12 Email Subject Lines People Will Actually Open

It doesn’t matter who you are, a college student, a business professional, or a stay-at-home mom; you probably receive dozens of emails a day. Every time you go to make a purchase, it’s almost inevitable that the cashier is going to ask you for your email address. Whether it’s a small business or a multinational corporation, everyone is seeking that valuable contact information. Why? Because once you have that, you’ve established a relationship with them and are allowed to contact them legally.

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, email is one of the most effective ways to communicate with customers. It’s easier, faster, and way cheaper than sending traditional snail mail. The challenge with email marketing though, actually getting the customer to open the email. The subject line is arguably the most important part of any email. If this is not compelling enough to have the customer click on it, it doesn’t matter how great your copy or offers are; it’s getting deleted and they’re never going to read it.

Crafting the perfect subject line is like finding the holy grail. You’re never going to have a 100% open rate so be realistic with your expectations. If you’ve got 1000 contacts on your mailing list, then the optimum open rate is around 20% for most businesses.

So how do you craft that subject line that will actually capture people’s interest? To be honest, it takes a lot of trial and error. Every day you probably get different kinds of emails like offers, daily deals, newsletters, and more. Depending on what the email you are sending is about, you may want to try some different options.

What Makes Great Email Subject Lines?

Before I show you some examples, let’s look at some of the common elements most great subject lines have.


Sometimes customers need a little kick to get them going. By creating a sense of urgency in your subject line, you’re compelling the reader to take action immediately. Just make sure you use this tactic sparingly. If 3 out of every 4 emails tell the reader “Time Is Running Out” or “Get It Before It’s Gone” you’re most likely going to end up in the spam folder.


This is when you can get really creative with your emails. People are curious by nature so a well-crafted subject line that creates some mystery tends to work well. By writing a subject line that gets the reader trying to guess what the email is about, they have to open it to find out what’s inside. Just don’t make it too obscure, it may confuse the reader and they won’t open it.

Personalize It

Think about the emails you get every day. How many are actually personalized to you and include your name? Tools like MailChimp allow you to personalize email subject lines to include contact names to help make it seem like the email is only being sent to that contact. A personalized email stands out from the rest because it looks like it actually being sent from a real person and not automated through software.

Make It Relevant

Most people that subscribe to an email list do so because they want to be kept up to date with a certain topic or learn more about it. Try to focus your subject line around trending topics and current events that relate to your industry. This will help give your brand authority as the go-to resource for up-to-date information.

Give The People Something

People love free stuff, plain and simple. If people know you’re giving them something for free or at a great discount, they’re going to open it if it’s something that appeals to them. If there is free stuff promised within the subject line, it entices the reader to check out the deal and take advantage of it. It doesn’t have to just be a deal either, offer downloadable content that appeals to the user and offers them something of value.

Examples of Great Email Subject Lines

Now that you know some of the common elements present in great email subject lines, you can begin to start writing them and generating a higher open rate on your campaigns. Remember, no subject line is perfect and it’s nearly impossible to get 100% open rate. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hit the 20% benchmark either, there are plenty of other factors that weigh into the success of an email. Start testing out some new subject lines and see what kinds work best with your customers. 

Below we’ve provided you with a few different examples of subject lines to help you get creative and start writing great email subject lines.


Learn More About Email Marketing

If you want to learn more about email marketing, our team at Webworks would be happy to help. Feel free to reach out to us today and set up a time for a free 30-minute consultation. We’d love to meet with you to discuss our digital marketing services and help you put together a plan to start reaching more consumers.

Want to learn more about email marketing? Check out our recent blog post and learn how to create great email newsletters.

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