Email Subject Lines
Written by Rob Lane.
Think of your email subject line as a calling card. Get it right and you entice readers to open the email, get it wrong and you risk having it deleted, or worse, flagged as spam. In the latter case the content, no matter how good, doesn’t get a chance to save the email from deletion.
The most effective email subject lines hint at, or offer something, so recipients naturally want to engage with the content. While the direct approach is best, there is room for creativity if there is great content to back up the subject line.
2. Examples of Effective Subject Lines
Subject lines are sometimes difficult to write, so here are examples which may offer inspiration. Where possible we’ve listed the company responsible for the subject line.
1. Shop now for Mother’s Day or pay until 2008. (Red Envelope)
It’s from an older campaign, but would still play well for Mother’s Day 2015. It’s clear to the reader what type of content to expect, but also humorous and offers a clever take on the “don’t pay until” messaging.
2. You lost. Will 15% off make it better? (Urban Outfitters)
Sent to all non-winners of a contest, “You lost” gets your attention, but the bad news is softened with a clear offer. Nothing wrong with a consolation prize!
3. Save like it’s 1492! (Staples)
Clever reference to the Columbus Day holiday, but vague enough to make the reader curious about the savings. Curiosity in a subject line is very effective.
4. Register. Spend $50 dining. Earn 150 miles. (Delta Airlines)
We like this one because the offer is clearly stated before the reader ever opens the email. They can immediately decide if the offer is compelling enough to click for more details. Transparency in your subject line will always play well with recipients!
5. Dads: This email is not for you, please forward to your family. (Foot Locker)
A clever subject line that will certainly raise the recipient’s curiosity, and with an obvious reference to an upcoming holiday there is a sense of urgency added in.
6. Get this NOW before it’s gone.
A great example of creating urgency, and there is also an air of mystery. It’s clear that it’s a limited time offer, but you have to open the email to find out what the offer is for.
7. 10 of the best companies to work for.
Numbered lists make great subject lines. They make it clear what the content is about, and also offer a suggestion about how much time is needed to read the content. In our world of instant messages and 140 character information streams, setting expectations about the length of content is very helpful in increasing open rates.
8. How to negotiate a higher salary.
Similar to numbered lists, “How to” subject lines are very compelling. This one is tells the reader there is helpful advice about a specific topic, and they can quickly decide if they want to find out more.
9. 10 email marketing secrets we’ll never share again.
Yes, it’s a numbered list, but there is a real urgency here to open the email for fear of never being able to find this information again. We like this one, but it can also be a slippery slope – if the content doesn’t make the right impression on the readers you may see a spike in unsubscribes.
10. Happy birthday Lindsay – surprise inside! (Rent the Runway)
We saved an example of a personalized subject line for last. These are becoming more common, and you can see why. Receiving an email with your name in the subject line, along with a birthday message and offer, is highly effective and almost certain to be opened.
3. Personalized Email Drives Engagement
At Rare we’ve witnessed our customers enjoy open rates of well over 70% using highly personalized mailouts. Personalization drives higher engagement, which leads to greater customer retention, and ultimately increased revenue. It’s what we help our customers do every day – send beautiful, personalized, responsive email.
Rare.io makes it easy to start using automated email campaigns for common challenges like: Welcome Series, Abandoned Carts, Order Follow-up emails and more! You can learn more about our powerful email marketing automation features here or go ahead and get started right away by using Rare.io for FREE.
And if you’re one of the thousands of merchants who are already using Rare’s Smart Email Marketing software and want to see how our Customer Success Team can work with your brand to grow your revenue – feel free to book a call at your convenience here.