Marketing tips

28 Best Email Subject Lines That Boost Open Rates

Dominic Sergi

To create a great email, you need a lot of things.The message, the copy, and the design itself.Interestingly enough, none of this actually matters if your subject line isn’t strong enough to hook readers in - even if your email list is fairly engaged.It’s even said that 47% of recipients open an email based on the subject line alone - having a direct impact on how your campaign performs.Today, we’re here to discuss how you can boost open rates and stand out from the crowd - covering best practices and mistakes to avoid for the perfect subject line.Don’t be like Gloria - nail your email game.

What are email subject lines?

Email subjects are short lines of copy visible from a user’s inbox next to the name of the person or brand who sent the email.Sometimes, an email subject line will include previews of what the rest of the email includes.The subject line is intended to snag a user’s attention, piquing their curiosity and telling them about the email combined.If you don’t nail your subject line, your audience may never click the email - so they’re crucial for your overall email marketing strategy.There are so many different campaigns that brands may need to send out, and each one could have different subject lines.Here are the best types of subject lines for the most common types of email marketing messages, and a few examples too.

Welcome email subject lines

Typically, these emails are designed to thank users for subscribing to an email list, signing up to a free trial, and/or making a purchase.These subject lines should be short, to the point, and make it clear that you’re welcoming new subscribers to your list.Here are a few examples you can use:

  • We’re so excited you’re here, [name]!
  • Thanks for signing up - here’s 10% off.
  • Hooray! You’re on our email list.
  • Welcome to [community]! Your welcome offer is inside.

By personalizing these emails with the subject’s name, you add a personal touch and draw people in.

Follow up email subject lines

Every business needs to master the art of the follow up - a crucial part of B2C outreach.These can be automated with the intention of ‘checking in’ to assess if the customer needs anything, how they feel about their purchase, or if they’re happy with their customer service experience.These can also be personal emails directly from an executive.Either way, you can make it clear that you want to know what users think and hear back from them, keeping it simple with phrases like “So, what did you think?”Here are some other examples that you can tailor to your liking:

  • Need help? We’re here for you.
  • Did you love your order? Tell us.
  • Thanks for shopping with us! How were we?
  • We loved serving you! Please tell us how we did.
  • Thanks for visiting! Here’s 10% off for next time.

Abandoned cart subject lines

Fun fact - abandoned cart rates across all industries is roughly 70% - so it’s important to master this subject line.These emails should immediately remind users that they’ve left something behind, and encourage them to complete this purchase.These are some great starters:

  • You left something behind! Get it while it’s hot.
  • You didn’t forget about us, did you?
  • Your items are just one click away!
  • Check out while you still can.
  • It’s almost yours! Complete checkout in the next 24 hours and take 10% off.

Sales & promotional email subject lines

Every copywriter and marketer is familiar with sales and promotional email subject lines. These are some of the most common that get users to act quickly (whether it be because of scarcity, urgency, or plain ol’ FOMO).These might include sales, discounts, or even just focusing on highlighting specific products to drive sales.Here are a few of our fave options:

  • Your special discount! Open to claim.
  • A special discount inside, just for you.
  • Your favorites are back in stock. Click for $5 off.
  • Top-rated & back in stock - get [product] before it’s gone.
  • For a limited time only, get [product] now.

Brand & product announcement subject lines

If you’re announcing a new product or update to your brand, you need to make this as clear as possible to let people know why it’s essential to read, and quickly.These subject lines can demonstrate company updates, account changes, and product announcements.Here are some relevant subject lines for brand and product announcements:

  • Introducing the newest kid on the block - [product name].
  • Pricing changes are coming. See how here.
  • Confirming changes to your [brand] account.
  • New limited-time [product] - get it before it’s gone.
  • New arrivals that are destined for your wardrobe.
  • Major updates inside - here’s what you should know.

Reengagement subject lines

These types of email campaigns can target users who are yet to open emails or make purchases after a long time.Here are some of our top examples:

  • It’s been awhile - here’s 10% off, on us.
  • We miss you! Do you miss us?
  • Running low? Make your next purchase now.
  • Are you still here? Take 25% off your next purchase.

Our best practices for email subject lines

Before we wrap up, we’ve got a few copywriting best practices to help you get started.You’ll notice that some of these have been mentioned, but there’s a few bonus goodies too.

Creativity is your best friend

If you really want to pique curiosity, don’t be afraid to get creative - make it fun and funky fresh.This can include lots of things: a pun, or even a clickbait style subject line.Gimmicky headlines only work occasionally, so play around and see what works and what doesn’t for you.

The more personal, the better

A personalized subject line is a great way to increase open rates - it makes your email relevant to the reader, and grabs their attention.You don’t even have to use the customer’s name - some brands even use your pet or family names.

Restrict exclamation points

You can incorporate them, but use them sparingly - otherwise they’ll definitely look like spam.Take a look at these examples:

  • Limited time sale, just for you!!!!!!!
  • Hooray!!!!!!! Our EOFY sale is here!!!!!!
  • Welcome! Thanks for joining! Here’s a free coupon!

Yeah. I wouldn't open them either.

Utilise FOMO, scarcity and urgency

Urgency and scarcity tend to work well together to induce FOMO.If you want higher open rates, this is the way to do it.You can even use exclusivity - like ‘members only’ or ‘you’re invited’ to hammer in the importance of your email.


Wasn’t it overwhelming simply reading that heading?You definitely don’t want that in a good subject line.Good email subject lines are written well enough to work on their own, and don’t rely on screaming at readers to get results.Caps lock can feel spamming, and overwhelming - do your engagement a favor, and skip it.

Keep it short

81% of all emails are opened on mobile devices, so you need to optimise your copy for mobile.Because of this, the best thing you can do is keep your subject line short and straight to the point, with formatting like periods or dashes to break it up.Keep it to 8 or 9 words max, and don’t go over 60 characters.

Experiment with different emojis

If you want to stand out, an emoji can be a good way to go.Not every subject needs this, but it can reinforce your message and keep your copy clean and simple.Whether it’s adding a siren to an alert or roses to Valentine's Day announcements - your subject line can feel unique and welcomed.

What to avoid with email subject lines

On the flip side, be sure to avoid these common email subject line mistakes that can destroy all of your hard work:

  • Using URGENT subject lines when it isn’t urgent, and when not replying to anything - this would annoy readers, and would likely result in unsubscribing.
  • Trying to be funny and instead coming across as mean - brands might think they’re witty, but instead sound catty. Don’t do this!
  • Failing to split test before sending out a campaign - tools like ActiveCampaign and Mailchimp let you do A/B testing with ease.

You've come this far!

Congratulations! You’re an email marketing subject line expert.This form of marketing has a massive impact on your brand perception, relationship with customers, and overall revenue, so take your time and focus on getting it right.If your subject lines are weak and your email open rates, as a result, are also weak - then you can’t achieve the results you truly want.Make sure to A/B test and see what your audience responds to most, and adjust accordingly.If you’re still struggling, it doesn’t hurt to get in touch with experts, like the ones here at Local Digital.Get a free proposal with Local Digital today and see how our team can optimize your email marketing faster than you can say ‘subject lines’.

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Dominic Sergi
Dom is a co-founder at Local Digital. Google Ads is his #1 game and driving ad spend efficiencies his aim. He's also well versed in all things digital marketing, sales and business growth.

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