Ideas and Tips to Make Exiting Subject Lines

Creating a subject line is a challenge for many email marketers. Sometimes it seems easier to make a letter than to come up with a catchy line. According to our surveys, 65-75% of users decide whether to open a letter by the sender's name and then pay attention to the letter's subject. So don’t lose your chance to get your followers interested.

Look at these ideas to make an excellent subject line for your letter. We’ve got 12 different categories to focus on and 40+ themes to inspire.

1. Curiosity and Interest

People naturally desire to learn new things – let them fill in gaps by opening the letter. Incite interest by not giving too much information.

Key approach: understatement. You can engage subscribers with curiosity by asking a question (then answering it in a letter) and promising something exciting or unusual.

4 Curious Examples:

  1. ModCloth: “We left boring prints behind”
  2. CookiesKids: “ Want To Solve A Mystery?”
  3. Monica + Andy: “Look what we found in your cart!”
  4. Emma & Chloé US: “Guess the theme for the January Box…🕵️”

2. Customer Pain Points

You should understand your buyer's pain points, interests, and needs. Otherwise, you need to quickly learn about Value Proposition Canvas.

Key approach: solving problems. Use pain points that can make subscribers to open emails to find the exact solution.

5 Rather Problematic Examples:

  1. Fox Racing: “Set Goals, Not Resolutions”
  2. Happiest Baby: “A Guide to Pain Relievers for Babies 💊”
  3. Healthy Directions: “Eye pressure an issue? You will love this!”
  4. Weight Watchers (CA): “2023 is the year you lose the weight🙌”
  5. Freeletics: “99 plans but not sticking to one?”

3. Greed and Economy

We all consider ourselves generous people, but once you see the significant discounts and the opportunity to save... a «greedy» person wakes up. A lot of us are afraid to miss the benefit. That is why special offers can work well in your subject lines.

Key approach: make an offer that is difficult to refuse. People like benefits or free materials. However, be careful when offering discounts to avoid overwhelming clients.

2 Greedy Examples:

  1. H&M Fashion News: “15% off your purchase!”
  2. Pizza Hut (UK): “Saving you money this January…”

4. Urgency and Deficit

You could use a limited-by-time offer, a unique offer that motivates the customer to act.

Key approach: deadlines and haste. The client has no time to reflect – it is necessary to decide only here and now.

3 Shortage Examples

  1. Michael Kors: “The Semi-Annual Sale Ends Tonight!”
  2. Melissa & Doug LLC: “(Starts NOW) Warm Up to Winter With These Savings! ❄”
  3. CookiesKids: “⚡Flash Mystery Sale ⚡Ending Soon”

5. Humor and Entertainment

Among ordinary lines, jokes will stand out.

Key approach: a sense of humor. The main thing is to reasonable. We hope that you know the audience well enough and the humor will allow you to tune in with the reader.

2 Entertaining Examples

  1. CookiesKids: “LOOK 👀 You've Scored A Special Deal 🎁”
  2. Sakara Life: “Lick The Bowl”

6. Personalization and Previous Experience

Using the subscriber’s name is just one way to make things more personal. There’s a lot of data that’s also interesting: city, gender, age, birthday... But the best letters are based on the previous experience of the client’s interaction with your company.

Key approach: data. Just don’t add too much information for once.

6 Very Experienced Examples:

  1. Casadei Newsletter: “Eva, with Casadei, the party never stops!”
  2. California Pizza Kitchen: “FREE Birthday Dessert For You!”
  3. Little Passports, Inc.: “Whoops! Looks Like You Still Have 6 Items in Your Shopping Cart 🛍”
  4. Seabourn Cruise Line: “Do you still dream about a Mediterranean voyage? We all do…”
  5. Luxy Hair: “Mary, last call! Take me home tonight.”
  6. ASICS: “Curated for our members: Exclusive January OneASICS™ styles.”

7. Flattery and Selfishness

People like to be loved, accepted, and revered by others... That’s why marketers use flattery to play on users' vanity.

Key approach: to hurt the ego. For example, you can promise something that makes the customer cooler, stand out or cause the fear of being ashamed.

2 Vanity Examples:
SugarBearHair: “Hi Beautiful, You left something in your cart! 💙”
Kid & Coe: “Sakara Life: “In Awe Of You”

8. Social Proof

Social media is a treasure for those who want to know what their peers do, so as TV stars and bloggers... Combine email marketing and social networks into one.

Key approach: people. What do they do, how do they live, and what might interest your subscribers? Here you can add reviews about your products and companies.

3 Socially Oriented Examples:

  1. Food Network: “12 Expert-Recommended Non-Alcoholic Drinks”
  2. “​​Drum roll: Most popular cruise right now is...:”
  3. Kid & Coe: “Our Most Popular Home of 2022 🎉…and more”

9. Unique Holidays

How boring is it to congratulate with the same holidays every year: New Year, Easter... Why not open the calendar and find something interesting? And you can always come up with something on your own.

Key approach: calendar and fantasy. The more non-trivial event you write about, the more interested subscribers will be.

3 Festive Themes:

  1. Melissa & Doug LLC: “🧩 It's National Puzzle Month”
  2. B&H Photo Video: "Bird Photography Tips & Gear for National Bird Day”
  3. Cosyfeet: “Celebrate the Pantone® Colour of the Year - Viva Magenta”

10. Songs and Quotes

Rhymes, musical lines, and favorite quotes can capture subscribers' attention. Add a little poetry to the letter, and select the most accurate lines for your audience. For example, for the younger generation, something from "Harry Potter" or Billie Eilish songs.

Key approach: books, music, movies. Guess where these lines were taken from?

6 Familiar Examples

  1. ModCloth: ”Don’t dino-snore on these styles!”
  2. ModCloth: “Every little thing is gonna be all bright”
  4. Original Grain: “New Year, New Watches →”
  5. Oneida: “UnFORKgettable Savings!”
  6. Sanuk: “Be bold – not cold

11. Fear

Sometimes it is appropriate to shock subscribers, to cause fears that they did not even think about earlier. Fear of being late for work, losing money, leaving a child in kindergarten, missing a flight, etc.

Key approach: ruthlessness in moderation. Feel the edge, and do not use this technique when it is inappropriate.

3 Scary Examples:

  1. Keh: “Don’t miss your chance at a Fujifilm trade-in bonus”
  2. “😱 What scares you most? Do it.”
  3. Mary Kay: “🦌 Dash away for last-minute gifts!”

12. News

People want to know about the latest events and learn new things. Sports, politics, movies, the lives of stars – anything can be a catchy subject for customers. Try to warn users about important. For example, the news of your company or even the entire industry.

Key approach: keep your hand on the pulse.

4 Hot Examples:

  1. Michael Kors: “Trend We Love: Graphic Glamour”
  2. J.Crew: “New cashmere, new denim & a new collab”
  3. CBS Sports: “Kansas City Has Won The Super Bowl!”
  4. Bag Borrow or Steal: “We Are On INSTAGRAM! Follow Today!”


Of course, there is no panacea for every business, but you can take all the practices to check what is right for you. Take advantage of the simple A/B testing in Yespo. You can easily assess which subject line has worked better and why.