Digital Marketing

Write Better Subject Lines for Email Marketing (With Examples)

By Just Digital Team
Write Better Subject Lines for Email Marketing (With Examples)

When was the last time you were genuinely enticed to open an email? I bet you have hundreds, maybe thousands (if you’re on countless mailing lists), of unread emails sitting on your inbox. None of which caught your attention because the subject lines weren’t enticing enough.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all know we judge our emails based on their subject lines. Research even shows that 47% of marketers test multiple email subject lines to improve the output of their emails’ performance. That’s why crafting subject lines that are convincing enough to get people to click through is so critical.

Even though subject lines may seem like a very small detail in the entire scheme of things, it’s the first thing your subscribers see. It’s the first impression they get, and it’s your one way ticket to getting a click in a crowded inbox.

Want to get your email clicked, opened, and read? Then spend extra time crafting an enticing subject line that will help boost your email open rates, skip getting archived in spam, and get your message read by the right people.

If you’re ready to spice up your subject lines and boost your email’s performance, scroll down below for some tried-and-true tips to writing the best subject lines for a successful email marketing campaign.

What are Subject Lines?

woman sitting on chair using her laptop with a big laptop as the background with email inbox open

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If you didn’t know, the subject line in an email is the short line of text you see when you receive an email in your inbox. Since inboxes are filled with hundreds or even thousands of emails every day, it’s critical to create a catchy subject line that will allure subscribers to choose yours over those other hundreds or thousands.

J75 Subject Line Example

As you can see, the subject line is the one inside the red box. We crafted this subject line for one of our clients to promote their president’s day shoe sale.

Why do you need good subject lines?

Guy sitting in front of work desk with desktop working on an email

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A good subject line can produce a powerful impact on your readers. In fact, this study shows that 47% of recipients will open an email if it has a catchy subject line. Much like the heading of an article or a book title, email recipients won’t open your email if it isn’t descriptive enough or seems spammy.

At any rate, your email subject line should be able to concisely convey the necessary information to your targeted audience.

Different Types of Subject lines

Woman sits on the floor holding a megaphone with a big cellphone as the background with an email icon

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There are plenty of types of subject lines you can write, funny ones, curiosity generating ones, and the worst of them all – spammy ones! Now all of these different types serve a purpose, but there’s actually a list of types that work better than the rest of them.

Here are 4 types of email subject lines that generate tons of clicks:

Curiosity Generating Subject Lines

Have you ever opened an email because the subject line piqued your curiosity? If you have, then you know how much this type of subject line gets to people.

The curiosity generating subject line is all about the tease. Take a look at this subject line for example.

Just Digital Hugo Fernandez Email with focus on the subject line

If you were someone actively searching for a digital agency, of course you’d be curious how an agency can potentially turn your brand into something iconic.

It’s concise and straight to the point. Email recipients already know what the email is about, but it’s still enticing you to open the email to read more.

Try incorporating this marketing technique to your email marketing campaign and soon enough you’ll be able to:

  • Increase open rate
  • Boost click-through rate
  • Increase more traffic to your website
  • Boost conversions

Other examples we recommend can be:

  • Dribbble : Here’s how 2020 changed design.
  • Soapbox : This is how you’re changing our world
  • Bon Appétit : Your best lunch yet

Urgency or Scarcity Generating Subject Lines

MILK makeup Subject Line

This marketing technique is all about making your subscribers feel FOMO (fear of missing out): An event, a desirable opportunity, a valuable resource, and a decent bargain.

It’s an overused tactic, but it works. Just like the example above.

However, it’s crucial not to come off as too “salesy “when using scarcity or urgency. Email spam filtering can be activated with certain terms and phrases that advertisers use to convey a limited time discount and the response can be sent directly to the spam archive.

Other examples can be:

  • Design Cuts : Expiring now: 98% off The Font Collector’s Handpicked Selection
  • Elevate: A gift for you: 45% off your subscription for 3 days only
  • The New York Times : One day only: Subscribe for $0.25 a week

Personalized/Self Interest Subject Lines

Skillshare subject line

People are always striving to be better, it just appeals to our inherent self interest.

That’s why subject lines that are personalized and target things we’re interested in and care about work well. Look at the example above. If you’re a skillshare user looking for a new class to join, then skillshare just solved your problem with a list catered for you.

Other examples can be:

  • The Hubspot Team : Here’s your case study creation kit
  • Dribbble : This is why you need a designer
  • Big Bad Wolf Books : Weekly special discounts for you

News & Current Events Subject Lines

Nike Subject Line

The subject lines of the news take advantage of our innate urge to be knowledgeable. Even if you don’t follow major news sources, odds are that you can keep up-to-date on issues of your concern. Might this be:

  • Reading a specific blog
  • Listening to a podcast daily
  • Checking the website of your favorite brand for new items

If they subscribed to you, they must be interested in your brand right? So just like Nike, share some news, whether it’s industry news or product launches.

Other examples can be:

  • Flo : New Flo 6.0 — Take better care of your health in 2021.
  • Chris Spooner : Download 10 New Assets from the Inspirational Textures & Elements Collection
  • Spotify : New music from artists you love

How To Write The Best Subject lines – Best Practices

Use a Familiar Sender Name Subscribers can Reply to

Just Digital Hugo Fernandez Sender Name

People just have more empathy and want to interact when you prefer to use a sender name that’s more human than brand.

Choosing to use a sender name that’s familiar, like the example above, makes you less intimidating and more inviting. Technically, it’s still best to mention which company you’re from, but you can do it in a way that still incorporates your name.
For example, or

Use your own name as the sender’s address if you have previously contacted the recipients from a previous conversation. It’s the best impact you can make on your clients, make them feel they’re dealing with you, the person—not the whole company or a brand.

Pixel Buddha @noreply sender name

Most people are hesitant to open emails from unfamiliar senders, due to the volume of junk email people receive these days. And far less people want a robot to chat to. Think of when you contact an agency and can’t get a hold of a real person. This is annoying, huh? It even goes with email, too.

A email address makes you look less personable, plus it keeps people from adding the email to their address book. Avoid using a generic email address and use a genuine person’s email address instead.


Grab Personalized Subject Line

Personalized subject lines have over a 26% chance of being opened because of the unique and personal approach.Research indicates that it does not simply mean that personalizing the subject line requires the name of the user, new approaches have arisen. For example, based on your customer’s prior orders, you can personalize emails with demographic details or give offers.

Using personalization tokens in the subject line, such as name or place, adds some sort of bond between you and the recipient. Everybody loves to hear their name acknowledged. So much that it improves the click-through rate: testing has actually found that emails including the recipient’s first name in their subject line have higher click-through rates than emails that have not.

Please remember that there’s a limit to the personalization. It can get creepy fast. Nevertheless, if you don’t want to use personalization tokens, use “you” or “your” pronouns in the subject line, so it feels like you’re specifically addressing them.

Make it Short

Grammarly Short Subject Line Example

A huge increase in mobile use has been accomplished by recent developments in technology. Now, it is possible that most people would prefer to open emails from their mobile. For most users to update their email on the go, mobile devices are conveniently available and thus handy.

That’s why, to stop being cut off on smartphone inboxes, email marketers need to keep their subject line under 50-40 characters long.

If you’re trying to keep the subject lines brief, think of omitting trivial details that don’t need to be included in your subject line. Don’t waste your time using the word “update” or “newsletter” in the subject line.

Segment & Target Your Emails

SHEIN segmented and targeted subject line example

Not everyone can appreciate receiving email blasts with things that don’t concern them. It can be frustrating and may create misunderstanding or annoyance.

Personalize the experience through details from the actions already performed by the customers—from the surveys they have filled out, to the industries they are in, their cart abandonment, and to what their personal interests are. In email marketing, you can personalize the experience of your users using a little bit called segmentation of the list.

Make It Seem Urgent

Russel Brunson Urgent Subject Line Example

Another great tactic is to make your subject line seem urgent, without overdoing it. It has to be genuine. Words like “Act now!,” “Emergency,” “Urgent,” “Until today only!!” are limited time offerings that portray a sense of urgency and scarcity.

This kind of email subject line will help motivate readers to click or act—when creatively and strategically phrased. Remember, this tactic should be used sparingly, or else it will have the opposite effect of what you want your readers to do.

Use Emojis

Morning Brew Emoji Subject Line Example

Add some color and emotion to your subject line by adding emojis. The primary goal of using an emoji is to catch focus and express emotions. It’s a small thing you can do to catch attention to your email.

Avoid Spammy Language








Email Marketing Graphic

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By now you should know how using all caps translates to yelling on the internet. It can be really upsetting and it’s rude.

Aggressive or salesy language isn’t really something users want to receive in their emails. Subject lines with all caps or multiple exclamation points is just loud and cluttered formatting.

These strategies are not only destructive, but they sound like spam. So aim to tailor your newsletters, create value, and use catchy and delightful language instead of using disruptive techniques such as these to stand out in people’s inboxes.

Emails with loud formatting will automatically trigger spam filters and get your mail sent to the spam bin, so better avoid this at all costs.


  • SALE TODAY!!!!!!!

Test Subject Lines

Split A/B Testing Graphic

It’s not always a win when it comes to email marketing, or even marketing in general. There’s no sure way or sure answer to succeed in email marketing, which is why it’s better to test what works for your target audience.

Although using your instincts to guess what subject line vocabulary can help people click on your emails can be enticing, you can always test the highest-stakes subject lines with A/B split testing and change the wording according to the performance. What fits best: lengthy or short subject lines for the audience? Numbers inclusive or numbers not included? Questions or declarations?

Are you ready to write your subject line?

You’re now able to create strong subject lines with the tips above. But, it’s best if you don’t depend on our advice alone.

Listen to your audience. Go to your inbox and put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes. What would you want to read?

Looking for more tips like this? All you have to do is click here.

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