Email Marketing, Subject Lines, Tips and Tricks

The Art of Writing a Magnetic Subject Line for Email + 30 Examples

Are you struggling to come up with a catchy subject line for your emails? Well, you’re not alone. An email subject line can break or make your marketing campaigns. It’s the first step in getting people to open and read your emails, so I know you want to get this right.

Writing compelling email subject lines is an art form, and in this post, I’ll show you the basics of crafting irresistible titles that can help increase your open rates. Plus, for additional inspiration, I’m sharing 30 examples of effective email subject lines from some of the most successful companies out there.

The importance of a good subject line

According to Convince and Convert, 35% of email users open emails based on the subject line alone. Furthermore, statistics show that the average person receives around 121 emails daily. So, if you want your email marketing campaigns to be successful, the solution starts with creating captivating subject lines for your emails. 

But what makes a good subject line?  Here are 6 elements that make up a compelling subject line: 

  • Personalisation – use a subscriber’s name or share something personal anecdote, which implies familiarity and friendship.
  • Urgency – using language that conveys limited times offers or deadlines drives our innate fear of missing out.
  • Humour – people can’t resist a good joke! Using witty subject lines may require a bit more thought and creativity but worth it in the long run, if it suits your tone of voice and audience. 
  • Specificity – give your subscribers a taste of what’s to come by giving them an idea of exactly what your email is going to contain.
  • Curiosity – try using cliffhangers and dropping open-ended questions in your subject lines that leave your subscribers wanting to know more.
  • Pain points – if you have an ideal customer profile you should know and understand the problems they face and how your brand can solve them. Address these pain points and provide solutions on how to solve them.

Email subject line best practices

Your email subject lines can be a compelling call to action if crafted correctly. Here are some authentic best practices for writing eye-catching, click-worthy subject lines.

Keep it succint

Like an appetiser, your subject line should be a bite-sized morsel of information that captivates and draws readers in. We can retire the saying the “the shorter, the better”. It will depend on your audience but we should be placing more focus on positioning call-to-action words within the first three words of your subject line for easy scanning. Keep it under 10 words so that it shows up in its entirety on all devices.

Be clear and specific

Your subject line should clearly describe what’s inside the email. Vague or misleading subject lines are a surefire way to get your email deleted.

Take the examples below, Neil Patel’s email subject line lets readers know exactly what to expect. Whereas the email subject line from Akash is unclear and doesn’t appeal to any emotion.

Example of good email subject line
Email subject line example

Don’t be spammy

Using aggressively sale-sy language like ‘buy now’ or ‘free’ in your email subject lines will buy you a one-way ticket to your subscribers’ spam folder.  

Using all caps or an excessive amount of exclamation points in your email subject lines can appear like you’re shouting and is more likely to repel people than grab their attention. 

We recommend consulting our list of 100 spam trigger words that are more likely to set off spam filters. If you want triple check your emails before sending you can conduct a spam test in Vision6 which will scan your copy and give you a content analysis score. Any email that scores greater than 5.0 will more likely be marked as spam. 

Personalise your email subject line

Adding a personal touch to your subject line can make your email stand out in a crowded inbox. In actual fact, personalisation can increase open rates by 26%. So try using the recipient’s name, company, or relevant information specific to them.

Test, test & test

The best way to find out what works for your audience is to test different subject lines and see what gets the highest open rate. Try A/B testing your subject lines for a minimum of 2 hours to accurately gage which subject line performs best. 

Make use of emojis

Experian discovered that emojis in subject lines can help increase open rates by as much as 56%. Here are just some of the reasons why:

  • They add personality to your emails and humanise your brand
  • You can save space in your subject line by replacing words with just one character
  • Subject lines with emojis stand out in a crowded inbox 

But, as with anything, use them sparingly and only if they make sense for your brand.

Take advantage of preheader text

The preheader text is the short text appearing after the subject line. Use it to entice readers to open your email by including additional information and fleshing out your subject line.

Examples of effective email subject lines

A poorly thought-out subject line can ruin an otherwise successful email marketing campaign. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of some great subject line examples for various types of email campaigns. Use these as inspiration for your campaigns.

Introduction email subject line

If you’re emailing a potential customer or client, make sure your subject line reflects the offer or purpose of your email. Including the recipient’s name in the subject line is also an effective tactic, as it personalises the message and makes them more likely to open it. Here are some examples:

  • 🛍️ 10% off your first purchase  
  • Schedule a free consultation 
  • Hi {First Name}, we’re glad you’re here
  • Sneak peek for VIPs only 👀
  • Welcome to our family!
  • You’re invited to our VIP party!
  • Time to celebrate, join us for our grand opening sale!

Thank you email subject line

Yay, you’ve successfully nudged your potential leads down the sales funnel! Whether they made a purchase, booked a demo or downloaded a resource from your website – expressing your gratitude can go a long way! The hard part is choosing a witty and thoughtful subject line to get your message across. HINT: you don’t always have to use the generic ‘thank you’ in your email subject line.

Post-purchase or download: 

  • Your goods are on their way!
  • A gift from us to you 🎁
  • {First Name} you’ve got a good eye!

Post meeting or booking: 

  • Lovely meeting you {First Name}
  • Can’t wait to catch up on {Day of Meeting/Booking}


  • What an amazing turnout 🤯
  • Thanks for showing up!

Follow-up email subject line

Mailing follow-ups can be like a game of ping-pong – the more you keep sending that little ball back and forth, the closer you come to winning the match. 

But what’s the key to ensuring your messages don’t just go straight into the net? A catchy yet informative subject line! 

To help keep your emails bouncing around and on their way to success, here are some excellent follow-up email subject line examples! 

  • Hey {First Name} how did we do?
  • Quick question about {Topic from the previous email}
  • Have you looked at {Topic of the prior email}?
  • Can we schedule a time to discuss {Topic from the previous email}?
  • {Contact First Name}, are you available for a quick call?
  • {Topic from the previous email} Update

Subject line for cold email

Sending cold emails is like walking into a room full of strangers. You don’t know anyone, so your subject line is the first chance to make a good impression!

Just like a great handshake or joke, an eye-catching subject line can go a long way toward sparking interest in your message. Here are some examples of catchy cold email subject lines to get those conversations started! 

  • Are you the {position} we’ve been looking for?
  • A quick question about {topic}  
  • Can we help you with {problem}?
  • {Number} ways to improve your {skill}
  • The {object} you never knew you needed
  • How we helped {client} with {problem}
  • Introducing {new product}

Final thoughts

While we have provided the fundamentals of crafting catchy email subject lines, the creative possibilities are endless. Think from your audience’s perspective, look out for emails with subject lines that catch your attention, and use these examples as inspiration to come up with a few of your own!

Remember to keep it short, and relevant to get your message across. With a bit of practice and some A/B testing, you’ll soon be writing great email subject lines that engage your subscribers.

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