Write email subject lines that convert.

Write subject lines that get your emails opened

Are you tired of your killer content languishing in unopened emails?

Well, buckle up, because we're about to dive deep into the world of subject lines that work.

By the time you finish this guide, you'll be crafting subject lines that'll have your subscribers itching to click 'open'.

Why your email subject line is your email's handshake.

Let's get real for a second: your subject line is make-or-break for your email campaign.

It's the first (and sometimes only) impression you get to make.

A great subject line email can be the difference between "Oh, another marketing email" and "Wow, I need to read this now!"

But here's the thing: crafting the perfect subject line isn't just an art—it's a science.

And today, we're going to break down that science for you.

The anatomy of a converting subject line.

Before we dive into specific examples, let's break down what makes a subject line that works:

  1. Relevant: It speaks directly to your audience's interests or needs.
  2. Curios: It piques interest without giving everything away.
  3. Urgent: It creates a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out).
  4. Personalized: It feels like it's speaking directly to the reader.
  5. Clear: It's clear and concise, no beating around the bush.

Now, let's look at some categories of subject lines that consistently deliver results, along with killer examples for each.

1. The curiosity-piquing subject line.

These subject lines work by creating an information gap that your reader just has to fill.


  • "The email marketing secret I've never shared before..."
  • "You won't believe what happened when we tried this..."
  • "The surprising truth about [industry topic]"
  • "We crunched the numbers, and the results shocked us"

2. The FOMO-inducing subject line.

Nothing motivates quite like the fear of missing out. These subject lines create a sense of urgency that compels opens.


  • "Last chance: Our biggest sale ends at midnight"
  • "Only 3 spots left for our exclusive webinar"
  • "Don't miss out: This offer expires in 24 hours"
  • "[First Name], your exclusive invite expires tonight"

3. The problem-solving subject line.

Position your email as the solution to your subscriber's burning problem, and watch those open rates soar.


  • "5 proven ways to boost your email open rates"
  • "Struggling with [common problem]? Here's your fix"
  • "The ultimate guide to [solving a specific challenge]"
  • "How we increased conversions by 237% (and how you can too)"

4. The personalized subject line.

Personalization goes beyond just using a first name. It's about making your subject line feel tailor-made for your recipient.


  • "[First Name], we picked these items just for you"
  • "Here's what's new in [subscriber's city] this week"
  • "Based on your last purchase, we think you'll love this..."
  • "Your custom [product/service] report is ready"

5. The list subject line.

People love lists. They're easy to digest and promise clear, actionable content.


  • "10 email marketing trends you can't ignore in 2024"
  • "7 subject line mistakes that are killing your open rates"
  • "5 tools every email marketer needs (number 3 is a game-changer)"
  • "The top 3 strategies our most successful clients use"

6. The question subject line.

Questions engage your reader's mind and make them curious about the answer.


  • "Are you making these common email marketing mistakes?"
  • "Want to increase your open rates by 50%?"
  • "What if you could write the perfect subject line every time?"
  • "[First Name], ready to revolutionize your email strategy?"

7. The announcement subject line.

Everyone loves to be in the know. Use these to share news or updates about your product or company.


  • "Breaking: We've just rolled out this game-changing feature"
  • "You asked, we listened: Introducing our new [product/service]"
  • "It's here! The [product] you've been waiting for"
  • "Big news: We've partnered with [well-known company]"

8. The social proof subject line.

Leverage the power of social proof to boost your credibility and interest.


  • "See why 10,000+ marketers swear by our email tool"
  • "How [well-known company] increased their open rates by 75%"
  • "Join the 5,000 smart marketers who've already signed up"
  • "[Influencer name] called our latest feature 'revolutionary'"

9. The exclusive subject line.

Make the recipient feel like part of an exclusive group.


  • "[Name], unlock your VIP access now!"
  • "Exclusive invitation: Be the first to try our new product"
  • "Members only: 40% off just for you"

10. The short and mysterious subject line.

During Obama's presidential campaign, a variety of subject lines from his campaign headquarters were tested to see what worked best. Surprisingly, the subject line that worked best was one that simply said "Hi!".


  • "Hello!"
  • "Hello"
  • "Good morning"

Pro tips for crafting converting subject lines.

  1. Keep it short and sweet: Aim for 40 characters or less to avoid truncation, especially on mobile devices.

  2. Use power words: Words like "exclusive", "secret", "instant", and "new" can boost open rates.

  3. A/B test religiously: What works for one audience might not work for another. Always be testing!

  4. Avoid spam trigger words: Stay away from words like "free", "guarantee", and excessive punctuation to keep your emails out of the spam folder.

  5. Create a sense of urgency: Use time-sensitive language to encourage immediate opens.

  6. Deliver on your promise: Make sure your email content lives up to the expectation set by your subject line.

Summary: Your subject line strategy.

Remember, the perfect subject line doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's part of your overall email marketing strategy. Here's how to approach it:

  1. Know your audience: Understanding your subscribers' pain points, desires, and behaviors is key to crafting subject lines that resonate.

  2. Segment your list: Different segments may respond better to different types of subject lines. Don't be afraid to tailor your approach.

  3. Analyze and iterate: Pay close attention to your open rates and use those insights to continually refine your subject line strategy.

  4. Stay true to your brand: While it's great to try different techniques, make sure your subject lines always align with your brand voice.

Minutemailer tools to supercharge your subject line game.

Ready to take your subject lines to the next level? Check out Minutemailer's powerful features:

  • AI suggestions: Feel stuck? Let our AI suggest a subject line based on the content of your email.
  • Personalization: Leverage subscriber data to create hyper-personalized subject lines. Read our guide to merge tags and custom fields
  • Analytics: Get deep insights from your open rates and other key metrics.

With Minutemailer, crafting converting subject lines becomes a breeze. You can focus on creativity while we handle the technical heavy lifting.

Your path to subject line mastery.

Crafting the perfect subject line email is both an art and a science. It takes practice, testing, and a willingness to think outside the inbox.

But remember, the goal isn't just to get your emails opened—it's to provide value to your subscribers and build lasting relationships.

Your subject line is just the beginning of that journey. Start implementing these strategies today, and watch your open rates soar.

Also read our guide to creating better emails.

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