The first impression is the last impression. The phrase stands absolutely true when it comes to email subject lines. An email subject line is what the recipient sees prior to the email content. So, the chances of your email of getting opened entirely depend on how effective your email subject line is.
You’ve got some emails subject line basic best practices down. You also know that you’ve got to hit your readers right on the mark (a pain point). Now, it’s time to move beyond theory and start applying practical examples. Let’s look at some actual examples of how to write sales email subject lines to boost open rates and sell more.
- Warby Parker: "Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring" - (an example of “Fear of missing out”) Reminding your readers of something they may have forgotten is valuable and doesn't sound spammy at all. Letting your customers know of some due payments or schedule check-up, a friendly & timely reminder will help them to add your services to their to-do list.
- Groupon: "Best of Groupon: The Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)" - (an example of being humorous) - Being humorous requires a bit more thought and creativity, but it can really pay off in terms of your open rates. That's what Groupon did with this subject line.
- UncommonGoods: "As You Wish" - (again an example of being humorous)
- Rent the Runway: "Happy Birthday Lindsay - Surprise Inside!" - (an example of personalized email subject line) - According to a 2015 study by Experian Marketing Services, email subject lines that were personalized by including a name boosted open rates by 29.3% on average across all industries.
- Barack Obama: "Hey" - (an example of 'Straightforward' email subject lines) - When in doubt, make your subject line simple and straightforward. Contrary to what you might think, these “boring” subject lines can actually convert really well.
- Manicube: "*Don't Open This Email*" - (an example of 'Curiosity' email subject lines) - You can make subscribers curious by asking a question (and answering it in your email), promising something interesting (like pictures or a surprise gift), or simply saying something that sounds strange or unusual. Just like what Manicube did with this email subject line.
- Refinery29: "10 bizarre money habits making Millennials richer" - (an example of 'Curiosity' email subject lines) - Humans have a basic desire related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning. You can leverage this desire with your subject lines just as Refinery29 did. We are sure that many of their readers would be inquisitive to find out those bizarre money habits.
- Zillow: "What Can You Afford?" - (an example of email subject lines that bring out the subscriber’s pain points and offer a solution) - If you really understand your buyer, you must also know their pain points or the problem areas. You can then use these pain points to get subscribers to open your emails by giving them a solution for the pain point.
- JetBlue: "You're missing out on points." - (another example of 'Fear of missing out') - Developing curiosity is a problem that's core to intelligence & we humans are eager to know or learn more about something. Recipients would certainly open this email as to check on what points they are missing out.
- Guess: “Don’t wear last year’s styles.” - (an example of clever email subject lines that leverage vanity/self-love) - Everyone has a bit of self-love. We all long to be liked, accepted and even revered by others, it’s just a part of being human. That’s why 'Guess' used this clever subject line to get you to open the email.
- Digital Marketer: “[URGENT] You’ve got ONE DAY to watch this…”
- Digital Marketer: “Your 7-figure plan goes bye-bye at midnight…”
- Digital Marketer: “[WEEKEND ONLY] Get this NOW before it’s gone…”
- Jersey Mike’s Subs: “Mary, Earn double points today only”
- Guess: “Tonight only: A denim lover’s dream”
- Grubhub: “Last Day To See What This Mystery Email Is All About”
- Thrillist: “What They Eat In Prison”
- Eat This Not That: “9 Disgusting Facts about Thanksgiving”
- Chubbies: “Hologram Shorts?!”
- The Hustle: “A faster donkey”
- The Muse: “We Like Being Used”
- Warby Parker: “Pairs nicely with spreadsheets”
- Travelocity: “Need a day at the beach? Just scratch n’ sniff your way to paradise…”
- TicTail: “Boom shakalak! Let’s get started.”
- Thrillist: “Try To Avoid These 27 People On New Year’s Eve”
- Rapha: “Gift inspiration for the discerning cyclist”
- La Mer: “Age-defying beauty tricks”
- Pop Physique: “Get Ready. Keep the Pie-Off Your Thighs Returns"
- Rapha: “As worn in the World Tour”
- Sephora: “Products the celebs are wearing”
- HP: “New must-haves for your office”
- Seafolly: “A new product you won’t pass on”
- Guess: “25% off your favorites”
- Rip Curl: “Two for two”
- La Mer: “A little luxury at a great price”
- Syed from OptinMonster: “Grow your email list 10X faster with these 30 content upgrade ideas”
- Ramit Sethi: “How to email a busy person (including a word-for-word script)”
- Digital Marketer: “Steal these email templates…”
- Digital Marketer: “A Native Ad in 60 Minutes or Less”
- Digital Marketer: “212 blog post ideas”
- Pizza Hut: “Feed your guests without breaking the bank”
- IKEA: “Get more kitchen space with these easy fixes”
- HP: “Stop wasting money on ink”
- Evernote: “Stop wasting time on mindless work”
- Duolingo: “Learn a language with only 5 minutes per day”
- Target: “The price dropped for something in your cart”
- Ugmonk: “Offering you my personal email”
- Animoto: “Did you miss out on some of these new features?”
- Vivino: “We are not gonna Give Up on You!”
- Bonobos: “Hey, forget something? Here’s 20% off.”
- Guess: “Mary, check out these hand-picked looks”
- Sam from The Hustle: “I love you”
- John Lee Dumas: “Are you coming?”
- UrbanDaddy: “You’ve Changed”
- Brooklinen: “Vanilla or Chocolate?”
Email subject line examples that use "Fear of Missing Out"
Email subject line examples inducing "Curiosity"
Email subject line examples of "Being Humorous"
Email subject line examples that leverage "Vanity"
Email subject line examples that hit your subscriber’s “Greed" button
Email subject line examples that satisfy "Sloth"
Email subject line examples that bring out the subscriber’s "Pain Points" and offer a solution
Email subject line examples for "Re-targeting"
Email subject line examples with "Personal" touch
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