4 Eye-Catching Subject Lines to Catapult Your Email Open Rates

4 Eye-Catching Subject Lines to Catapult Your Email Open Rates

2017-06-01 10:00:00 | Jessica Van Liew | email marketing

We’ve all heard that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  But when it comes to email, no one has a problem doing just that.  So much so, that 33% of email recipients decide to open an email or not entirely based on the subject line.  That’s why it is so critical to craft compelling subject lines that make people click through. 

We’re all bombarded with emails.  How many emails do you have in your inbox right now?  100?  800?  People are inundated with boatloads of emails day after day.  Which makes the chances of your email being ignored pretty high.  According to the Radicati Group’s study, the average business user gets over 120 email each day, with almost half of them never opened. 

The first thing I do every morning when I wake up is reach for my phone and check my emails (this is bad I know).  You quickly scan through and delete all of those unimportant emails so that when you settle in for the day at your desk there is a fresh inbox awaiting your morning hustle.  But, if I see a subject line that pops, I tend to read that email immediately.  Ah, the power of email.  Email marketing is an extraordinary way to engage, connect with and convert your audience.

So how do we cut through all that noise and the crazy amounts of SMAP that hit your prospects’ inboxes every single day?  Let’s get right into it. 

Catapult your email open rates with these powerful email subject lines. 

The Question Subject Line

Asking a question in your subject line will really step up your email open rates since they get the reader to think about how the subject matter applies to their own life.  Ask a question that resonate with the reader’s pain points or interests.  Here are a couple examples:

  • Do You Check Your Emails When You First Wake Up?
  • Are You A Zombie Without Your Morning Coffee?
  • Are You Missing Out On These Points?
  • Are You Committing These Instagram Atrocities?

The Strange & Unusual Subject Line

We all enjoy fun surprises, so increase your email open rates with a shocking or strange subject line that can pique curiosity or make someone chuckle.  Controversy can sell and it most certainly grabs attention.  But tread carefully.  The shock, strange or controversy strategy requires a solid understanding of your audience’s tastes and perceptions.  Here are some subject line examples to leave a small curiosity gap or that say something so out of left field we want to learn more:

  • Your Marketing Sucks: Why You Need to Think Local
  • This Little-Known Copywriting Trick Will Increase Your Email Click-Through Rate
  • 9 out of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Fact
  • Don’t Open This Email!
  • Last Day To See What This Mystery Email Is All About
  • 3 Magic Rules for Keeping Gremlins Out of Your Office Equipment

The Humorous Subject Line

If your subject line makes your audience laugh, the will just have to open it!  A thoughtfully funny subject line requires a bit more thought and creativity, but can really pay off in terms of your email open rates.  Here are some subject lines that can tickle their funny bone:

  • Eater Boston: “Where to Drink Beer Right Now” (Sent at 6:45am on a Wednesday.)
  • OpenTable: “Licking your phone never tasted so good”
  • Groupon: “Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)”
  • The Muse: “We Like Being Used”
  • Fabletics: “Your Butt Will Look Great in These Workout Pants
  • Warby Parker: “Pairs nicely with spreadsheets”
  • UncommonGoods: “As You Wish” (This is a reference to the movie The Princess Bride.)
  • Travelocity: “Need a day at the beach? Just scratch n’ sniff your way to paradise…”
  • Thrillist: “Try To Avoid These 27 People On New Year’s Eve”

The Number Subject Line

This may seem like a boring tip to increase your email open rates, but using numbers in the subject lines helps set people’s expectations and provide a structure for the content of your email.  Using a subject line like “8 Reasons to Read This Email” will pique the reader’s curiosity and sets your subject lien apart in a vast sea of words.  Lots of emails have vague statements in their subject lines.  Numbers demonstrate a clear and straightforward message about what you are offering and provides some serious value to the reader.  Here are some subject line examples using numbers:

  • 3 Steps to Sending Beautiful Email Campaigns
  • 2 Ways To Build Your Email List

If you want to increase your email open rates, craft subject lines that your readers simply can’t resist. Need some more inspiration, check out Respona’s email subject line templates!







Examples of subject lines from: