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Email Subject Line Tips That Guarantee High Open Rates

Are you looking for more eyes on your emails? Make sure you craft the perfect subject lines to get it opened first. Read on to find out how.

“Never judge a book by its cover. “

But, when we talk about emails and inbox, it is difficult to follow this rule. We instantly make decisions about the mails we receive on the basis of respective parameters and in the parameters to judge an email, subject lines holds a very vital position.

Again, 69% of email recipients report emails as spams just by looking at their subject lines. However, it has also been noticed that personalized subject lines increase open rates of emails by 22.2% while subject lines displaying exclusivity and urgency increases open rates upto 22%. So, short and sweet, your email marketing heavily relies upon how attractive your email subject lines can get. And hence, psychological principles and knowledge acquired from observing natural human inclinations are utilized to produce most excellent ways to generate kick-ass subject lines for your email marketing drive.

So, here presenting before you some different kinds of subject lines and some must follow steps which can take your email marketing strategies to a whole new level.


When talking about human traits, curiosity quickly comes to my mind. Humans are really curious creatures and you can use this trait to create awesome subject lines which will tempt your email recipients to open your emails.

You can add elements of curiosity like:-

  • Introducing interesting surprises in the mail (Eg:- Don’t forget, Surprise Gift Waiting for you)
  • Mentioning something unusual or strange (Eg:- Don’t Eat before You read This), or
  • Asking them interesting questions (Eg:- How to make $100 per day? Answer Inside!!).


Using humour for email marketing demands creativity and thought but it can prove fruitful in respect to open rates. If you are capable of making your audience laugh, your efforts can pay off. Some funny examples from some nice brands to get inspired and tickle your funny bone:-

  • Baby Bump: “Yes, I’m Pregnant. You Can Stop Staring At My Belly Now.”
  • The Muse: “We Like Being Used”
  • Thrillist: “Try To Avoid These 27 People On New Year’s Eve”
  • TicTail: “Boom shakalak! Let’s get started.”

Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)

You cannot resist the feeling of “missing out” an opportunity. Fear Of Missing Out is an psychological human attribute which you can use in your email marketing drive. How? Just add a bit of urgency or scarcity to your subject line. As discussed above, the element boosts open rates. Some great examples from the brand name digital marketer for you to refer:-

  • Digital Marketer: “[WEEKEND ONLY] Get this NOW before it’s gone…”
  • Digital Marketer: “Your 7-figure plan goes bye-bye at midnight…”
  • Digital Marketer: “[URGENT] You’ve got ONE DAY to watch this…”


Greed is the reason why offers, discounts and sales work so effectively in this world. Well, it is difficult to resist an awesome offer even if it the item is not your requirement. So, add some temptation to your subject lines and produce awesome subject lines like below:-

  • Rip Curl: “Two for two”
  • HP: “Flash. Sale. Alert.”
  • La Mer: “A little luxury at a great price”


Believe it or not, we all carry vanity inside us. We find happiness when we are accepted and admired for our achievements, abilities, or appearance. Hence, this emotion can be used as an advantage for email marketing. You can refer such examples to improve your subject lines:-

  • La Mer: “Age-defying beauty tricks”
  • Sephora: “Products the celebs are wearing”
  • Pop Physique: “Get Ready. Keep the Pie Off Your Thighs Returns.”

Also read: Most Popular Company Slogans


Experian Marketing Services in their study conducted in 2015 stated that personalized email subject lines got 29.3% more open rates on average in various industries like media and entertainment, multi-channel retailers, consumer products and services, travel and so on. So, things you need to keep in mind are mentioning the name of email recipient and using casual language. Your subject lines should depict friendship and familiarity. Below are some examples which you will love to read:-

  • Rent the Runway: “Happy Birthday Mary – Surprise Inside!”
  • “John, You’ve Changed”
  • Revolution Tea: “Thanks for helping us”

Pain Points

Knowing pain points of your audience can help you to direct them towards opening your emails. Use their pain points and introduce solution inside your mails. Check out these awesome examples from these great brands:-

  • Uber: “Since we can’t all win the lottery…”
  • Sephora: “Your beauty issues, solved”
  • Pizza Hut: “Feed your guests without breaking the bank”
  • Thrillist: “How to Survive Your Next Overnight Flight”


Being plain and straightforward in your subject lines is a nice approach to build and simplify your email marketing strategies. But you have to take care of a couple of things while keeping it simple. Make sure that you provide value in your emails to your audience and only send simple emails when there is something essential you need to convey to your dear subscribers. Some examples to follow so that you can achieve your targets:-

  • Example from AYR: “Best jacket ever”
  • Example from Al Franken: “Yes, this is a fundraising email”
  • Or just as simple as “Invitation from Google” or “Budweiser invites You...


If you have lost a valuable prospect during your sales process, this is your chance to bring him back. Use retargeting emails and make them re-enter your sales funnel. Well, you can include various subject lines which either show a loss if not availing the offer or something that overcome objections or display them better offers to choose you.

Again, please check out some great words from some known names:-

  • Pinterest: “Good News: Your Pin’s price dropped!”
  • Vivino: “We are not gonna Give Up on You!”
  • Unroll.Me: “ Unroll.Me has stopped working”
  • Bonobos: “Hey, forget something? Here’s 20% off.”

Now, see how “number of words” in your subject lines affect your open rates

  • For word count between 0-5, the open rate is 16%.
  • For word count between 6-10, the open rate is 21%.
  • For word count between 11-15, the open rate is 14%.
  • For word count between 16-20, the open rate is 12%.
  • For word count between 21-25, the open rate is 9%.

Other statistics related to subject lines

  • Subject lines with names of email recipients have open rate of 18.3% whereas without names have open rate of 15.7%.
  • Subject lines with “newsletter” as keyword decreases open rates by 18.7%
  • Subject lines with “fw:” saw 17% decrease in open rates when compared to emails with subject lines without “fw:”.

Some points to remember:-

  • Know your audience and direct your marketing campaigns according to them. Also, make sure that your emails are interesting and problem solving. This will increase open rates.
  • Optimize your email marketing for mobile devices by focusing on formatting of your emails. 66% of emails in U.S are opened via mobile devices and 75% of B2B buyers depend upon mobile ads and search. So, focus not only on your content but also on your email formatting so that it could fit the mobile screen.
  • Test your subject lines to be sure of their application. Make subject lines of different lengths and test them to analyze their feedbacks.
  • You can also experiment by introducing CTA as your subject line. It can work well for your campaigns.
  • Never send your emails from the address “[email protected]”. An email address is displayed just below the subject line and using this email can decrease the open rates for your emails.
  • You can also take the help of emojis to grab attention and interest your readers.
  • Use some awesome subject line test tools to check your subject lines so that you can get the better out of the best ones.

Some tools to check your subject lines

Litmus’s subject line checker

Litmus’s subject line checker gives you a preview of your subject lines in different email clients instantly. It also provides advanced analytics and complete checklists to advance your email marketing for your subscribers.

It has a free 7 day trial period and paid plans under the names of basic, plus, pro and enterprise.

Subject Line.com tool

As the tool says over 5 billion email subject lines are tested on this tool. 400 rules are tested in SubjectLine.com which helps you to evaluate deliverability and filtering issues along with performance and marketing related concerns.  The tool is free.

Touchstone subject line tool

Touchstone extracts data from various sectors like telecom and tech, consumer services, financial services, travel, retailers, Media & Entertainment, B2B and your database. It will help you to analyze delivery rates, clicks, and open rates according to the subject line which is being tested. It will also provide scores to your subject lines by comparing them to average email subject lines from respective industries.

It has a 7-day free trial pack and paid plans are available with pricing of $69(essential), $99(expert), and $297(enterprise).

Top Keywords for Email Marketing

  • Jokes
  • Congratulations
  • Promotional
  • Deduction
  • Monthly
  • Forecast
  • Upgrade
  • Get this now
  • Free delivery
  • Weekend
  • iPhone
  • Thank You
  • Breaking
  • Brand new
  • Celebrate
  • Great deals
  • Latest
  • Back in stock
  • Get your

Subject lines are powerful means to entice your email recipients to open your emails. You can experience it yourself by getting into your prospect’s shoes and opening your inbox. So, if you give some serious thought to prepare your subject line and use these tips, you can facilitate your email marketing strategies. Make different types of email subject lines and test them to get the taste of your audience. Also don’t forget to tweak your email subject lines according to mobile devices.

So, what subject lines tempt you more to open your emails? Or which ones repel you away? Please share in the comments below.

Deepak Gupta

Written by Deepak Gupta

Deepak is the CTO and co-founder of LoginRadius, a rapidly-expanding Customer Identity Management provider. He's dedicated to innovating the LoginRadius platform. He loves foosball and winning poker games!

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