Ah, that sinking feeling when you spend all day crafting THE perfect email with the best email subject line for your subscriber list, send it out into the world…

… and then check your open rate a few days later, only to discover that just a teeny tiny proportion of people actually bothered to open it. And let’s face it, crafting the best email subject line is not an easy job.

Depressing, right? But you’re not alone.

By the end of this article, you’ll have learned: The core ingredients that make up the best email subject line …

… AND these 7 awesome templates you can use to create the best email subject line:

  1. The FOMO One
  2. The Self-Improvement One
  3. The If-Then One
  4. The Free Gift One
  5. The Cliffhanger One
  6. The Direct-Informal One
  7. The Controversial One

Let’s crack on!

Seriously, you’re not alone – the latest research from Smart Insights shows that, across the board, only around 15-30% of emails sent from companies, across all sectors, ever get opened. For a small-to-medium sized business, you can expect about four-fifths of your emails to get totally ignored.

But don’t you go getting all disheartened! Writing the best email subject line is an art – and in this post, we’re going to teach you how to master it.

The Basics

Before we get into the specifics of what makes the best email subject line, let’s cover some of the common ingredients that really jump out at people as they scroll through their cluttered inbox.

The big ones to think about are:

· Curiosity: Does it pique their interest and make them wonder what the rest of the email might say?

· Urgency: Why should they open this email right now? What’s the hurry?

· A Tempting Offer: What awesome rewards does your email hint at?

· Relevance: Are you giving the reader the impression you’re speaking directly to them / their tribe?

· Novelty: Are you telling them something surprising or unusual – a cool story or a shocking discovery, perhaps?

Of course, you won’t be able to squeeze in all these things into your email subject line. Nor should you try… after all, you need to keep things short and punchy. The key is to use this list as inspiration for your subject lines. If yours manages to include one or more of these things, people are far more likely to open them.

Which brings us to…

7 Email Subject Lines People Can’t Help but Open

Okay, now let’s take a look at the top 7 ways to use the principles we’ve learned in tried-and-tested email subject lines templates.

1. The FOMO One

No one likes to feel like they’re missing out, so a top way to create a sense of urgency and inspire action is to create the impression of scarcity or an offer about to end.

E.g.: “Last chance! Just 5 spaces left on our exclusive training webinar.”

2. The Self-Improvement One

Ah, a dependable classic. Promising people they can be a better version of themselves isn’t new, but boy does it work.

E.g. How to get a six-pack in just 10 weeks.

3. The If-Then One

If you know your target audience well enough, then you’ll have a good idea of which characteristics they share (see what I did there?). Take something that feels specific but applies to the vast majority, if not all, of the people on the list and makes them think ‘Oh wait, that applies to me!’ Then link this to the solution you’re emailing them about.

E.g. “If you’re struggling with staff shortages over summer, you need THIS tool.”

4. The Free Gift One

Giving your recipient the impression that something real and tangible is waiting for them is always a winner and a great way to cut right through the spam – especially if you personalise it.

E.g. “Hi Ben! This month’s free marketing tutorial is now ready for your viewing pleasure.”

5. The Cliffhanger One

Humans are curious creatures. Create a little mystery or suspense and we can’t help but peek inside. Don’t believe me? Scroll to the bottom of this page to find out why.

E.g. Psst! Bet you don’t know this profit-boosting trick…

6. The Direct-Informal One

This is an increasingly popular method, with good reason. The idea is to mimic the way real people write subject lines to each other, be they friends or colleagues.

E.g. Are you free for a quick chat tomorrow?

7. The Controversial One

Okay, so you need to exercise this with caution. Making an outlandish claim or questioning a popular belief is a great way to get clicks… just make sure you aren’t overdoing it, or you’ll lose people’s trust!

E.g. Are you wasting money on Facebook advertising? Here’s why you need to stop, today.

And there you have it! You’re all set to go out there and take your email list by storm.

*Did you scroll to the end to find out why? See! We just can’t help ourselves!

Click here to read more on email subject lines. We’ve got loads more to teach you, so keep an eye out for our news.

P.S. don’t forget that the email subject line is an important element of the email headers which is the first thing spam email filters look at before popping your epic email into your recipient’s inbox – so be careful with CAPS, overuse of FREE, sale, special offer and the like, never mention pharmaceuticals and you’d be amazed at the difficulty we have in getting good delivery for our clients from Scunthorpe! (Think about it).

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