157 of the Best Email Subject Lines We‘ve Ever Seen

Looking to boost your email open rates? Your subject line can make or break your email campaign. After all, it‘s the first thing recipients see in their inbox and determines whether they open or ignore your message.

In fact, 47% of email recipients decide whether to open an email based on the subject line alone. And 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line (source).

Crafting compelling email subject lines is both an art and a science. To help you master this critical skill, we‘ve compiled a list of 157 of the best subject lines that landed in our inboxes.

Plus, we‘ll share proven tips, real-world examples, and data-driven best practices to help you write irresistible subject lines of your own. Let‘s dive in!

Why Email Subject Lines Matter

Before we get to the examples, let‘s talk about why email subject lines are so important in the first place. Here are some eye-opening statistics:

  • 33% of email recipients open emails based on subject line alone (source)
  • Subject lines with less than 10 characters have an open rate of 58% (source)
  • Personalized subject lines can increase open rates by 50% (source)
  • Subject line emojis can increase open rates by 56% (source)

The data doesn‘t lie. Your subject line is the gateway to your email content. You could write the most brilliant email copy, but if no one opens it, it doesn‘t matter. Small tweaks to your subject line can drive big results.

8 Proven Email Subject Line Formulas

Now that you understand the importance of email subject lines, let‘s look at some proven formulas you can use to craft your own.

These formulas are based on an analysis of hundreds of top-performing subject lines from leading brands and marketers. Think of them as plug-and-play templates you can adapt to your own emails.

  1. The Curiosity Gap
  • Formula: [Intriguing statement] + [Benefit/Promise]
  • Example: Baby Phat is BACK ๐Ÿ‘€ | Discover the NEW collection
  1. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
  • Formula: [Urgency/Scarcity] + [Offer]
  • Example: โฐ 80% Off Scale ENDS TONIGHT | Get the Deal Before It‘s Gone
  1. Self-Interest
  • Formula: Want [desired outcome]? Try [specific tactic].
  • Example: Want to boost productivity? Try this 1 simple hack.
  1. Offer/Discount
  • Formula: [Discount] + [Product/Service] + [Urgency]
  • Example: ๐Ÿ›๏ธ 50% Off All Shoes Today Only | Shop the Sale Now
  1. Announcement/News
  • Formula: Introducing [new feature/update] ๐Ÿ“ฃ
  • Example: Just Released: 2023 State of the Creator Economy Report
  1. Humor/Cleverness
  • Formula: [Unexpected twist] + [Pop Culture Reference]
  • Example: Hats Off to Free Shipping! ๐ŸŽฉ mad hatter not included
  1. Social Proof/Credibility
  • Formula: [Number] [Experts/Customers] [Benefit] Using [Product/Service]
  • Example: See How 20,000+ Marketers are Driving Conversions with Video
  1. Personalization
  • Formula: [Name], [Question/Offer] Just For You
  • Example: John, Your Special Birthday Offer Has Arrived ๐ŸŽ‚

These are just a few of the many subject line formulas you can use. The key is to mix and match different elements to create your own unique variations.

Pro Tip: Keep your subject lines under 9 words and 60 characters. Concise subject lines have higher open rates. Plus, they won‘t get cut off on mobile screens.

100+ Best Email Subject Line Examples

Ready to see these formulas in action? Browse the list below and save your favorites for inspiration. I‘ve grouped them into popular categories like curiosity, FOMO, humor, personalization, and more.

Use them as-is or put your own spin on them to match your brand voice. The options are endless!

Curiosity Piquing:

  • I got Botox โ€” & THIS is what it looked like
  • Baby Phat is BACK ๐Ÿ‘€
  • We‘re Spilling the Tea on Beyoncรฉ‘s Fashion Evolution ๐Ÿต
  • Proof texting is killing your love life ๐Ÿ’”
  • Every man needs these 4 jackets ๐Ÿงฅ
  • Can you keep a secret? ๐Ÿคซ
  • What‘s sweeter than donuts? ๐Ÿฉ
  • TBD Inc After Dark ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out):

  • ๐Ÿšจ You have 1 Day Left to Joinโ€ฆ
  • Don‘t Miss Out! 80% Off Scale Ends Tonight ๐Ÿ
  • Hurry! Black Friday Deals Disappear at Midnight โฐ
  • Should We Close Your Account? ๐Ÿ˜”
  • Unlock 200+ New Arrivals (Members Only)
  • Final hours: Sale Items Under $25

Benefit-Driven:

  • Get more leads with these 3 tips ๐Ÿ“ˆ
  • Your new productivity hack ๐Ÿ’ช
  • The secret ingredient for amazing guac ๐Ÿฅ‘
  • 6 tips for better sleep ๐Ÿ˜ด
  • Write emails that get results โœ๏ธ
  • Meal prep for the week in under 2 hours ๐Ÿฅ—

Offers/Discounts:

  • 25% off EVERYTHINGโ€”Today Only! ๐Ÿ›๏ธ
  • Take $20 off your order of $25+
  • Free gift with purchase ๐ŸŽ
  • 50% off all premium themes
  • Subscribe & get 15% off every box
  • BOGO Bonus Weekend Sale ๐Ÿท๏ธ

Announcements:

  • ๐Ÿ“ข Introducing our new app!
  • ๐Ÿšจ You Asked, We Answered. YouTube Shorts Are Here
  • ๐ŸŽ‰ Now accepting Apple Pay
  • Schedule Update: New Monday Class Added ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ
  • Last month‘s top 10 blog posts
  • 15 new listings for Denver this week ๐Ÿก

Funny/Clever:

  • Abra-cord-abra! Yeah, we said it.
  • We Like Being Used ๐Ÿ˜
  • Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)
  • Tonight only: Dinner with your dog ๐Ÿถ
  • Yes, I‘m Probably Drinking Coffee Right Now โ˜•

Personalized:

  • Happy Birthday, Sarah! ๐ŸŽ‚ Surprise Inside
  • Alex, do you remember me?
  • John, your coaching session awaits ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ
  • We‘ve missed you, Jess! Here‘s 20% OFF
  • Nicole, check out these jackets picked just for you ๐Ÿ‘€
  • Mike, your special invitation has arrived ๐Ÿ’Œ

Questions:

  • Want to 5x your conversion rate? ๐Ÿ“ˆ
  • Are you team iPhone or Android? โ˜Ž๏ธ
  • Tired of feeling stressed at work? ๐Ÿ˜ซ
  • Stripes or polka dots? ๐Ÿ‘”
  • Is your marketing strategy ready for 2023?

Emojis:

  • ๐Ÿšจ Your 15% off code expires at midnight! โฐ
  • ๐Ÿ‚ Fall into savings with 30% off ๐Ÿ›’
  • ๐Ÿถ Who‘s a good email subscriber? You are! ๐Ÿ˜˜
  • โœจ Make mom‘s day with a spa gift card ๐Ÿง–โ€โ™€๏ธ
  • ๐Ÿ•บ Let‘s taco ‘bout Cinco de Mayo ๐ŸŒฎ

Lists:

  • 10 Best Remote Jobs Paying $100k+ ๐Ÿ’ฐ
  • 5 Easy Home Organization Hacks You Need to Try
  • 7 Surprising Foods That Help You Sleep Better ๐Ÿ’ค
  • The Top 15 Trending Products to Sell Online in 2023 ๐Ÿ›๏ธ
  • 3 Simple Tricks For Better Work-Life Balance โš–๏ธ

Urgency/Scarcity:

  • Get lifetime access before we close the doors ๐Ÿ”’
  • Only 3 spots left for our live training! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
  • Last chance to save 40% on your next delivery ๐Ÿšš
  • Back in stockโ€ฆfor now ๐Ÿ‘€
  • $1 shipping ends at midnight! ๐Ÿš€

How to A/B Test Email Subject Lines

Knowing email subject line best practices is one thing. But how do you know what works best for YOUR specific audience? The answer is A/B testing.

A/B testing (also known as split testing) is the process of sending two variations of your subject line to a small portion of your email list and measuring which one performs better. Most email marketing platforms have A/B testing features built in.

Here‘s how to set up a subject line A/B test in 3 simple steps:

  1. Write 2-3 subject line variations. Each subject line should be distinctly different. For example, test a question vs. a statement, or an emoji vs. no emoji.

  2. Send the variations to a small segment of your list. Aim for a sample size of about 10-20% of your total list. Your email platform will randomly split the group and send version A to one half and version B to the other.

  3. Measure the results and pick a winner. Let your test run for at least 12-24 hours. Then compare the open rates of version A vs. B. The subject line with the highest open rate is your winner! Send that version to the remaining 80-90% of your list.

Pro Tip: Only test one element at a time. For example, if you‘re testing an emoji vs. no emoji, keep the rest of the subject line exactly the same. That way you know the emoji is the variable driving the results.

Common A/B testing mistakes to avoid:

  • Testing too many variables at once
  • Not letting your test run long enough to reach statistical significance
  • Assuming the "winner" will apply to all future emails
  • Not documenting your results for future reference

By continuously testing your subject lines, you‘ll gain valuable insights into your audience‘s preferences. Over time, you‘ll be able to hone in on the types of subject lines that consistently drive opens and engagement.

Writing Email Subject Lines: Dos and Don‘ts

We‘ve covered a lot of ground in this guide, so let‘s recap some key dos and don‘ts to keep in mind when writing your own email subject lines:

โœ… DO:

  • Keep it short. Aim for 5-7 words and under 60 characters.
  • Use action-oriented language. Lead with verbs like "get", "buy", "try", "learn".
  • Personalize when possible. Emails with the recipient‘s first name in the subject line have higher open rates.
  • Leverage curiosity. Hint at what‘s inside the email without giving away too much.
  • Test special characters & emojis. Emojis can increase open rates, but use them tastefully.
  • Promote offers and discounts. Feature your offer or % off in the subject line.
  • Ask questions. Questions pique interest and hint that you have answers.
  • A/B test continuously. Always be testing to improve your subject lines over time.

๐Ÿšซ DON‘T:

  • Use all caps. All caps can trigger spam filters and look spammy to recipients.
  • Include the word "free". Overused words like "free" can decrease open rates.
  • Bait and switch. Never make a promise or claim in your subject line that you don‘t fulfill in the email.
  • Go overboard with punctuation. Excessive exclamation points (!!!) and symbols (##%) can backfire.
  • Write clickbait. You might get the open, but you‘ll lose trust and future engagement.
  • Sound too sales-y. Aggressive, pushy sales tactics turn people off.
  • Send the same subject line every time. Variety is key to keeping subscribers interested.
  • Forget to proofread. Triple check for grammar, spelling, and formatting errors before hitting send.

Ultimately, the key to writing effective email subject lines is to put yourself in your subscribers‘ shoes. What would make YOU want to open an email?

Aim to spark curiosity, communicate value, and build trust with every subject line you write. When in doubt, keep it clear, concise, and customer-focused.

Email Subject Line Checklist

Feeling overwhelmed? Don‘t worry, we‘ve got you covered. Before you hit send on your next email campaign, run through this quick checklist to make sure your subject lines are in tip-top shape:

  • [ ] Is it under 60 characters? โŒจ๏ธ
  • [ ] Does it communicate a clear benefit? ๐ŸŽฏ
  • [ ] Is the language action-oriented? ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ
  • [ ] Are you using personalization (if appropriate)? ๐Ÿ‘‹
  • [ ] Does it create a sense of urgency? โฑ๏ธ
  • [ ] Have you A/B tested different versions? ๐Ÿค”
  • [ ] Is the tone consistent with your brand voice? ๐ŸŽค
  • [ ] Have you proofread for errors? ๐Ÿ”

If you can check off all these boxes, congrats! ๐ŸŽ‰ You‘ve nailed the basics of a strong email subject line.

Go Forth and Write Epic Email Subject Lines!

There you have it, folks. We‘ve covered everything you need to know to write email subject lines that get opened, clicked, and converted.

Remember, your subject line is your first (and sometimes only) chance to make an impression on your subscribers. It‘s worth taking the time to get it right.

Use the tips, examples, and formulas in this guide as a starting point, but don‘t be afraid to get creative and experiment. Your subject line style will evolve over time as you learn what works best for your unique audience.

So go forth and write epic email subject lines that do your amazing email content justice! ๐Ÿ’ช

If you found this guide helpful, be sure to check out our other email marketing resources:

Happy emailing!