Email Marketing
7 min

79 Best Email Subject Lines for Open Rates in 2024


Why Email Subject Lines Matter: Introduction

How do you gauge the impact of your email marketing campaigns?

Chances are, you measure standard KPIs like email open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, and bounce rate, among others.

Analyzing the right metrics for your marketing campaigns is essential, especially considering that email marketing accounts for a 3800% increase in ROI, i.e., you get $38 for every $1 invested.

But before you can start generating revenue from email, prospects have to actually open your messages.

The fact is, poor open rates have always plagued digital marketers. A CampaignMonitor survey revealed that average open rates across industries is a meager 17.92%.

This brings us face to face with a stark reality; more than 82% of consumers don’t open your emails.

While that may seem like a giant obstacle to navigate, there’s a simple solution: taking the time to write good email subject lines that get opened.

Based on the ROI calculation we discussed earlier, it is clear that every additional email they read means more potential revenue. Even a tiny increase in your open rates can make a massive difference for your business!

The subject lines of your emails can either make or break your email campaigns. So that’s why, in this post, we’ll cover the types of subject lines that get high open rates and how to craft them.

How to Create Subject Lines with High Open Rates

According to data by Invesp, as many as 47% of recipients click on an email based on the subject line. At the same time, 69% of subscribers judge an email to be spam based on, you guessed it, the subject line.

email subject line stats and trends
Source: Invesp

And this brings us to the most critical part – crafting the best email subject lines for open rates.

The simplest way to compose excellent and engaging subject lines is to capitalize on natural human principles and psychological tendencies.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask what you might be compelled to open, and voila, you are one step closer to achieving that mammoth ROI.

So, without further ado, here are the best types of subject lines for open rates, based on the customer’s position in the journey, their perception of your brand, and their general state of mind.

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Subject Lines

An impossible psychological trick to ignore is the fear of missing out on something (aka “FOMO”). Capitalizing on FOMO has real benefits, as 60% of millennial customers would attest to it by claiming that they make reactive purchases after experiencing it, sometimes within as soon as 24 hours.

You can use FOMO to your benefit by feeding on the fear of subscribers by creating urgency or an element of scarcity in your subject lines. Words that bring limited availability and time sensitivity to mind, such as “expiring,” “urgent,” and “limited,” among others, should do the trick.

Let’s learn from the following examples:

  1. Oh no, your subscription is at an end
  2. Hey, did you know that you were missing out on points?
  3. You’ve only ONE DAY left before [offer] expires…
  4. Your [goal] plan goes adieu tonight
  5. ATTENTION! Get [offer] ASAP before it disappears
  6. Hey, earn twice the number of points today only
  7. Hurry! Your offer expires today

Personalized Subject Lines

Personalization is the email marketing tactic of today. In fact, by just personalizing your email subject line, you can boost your average open rate by 7.4% and achieve six times higher transaction rates.

Personalize your subject lines by including the name of your subscribers in your subject lines. You can also use colloquial language (if your subscriber base uses it), offer location-specific deals, and capitalize on interest targeting to make your subject lines more personal. Let’s take a look:

  1. Hi, [Name]. I hope you haven’t forgotten me.
  2. Happy birthday, [Name]! Look inside for your surprise
  3. I haven’t seen you in a while, [Name]
  4. We couldn’t find you in the comments section, [Name]
  5. Hey, [Name]! Thanks for opting into our email list
  6. [Name], check out these hand-picked deals for you
  7. Hey [Name], are you still coming?

Curiosity Subject Lines

Composing open-ended subject lines can invoke intrigue and prompt your subscribers to engage with you. Brands that utilize interactive content have seen 70% higher conversion rates.

To induce an element of curiosity in your email subject lines, offer them tantalizing deals, ask captivating questions, and even tell them what (not) to do. For example:

  1. *Don’t Open This Email* (Used by Manicube)
  2. Know what the fuss of this mystery email is about
  3. Ten bizarre tips that can improve your engagement rates
  4. These offers… for THOSE prices?! Unreal!
  5. Take a peek at your surprise gift.
  6. Want to uncover the secrets to [vertical] success?
  7. Astonishing methods to earn more by providing freebies
  8. Look inside for the hottest [deal/offer]
  9. A surprise waiting to be unwrapped

Funny Subject Lines

If your subject line can amuse your subscribers, you can rest assured that they will open it.

As the process of telling good jokes goes, begin by knowing your audience first. Segment your subscriber list and augment your open rate by using subject lines laced with humor, such as:

  1. We like being used (used by The Muse)
  2. Since we can’t all hit the jackpot
  3. Spreadsheets never felt so good
  4. We’re the real deal (unlike Pinocchio)
  5. Boom shakalaka! Let’s hit it
  6. Offers that you can’t refuse (unlike The Godfather kind)
  7. “Look what you did, you little jerk…” (A reference to the movie Home Alone)

Vanity, aka Ego Boost Subject Lines

Appealing to your subscriber’s vanity can always hold you in good stead. After all, everyone has a bit of it and supplanting it can make you stand apart from the rest. Let’s take a look at how to boost your subscribers’ egos to your benefit:

  1. Hurry! We need your refined taste
  2. You deserve everything new
  3. Don’t settle for anything less than the best
  4. As seen in Vogue
  5. Wear what your favorite celebs are wearing
  6. Do you think you look fantastic in this [product]? We sure think you do
  7. Are you as ready as ever?
  8. Gift ideas for your distinct eye
  9. Hey, [name]! We think you’ll make these [product] look awesome

Incentive Subject Lines

Providing incentives through emails can inordinately improve your open rates, as seen in a survey where 80% of respondents claimed that they would purchase from a new brand if they received an offer or a discount code.

Use incentives to your benefit by highlighting your email’s benefits to your subscribers. Let them know what opening the email has for them and see your open rates increase:

  1. Obtain our free [lead magnet] now
  2. 20% off! Only for you!
  3. Hey, [name]! Congrats on getting free shipping for your next purchase
  4. Want to access our free [content type]?

Retargeting Subject Lines

Retargeting emails have one purpose; to nudge subscribers to complete an action they were meant to take but stopped midway.

If you can capitalize on this segment of customers, you can increase 30 percent conversion rate and push conversion rates by as much as 30%, on average. To do so, craft subject lines that revolve around better offers, overcoming rejections, or even bringing a sweeter deal to their notice.

  1. Great news! Your favorite item(s) is/are back in stock at a discounted price.
  2. Hey, [name]! We have reserved your shopping cart for you.
  3. Did you forget this discount coupon?
  4. Hey, [name]! Great news! Your cart price has dropped!
  5. Be careful not to miss out on these new features.
  6. Good news, [name]! Your shipping charges are free.
  7. We won’t give up on you.

Greed(y) Subject Lines

We have just established how tough it can be to pass up great deals. That’s why leveraging greed as a motivating factor can work well for your open rates.

Given below are a few excellent subject line ideas for using “greed” as a hook:

  1. Meet your new friend in [product]
  2. Gain a head start this quarter
  3. Alert! Flash sale!
  4. New essentials for you
  5. Deals are just too good to pass up on
  6. 25% off on your wishlist
  7. A hint of luxury at an affordable price
  8. Complementary [gift] on purchases above [minimum limit]
  9. Priority access for our favorite buyer
  10. Buy two, get one free

Pain Points Subject Lines

If you have a good grip on your ideal buyer persona, you can compose your subject lines around their pain points. Using pain points in your subject lines will serve two purposes: invoke the reader’s curiosity and gain their trust (after they open the email) by solving their problem for them.

  1. Fuel your automation efforts without going bankrupt
  2. Where do all your emails go?
  3. Get higher engagement rates with these easy hacks
  4. Stop wasting resources on [pain point]
  5. Your [relevant pain point] issues, resolved
  6. Since we can’t all win the lottery (used by Uber)
  7. How to avoid your subsequent deadline day chaos
  8. Get over your [relevant pain point] issues with these quick fixes
  9. Stop wasting time on mindless work
  10. Increase click-through rates with these handy tips
  11. Everything you wished to know about web copy but didn’t know where to look

Simple Subject Lines

While these subject lines aren’t exactly as creative as the others in the above categories, they are very lucrative.

The trick to making these subject lines work, though, is to provide good content consistently. You can only bank upon them to deliver the open rates you desire.

Doing this will create a space in the reader’s subconscious, and they will always feel tempted to open your emails. In fact, following this tactic has led these ‘bland’ subject lines to attain unreal interest rates, sometimes ranging between 60-87%.

Let’s take a look at them here:

  1. [Company Name] Marketing Newsletter
  2. State of the Consumer Survey [Company Name] Update (Date)
  3. [Company Name]: The consumers behind your success
  4. [Company Name]: [MM/YYYY] news bulletin!
  5. [Company Name] Newsletter for the month [MM]
  6. [Company Name] invites you to its gala [event]
  7. Happy [birthday/holidays] from [company name]
  8. Invitation to [recipient name] from [company name]

How to Make High Open Rate Subject Lines: Conclusion

Irrespective of which of the tactics mentioned above you use, ensure that your subject line is optimized for mobile.

Of course, it’s not a given that any of these random subject lines will work for you. It depends entirely on what you are selling and when. In any case, use these subject lines as a reference point and keep trying variations within email subject lines that have proven successful for you repeatedly.

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