Key Elements of Great Email Subject Lines

I have a confession to make. When I first started doing email marketing, I put all of my focus into the content of the email. I wrote beautiful paragraphs filled with great deals, solid puns, and eye-catching images. However, it did not take me long to realize exactly how little that mattered with a bad subject line. Looking at the stats, I was distraught; who would see that email sitting in their inbox and not even give it a chance? Honestly, you should put as much time into the subject lines of your emails as you do the body. But what should you be looking for in good subject lines? Try to factor in a few of these elements:

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8 Top Email Subject Line Tips For Optimum Results


Examples: “Surprise inside!” “You Won’t Believe Our Deals This Week”

In order to draw readers in to your emails, they need a reason to be there. They want deals, but what are they? Well, they’ll have to read on to find out. Give them just enough info to pique their interest, then leave the rest for the body.


Examples: “Your prescription is expiring.” “Meal Deals Around You”

Sometimes, a person needs an email at just the right time to really make it effective. They could be reaching a deadline that ties in to your product, or maybe they’re just getting off work and might need a bite to eat on the way home. Factoring in the timing of your emails,and making your subject lines reflect it, could be just what you need to boost your open rate.


Examples: “Uh oh,” “Whoops,” “Woohoo!”

You don’t want to sound like a sales robot, and robots generally don’t say “Our bad!” Using more personable language shows that you’re not a marketing machine, you’re just a person (who also happens to be a marketing machine, let’s be real).


Examples: “Lindsay, We’ve Got A Deal For You” “Auto Financing Available in Madison”

Everyone likes to hear their own name! Isn’t that right, John? Okay, statistically that should work on a couple of you. The fact of the matter is, your emails will come off less like a sales pitch and more like a friendly offer if you’re able to include a person’s name, city, or state in the subject line.

subject lines social media cta

Fear Of Missing Out:

Examples: “Could you be getting better deals?” “Don’t Miss Out on Bonus Rewards Points!”

Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO for short, is a tactic that


Examples: “10 Deals that Don’t Totally Suck” “Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)”

The effect that humor has on email open rates is tricky to explain, but it often works well. Your sense of humor has to match your audience, but if you do it right, expect a big return. For less rowdy audiences, a simple pun may do. Or you can do what Groupon did with their “Unlike Our Nephew” subject line and go full weird, hoping your audience will be laid back enough to enjoy it.


Examples: “10 New Fonts Just For You” “Would You Like 25% Off Our Sofas?”

With proper segmentation, you can draw readers in to your emails by being blunt. Lay it out right away what’s in the email, and if you know they’re interested, they’re sure to follow your lead. Clarity can often make or break an email subject line depending on if your audiences are properly targeted, however.


Examples: “This Offer Ends Today!” “You Only Have 24 Hours Remaining”

Oooh, that last one is dark. A sense of urgency means that your readers will be compelled to click right away. It’s not often that someone goes back to review promotional emails they receive, so catching them on the first pass is the way to go.

subject lines marketing automation
Now that you have the knowhow, do you have the how-to? boberdoo’s Marketing Automation software enables sophisticated email marketing for your business, along with SMS marketing and advanced analytics. Click the banner above to find out more, or call 800-776-5646.

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