30 Successful Subject Lines for your emails

In a survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey, 47% of respondents said they decide whether to open an email based on the subject line alone. That’s a lot of pressure for just a few words, but subject lines that use some combination of personal, relevant, funny, timely and provocative can significantly increase your email open rates, so it’s worth your time to test and perfect them.

So what does a good subject line look like? Here are some of our favorites from four popular industries:

1. A sneaky tip to pay off your mortgage early
2. 3 Stocks You Should Own Today
3. Warren Buffet’s top pick is …
4. Raise your credit score over the weekend
5. 3 Secrets your bank will never tell you
6. Can we help you raise capital for your startup?
7. Lisa, do this one thing to get your loan approved

1. Secrets of a home stager
2. Your neighbor’s house is worth …
3. Be the first to know about new houses!
4. 5 signs your Realtor sucks
5. 3 Local houses with dream closets
6. Mark, here’s why your house hasn’t sold
7. Kitchen makeovers under $1,000
8. Don’t miss these open houses!

1. 5 Ways to get free upgrades
2. Eat like a VIP for $6
3. Wanted: Beach-front hotel reviewers
4. The 10 most haunted hotels
5. Only 3 cruises left at this price!
6. Confidential: How to stay like a rock star
7. Our milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard
8. Steve, get these tickets before the general public

1. Oops! Our loss is your gain!
2. Fall’s must-have item is …
3. This color is the new black!
4. Sci fi gadgets under $50
5. Cathy, did you ship your pants?
6. Don’t drink and order inventory. 50% off overstock.
7. Sorry we moved your cheese. Here’s a coupon.

These subject lines capitalize one or more of the tactics to garner interest:
• Personalization: Using someone’s name goes a long way. Popular reports indicate that emails with subject lines that include first-name personalization have 17% higher unique open rates than emails without personalization.

• Sense of urgency and exclusivity: The Email Institute (now Epsilon) reports that subject lines that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity can give a 22% higher open rate. Countdowns, limited quantities and deadlines can hint to email recipients that they’ll be missing out if they don’t act fast. Conjure images of exclusivity with “VIP,” “only” and “secret,” the latter of which Worldata has found to increase open rates by 17%.

• Short and sweet: An infographic by Wolfgang Jaegel indicates that 64% of decision-makers read emails via mobile device, are opened on mobile devices first, which fit an average of four to seven words on the screen. In addition, according to Entrepreneur, subject lines with 41 characters or under get higher open and click-through rates than longer ones.

• Engaging keywords: LocalVox reports that indications of digestible content, such as “alert,” “video” and “bulletin,” can boost performance.

If you try out some of these tactics and still feel intimidated by subject lines, take the easy route. An infographic by invesp points out that emails with NO subject line at all were opened 8% more than those with a subject line. Now that’s a no-brainer. Businesses can uses the subject lines above for inspiration, along with the tips to make every subject line count.