Create subject lines that make users open every email from you
Written by
Puneet Mahajan
Puneet Mahajan
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Create subject lines that make users open every email from you

Published : April 21, 2023

If you are a marketer and believe in the power of emails, you would already be obsessed with creating that perfect subject line. 

We are 100% with you on this. Multiple studies have revealed that customer/prospect response to marketing emails depends a lot on the subject line. 

  • 47% of email recipients will open an email based on the subject line alone. Source
  • 69% of email recipients will report spam based on the subject line. Source.
  • Urgent subject lines increase the open rate by an average of 22%. Source.

Most decidedly, there is science and art behind the subject line. In this article, we’ll lay out the 10 types of subject lines that give your emails the best chance of being opened, read, and engaged with.

Drive the fear of missing out

At this point, the fear of missing out (FOMO) is a cultural phenomenon. But it’s no surprise, right? Think of tickets to a Premier League game (especially one in which Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, or Liverpool are playing the other). Many fans attempt booking a few weeks ahead of the game, but tickets are long gone by then. And their worst fear has come true.

Evoke that feeling with your subject lines, and your open/engagement rates will shoot straight up.

Examples:

  • “Hey <name>, your prescription is expiring.”
  • “You’re missing out on points.”
  • “[URGENT] You’ve got ONE DAY to watch this….”

Get them curious

Curiosity has led humans to climb Mt. Everest, split atoms, and clone sheep. If you can get people curious about what’s in your email, the battle is half-won. An easy way to build this curiosity is to leave a cliffhanger in the subject line, something open-ended that makes them want to open the email and get closure.

Examples:

  • “Is this the hottest career in marketing?”
  • “What they eat in prison.”
  • “9 disgusting facts about Thanksgiving.”

Make them laugh

Life is hard, and most of your email recipients can use a laugh to brighten their day. Your email subject lines can leverage this to draw attention and create a positive impression of your brand. Additionally, if you’re legitimately funny, people are more likely to look forward to all your subsequent emails.

Examples:

  • “Deals that make us proud (unlike our nephew, Steve).”
  • “We like being used.”
  • “Try to avoid these 27 people on new year’s eve.”

Gently prod their vanity

We’re all looking to stand out and feel special, which isn’t necessarily bad. When we say “vanity” here, we mean the human impulse to treat ourselves to something that would make us look/feel better. You can use this emotion not just for physical products (makeup, clothes), but also for those aiming to improve minds or personalities (online courses, self-help material, etc.)

Examples: 

  • “Keep-the-pie-off-your-thighs returns.”
  • “You deserve better than last year’s styles.”
  • “How have you progressed since the third grade?”

A little greed is good

We’re not talking about the greed that ruins folks, just a little deal that is too tempting to pass up. A 20% discount on someone’s favorite shoes? Yes, please!

Obviously, you can’t consistently offer massive discounts. In fact, several studies have shown that many people won’t open emails that offer hard-to-believe discounts in the subject line because they think it’s too good to be true!

One way around this is to send discounts to customers who have already shown interest in particular products on your website. You managed to get them interested; now they just need a little prodding to click “Buy Now.”

Examples:

  • “20% off on your favorite handbags.”
  • “Two for two. On a wide range of products.”
  • “A little luxury at a great price.”

Make their life easy

In the breakneck pace of the modern world, most people have overburdened schedules and need help to get things done. Depending on your domain, why not extend them a helping hand by sending information/tools/planners that can make life easier?

Examples:

  • “✔ 60-Point checklist for creating the ultimate feedback form.”
  • “Grow your email list 10X faster with these 30 content upgrade ideas.”
  • “How to email a busy person (including a word-for-word script).”

Trigger those pain points

You should deeply understand your customers’/email subscribers’ personas to get the desired response from them to your email. A CXO’s pain point is worlds apart from an individual developer’s challenges. Tailor the subject line and email content to appeal to the respective reader as the solution.

Examples:

  • “Feed your guests without breaking the bank.”
  • “Get more kitchen space with these easy fixes.”
  • “Stop wasting money on ink.”

Use retargeting

When subscribers/customers don’t perform a specific, expected action in the sales funnel, retargeting emails are triggered to convince them further. Examples would be the emails you send when someone has abandoned a full cart or hasn’t switched to a paid account after a free trial.

For retargeting emails, subject lines must work to overcome their preliminary objection and offer something that makes completing the desired action profitable for them.

Examples:

  • “How you can afford to find 10,000 readers (closing tonight).”
  • “Hey, forget something? Here’s 20% off.”
  • “Price dropped for 3 items in your cart.”

Get personal

Open rates increase up to 50% when subject lines are personalized. People want to feel heard and acknowledged, and your email subject lines can do a great deal to hit on this core impulse.

The easiest way to personalize is to include the recipient’s first name in the subject line. You can go a step further and add details from the information you gathered from them via feedback forms.

Examples:

  • “Seriously, Mike, who DOES this?”
  • “Quick favor, Candace?”
  • “Janice, are you free this Thurs at 2PM PST? [guest blogging class]”

Be straightforward

If you’re unsure about what angle to take in your subject line, you can always be upfront about what you’re offering. While these lines may seem boring without an angle, they do result in surprisingly high conversion.

However, there is a catch. Straightforward subject lines only work when you are providing solid value. It would help if you promised something that will improve the reader’s life every time.

Examples:

  • “Yes, this is a fundraising email.”
  • “Happy Holidays from [Company/Person Name].”
  • “Invitation from [Company/Person Name].”

In conclusion

The most perfectly created email will make no difference to your goals if it is not opened. Unlike proxy opens, human open rates heavily depend on the email’s subject line.

So, why not leverage Netcore’s decades-long experience and state-of-the-art technological innovations to create subject lines that give you the highest possible engagement and ROI? We know what your subscribers and customers want, no matter what niche you operate in. Allow us to help you create subject lines based on analysis of data from over 100 billion emails. Our headlines make your customers curious and delight them every time.

Connect with us to understand how you can benefit from our expertise and experience – we send over 20 billion emails a month on behalf of businesses across 40+ countries.

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