intriguing, these subject lines were a part of a personalized email. The subject line itself shows that the company cares about the reader’s day and that goes a long way because customers like being treated like humans instead of another potential target to sell to. You too can guarantee increased open rates by appealing to the human nature of your subscribers.

13) Our Gift to You…

Nobody says no to a gift. If you are sending out an email that contains an offer, a promotion or a deal… This subject line can be a great way to ensure that your subscribers open your email. After all, opening a gift email is the digital equivalent to unwrapping an actual gift, right?

14) Happy Birthday, (Name)!

While we are talking about gifts, birthdays are something else that you can take advantage of. When subscribers sign up to be on your mailing list, you will likely end up with their birth date. Use it. Send them an email on their birthday wishing them well. Or, even better… gift them something on their birthday. A discount, a free service voucher. Something. This will go a long way in not only ensuring that they will open your email, but will also ensure long-lasting customer loyalty.

15) “$15 off for Book Lovers Day”

This was a subject line from GrubHub. Who have nothing at all to do with books. If it wasn’t obvious from their name, they are an online and mobile food ordering and delivery marketplace. However, what you can learn with this subject line is that you can take advantage of any special occasion even if you have nothing to do with that specific industry. Be clever, think outside the box and find a way to continuously promote your business in clever ways.

16) Introducing… (Product/Service/Feature)

Simple and to the point, you can use similar subject lines to create a curiosity in your readers about whatever you are introducing. They know exactly what they’ll find when they open the email and will be driven to open it to learn about the latest product or feature or service.

17) “(Name), we just added a TV show you might like”

This is an email from Netflix. What they are attempting with this is to keep their customers hooked by informing them about new TV shows and movies based on the customers’ previous viewing preferences. Personalized emails like this can go a long way in making sure a customer stays engaged or using a certain service, which is especially useful in case of a subscription service like Netflix. Depending on the nature of your business, you can use similar tactics too.

18) DO NOT make these mistakes!

This subject line works because people don’t like to make mistakes. Your subscribers will open the email so that they benefit and improve from it. Ideally, you’ll be a little more informative in the subject line, perhaps adding what kind of mistakes you are talking about. For example: DO NOT make these Digital Design Mistakes!

19) (Company) Bulletin for April

Remember that study we referred earlier? It also found that just having the word “bulletin” caused a 15.8% increase in open rates. You can take advantage of it and ensure that your email’s open rates increase by sending out bulletins.

20) “You’ve made these special moments happen...”

This email from UNCHR was the response to a donation made to the charity. An email of this nature appeals to the caring, nurturing, human nature of your recipient and will have them opening the email for that warm feeling doing something good causes. Granted, such subject lines can’t be used in every business, but if you can use it in the right context, you stand to increase your open rates.

21) “Nerdist is live now: (Topic)”

This email from YouTube alerts the reader that a channel that they’ve subscribed to is live now. Subject lines of this nature work because the recipient is obviously interested in the topic – because they have subscribed to the channel – and will want to watch the video. The email contains the link to the video and that pretty much guarantees an open.

22) Top 10…

Human brains love lists. Utilizing a subject line that is pretty much the promise of a nice, sweet numbered list is a great way to increase your open rates. People love lists and a number in the subject line is attention-grabbing.

23) How (Your Business) Got Our Name

Presenting a human side to your business goes a long way in building brand loyalty and people want to learn more about your business, so subject lines of this nature hold great power. While your email doesn’t necessarily have to be about how your business got your name, telling a story about your company and your employees can be a great way to compel your subscribers to open your emails.

24) “You’re Missing out on Points”

Nobody wants to miss out on… well, most things. JetBlue takes advantage of this fear of missing out (FOMO) and utilizes it in the right way in its subject lines. Seeing as FOMO is a big part of today’s society, this email works by compelling readers to find out more about something they are possibly missing out on.

25) Latest News From…

That study from earlier comes into play again. This time, the keyword is “News”, as the study found that the addition of that simple word into a subject line can result in an open rate of about 47.7%. This will work even better if you have an established base of loyal customers, but it’s powerful either way.

26) “Buffer has been Hacked – Here is What’s Going on”

Being hacked is not a good thing, but Buffer took advantage of this situation and made the best of it while also being upfront about it. They send out emails with this subject line that did not beat about the bush. By presenting a calm and collected image, actually having the situation under control and directly informing their subscribers about what was going on… Buffer not only ensured that the emails were opened but also increased customer loyalty.

27) (Name), Grow Your Business With…

By combining personalization with something that the subscribers would want to know about, subject lines of this nature can easily cut through the noise and reach their audiences. According to statistics, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. You can use similar tactics to your advantage in your own campaign.

28) Make Room in That Closet

If, by any chance, you are a clothing retailer… this is an excellent, exciting subject line. You can utilize it situations where you are introducing a new line of products and incite the curious nature of your customers.

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