Email clickability depends on many different factors, but not a single one of them is more important than the subject line. It’s your email equivalent of an elevator pitch – limited in the number of characters and defined by its potential for urgency, a subject line can either make or break your email campaign. To help you get the reader's attention, here’s a list of the five best email marketing subject lines.
As You WishWho sent it first: Uncommon Goods.
What it implies: that whatever the customer chooses will be custom-tailored to their needs.
It is perfect for: creating a personalized customer experience.
Personalization plays a crucial part in today’s customer experience, as modern-day consumers expect to be treated as individuals with highly unique needs, preferences, and pain points. With so much of the same being a click away, receiving a custom-tailored solution is not that much to ask for.
In that context, a short and simple As You Wish suggests two things. First, that you’re ready, willing, and able to deliver whatever your customers’ hearts desire. And second, that you need no other selling point but your exquisite customer experience. Together, these two hints promise a delightful journey.
Furthermore, this subject line doesn’t reveal anything concrete about the marketing offer at hand. Not only is this line amazing for conveying a we can do it all message, but it’s also irresistible to click. With no more than three words, it taps into basic human psychology to lure the reader into a funnel.
It’s basically clickbait done right and a tempting CTA at the same time.
The Timer’s Going Off on Your Cart!Who sent it first: King Arthur Flour.
What it implies: that recipients may miss an opportunity of their lifetime if they don’t act quickly.
It is perfect for: reducing cart abandonment, retargeting, and customer conversion.
Note the exclamation point at the end of this subject line by King Arthur Flour, as it perfectly highlights what this kind of copy is all about – and that’s urgency. As an important keyword, cart differentiates this type of email from similar examples written in a CTA style and as a discount alarm that drives sales.
This one is set to convert customers too but in a different way. It simply notifies leads that their digital carts will be dismantled soon, which would set their customer journey a couple of steps back. Instead of browsing the ecommerce site again, the lead will hopefully decide to complete the purchase ASAP.
It’s convenient for them and lucrative for you.
Free (Cool!) Clothes AlertWho sent it first: Clover.
What it implies: that there’s a discount in the store that recipients shouldn’t miss out on.
It is perfect for: quick customer conversion.
We’ve mentioned this type of an email marketing subject line before, but we’ve quickly abandoned it to explain how urgency can be leveraged for retargeting. This time, we’ll focus on customer conversion itself – the Free (Cool!) Clothes Alert is a textbook example of CTA subject lines that accelerate sales.
In the previous paragraph, we’ve dubbed this subject line a discount alarm, and that’s exactly what it needs to be. Exclamation points, active voice, short or elliptical sentence forms, and imperative words all contribute to the sense of urgency. This is crucial for inspiring action, a purchase or something else.
When to that you add a cue word that suggests that there’s a freebie or a special offer in store waiting for the fastest reader to claim it, you got a customer conversion formula that succeeds every time. This is email marketing at its finest – a CTA subject line combined with an irresistible offer in a copy.
What Did You Think? Write a Review.Who sent it first: REI.
What it implies: that you care about your customers’ opinions.
It is perfect for: customer retention.
At the end of an email marketing chain is a classic feedback proposal, which serves not to acquire and convert new customers, but to delight and retain existing buyers. Like it or not, they’ll have something to say about your products and services. Be the first to hear them out, or you’ll be risking your name.
REI’s subject line is simple but elegant. It tells their customers that they care about their opinions, and it tells that in a straightforward way. You’ve placed your trust in us, so tell us how we did. It’s a call for reviews good and bad, and customers like knowing that they have a platform for expressing both.
Everything You Wanted to Know about Email Copy but Were too Afraid to AskWho sent it first: Copy Hackers.
What it implies: that you’re an expert in your field, excited about sharing your know-how.
It is perfect for: raising brand awareness and lead nurturing.
A great example of a subject line that works on a metatextual level, this zinger from Copy Hackers stands on the opposite side of the spectrum from a previous one. The story is pretty much the same, only told with a different technique. Instead of being intentionally vague, this email subject explains it all.
While almost everyone would open an email with a subject line that says As You Wish, this one is intended for a specific kind of receiver. It calls for marketing automation with robust targeting capabilities, or otherwise, it could easily misfire. Just replace email copy with X, and you’re good to go.
The entire purpose of this subject line is to show off your expertise in a certain field by offering something comprehensive, which is highlighted with everything. The recipients get exactly what they need, while you get to boost your brand awareness and generate and nurture highly qualified leads.
These five email subject lines are only examples for you to consider before writing your own, so examine them closely. The rule of thumb is here threefold – know your readers, define your objective, and pay attention to every word. Only that way, your email marketing campaign will come to fruition.