The subject line is the most important aspect of any email you send because it serves as a first and fleeting impression for the message you’re trying to convey.

Crammed in between countless other messages competing for attention, your subject lines should always be crafted with a goal of standing out. Increase your email open rates by tailoring these statistically successful subject line templates to your upcoming marketing campaigns.

A marketer reviewing email subject lines

#1. Craft Messages That Matter through Segmentation

Segment email lists so that customers who express interest in particular products are effectively targeted. For example, If you sell outdoor apparel, send an email to everyone who visited the polar fleece page with a subject line reminding them that you carry the latest and greatest styles.

Subject Line: Just In: [ITEM OF INTEREST]

#2. Add a Personal Touch to Your Subject Lines

What’s in a name? Higher clicks. Campaign Monitor reports that personalized email subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without a named recipient.

Subject Line: [NAME], you’ll want to see this.

#3. Rack Up Clicks with Eye-catching Emojis

According to Experian, 56% of companies achieved a higher open rate by dotting their subject lines with emojis. But while they can be a ton of fun, be careful not to overuse them and come across spammy. Check out these best practices to make your subject lines pop.

Subject Line: 😍 [ITEMS] you’ll fall in love with 😍

#4. Pique their Interest with Pop Culture References

That song you can’t get out of your head or favorite quotable film can come in handy when you’re writing your next email. An extensive email study from Retention Science revealed that movie references and song lyrics score higher-than-average open rates. Fill in this gem from Mean Girls or try your hand at creating your own!

Subject Line: Stop trying to make [ITEM] happen.

A woman checking her email inbox

#5. Pose a Question They’ll Need to Answer

If you’re sharing content, it’s important your subject line is sticky enough to convince them to click. Rather than making a statement, ask a question that they’ll only be able to answer by clicking through to read more. Here’s an example of how you can quickly switch a scannable statement into a question that needs to be explored.

Statement:
Subject Line: 5 Foods That Are Safe for Dogs.

Question:
Subject Line: Is peanut butter safe for dogs?

#6. Leverage the Appeal of Urgency

From the rise of digital countdown clocks on websites to the almost daily occurrence of one-day sales, the “here today, gone tomorrow” mentality of the online shopping experience has proven to be a success.

Subject Line: Final Hours: [DESCRIBE SALE]

#7. Feed off FOMO by Touting Limited Supply

Use retargeting to alert customers that items they once browsed are now in very limited supply. This practice boosts the value of an item to the customer because it lets them know that it’s popular and soon-to-be unattainable if they don’t act fast.

Subject Line: Only [#] Left: [ITEM NAME]

#8. Don’t Shy Away from Free Shipping

Who doesn’t love free? A recent retail study showed that 9 out of 10 shoppers said that free shipping was their #1 incentive to purchase online. If you offer free shipping always or occasionally, be sure to spotlight this selling point in your subject line.

Subject Line: FREE SHIPPING on [ITEMS] Until Tomorrow

A package with free shipping at its destination


#9. Share News and Updates as a Thought Leader

Position your company as a subject matter expert by publishing blog posts that report industry trends and developments related to your business that your customer base will find interesting or helpful.

Subject Line: The 2019 Guide to [YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE]

#10. Lean on the Cool Factor of Influencer Advocates

Was a celebrity spotted wearing, using, or purchasing something you sell? Their star factor can boost your sale when you mention them in your subject line. Keep tabs on the latest sightings by setting up Google Alerts related to your product.

Subject Line: Check out our [ITEM] on [CELEBRITY]

#11. Keep Once-Considered Items on Their Minds

The most successful retargeting efforts are greatly fueled by email, so be sure to bolster your subject line performance with straightforward, item-specific copy that the customer will instantly recognize. Leave the flowery prose at home on this one!

Subject Line: Still interested in [ITEM]?

Having a sale? Showcase the savings!
Subject Line: PRICE DROP: [ITEM]. Reveal Your Deal!

#12. Make Them Feel Special with Insider-Only Subject Lines

Everyone likes to feel in the know, including your email subscribers. Send good vibes with subject lines that include “Exclusive Sales” and “Insider Savings.” This type of acknowledgment lets them know you recognize and appreciate them.

Subject Line: Exclusive Sale: Your Members-Only [#%] Off Code Inside

Many messages waiting to be analyzed
Try, Test, and Tweak Your Email Subject Lines

From A/B tests to Metrics Mondays, develop good, consistent habits around testing and analyzing your email performance to pinpoint what resonates with your customer base. And remember, data is only valuable if you share it with people who can use it, so be sure to break down your findings into digestible best practices and share them with everyone on your team responsible for planning your email strategy and bringing it to life.