This post works as an individual piece but also as a completion of the post about the best practices for all email components: email copy, email design, CTA’s, and images.
In this post we’ll focus on subject lines alone.
You can use a variety of subject lines to generate clicks and curiosity. But first, the subject line needs to accurately match the email content. And of course, the content needs to be valuable to your subscribers.
Based on the intent and the emotion you are trying to convey, we can split subject lines into 7 categories.
1. Self-Interest Subject Line Examples
This type of subject line is for emails that deliver real value to the recipient. You speak straight to the user and you clearly show in the subject line what is the benefit. Let’s check some examples.
- 8 Email Subject Lines to Increase Your Open Rates
- 5 Ways to Curate Content
- 7 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Followers
2. Curiosity Subject Line
This type of subject line urges the recipient to open it. If yoiu can make it about a story of some sort, it’s even better.
Without disclosing too much information you motivate the user to click for more while making the subject line appealing enough.
- I was 22 when I first started, at 32 here I am…
- andreimark.com: 3 Bad Social Posts, 1000 Unfollowers
- He knew nothing about social media – 10,000 IG followers and counting
3. Offerings Subject Line
Offering something valuable is a great way to grow awareness and brand recall.
For this type of subject line you need to be as clear as possible in the subject line what is the offering.
- Free 1 hour training every weekday at 8 PM
- Limited 70% Discount for my Digital Marketing Course
- Ends Tomorrow: Buy any 1 product, get 1 more as gift
4. Urgency Subject Lines
Creating a sense of fear of missing out (FOMO) is a highly effective type of subject line. If your offer is genuine and in the user’s interests, the chances for the email to be opened are high.
Here are some quick examples on how an urgency subject line would look like.
- Already reached 900 members, 100 spots left
- Are you In or Out? Zoom video meeting tonight
- Members apply now! 1 gift product, 2 hours left
5. Humanitarian Subject Lines
People learn a lot by sharing your own story and experiences with them. It’s a powerful approach to build trust and credibility with your audience.
This type of email can be about anything as long as it not just about yourself. Some basic examples would sound like:
- Why I HATE Surveys
- Why I love failing as much as succeeding
- How I tripled my subscriptions during the Coronavirus
6. News Subject Lines
Although this carries the newsworthy element to it, you still need to provide something of value for the email campaign to work.
It’s about sparking interest and curiosity while staying focused on what’s in for them.
- ANNOUNCEMENT: New Course Going Live
- New Products, New Offers!
- You Asked, We Promised, Now it’s Here
7. Social Proof
Social proof works like a powerful magnet to attract new clients. Imagine you go by nearby two restaurants, the first one is filled with cheering people, the other is almost empty. Most likely you will enter where people are already having a great time.
The social proof type of subject line and email works in a similar way. To be truly effective you still must bring something of value to the user.
Again, make it clear in the subject line what could be in for them.
- [Case Study] $25,865/mo in recurring revenue
- How we reached 10,000 organic followers
- Our 2020’s Most Shared Posts
- Our Highest ROI Channel and the strategy behind it
In my research on writing this post, I got a lot of value from this comprehensive post from sleeknote.com. They write about no less than 115 Best Email Subject Lines.
An important element of your email strategy is to have a plan. As Jim Rohn says, people who fail to plan are planning to fail.
To create the framework of your email campaign have a look at this post. It’s about segmentation, planning, writing the actual email, sending the email, and then analyzing the results.
As for the subject lines themselves, I recommend learning about the best practices of email a/b testing. It will help you find what type of subject lines work best for your own audience.