7 tips (and 21 examples) to create eye-catching email subject lines

two women smiling at the camera

There’s an art to crafting email subject lines. When you know the tricks of the trade, you can concoct a subject line that’ll jump out of a congested inbox and cause your subscribers to click your content. 

Have you ever looked at a plate of the food and wanted to gobble it up on the spot? If so, the way the chef plated your food or presented it to you probably contributed to your urge to immediately dig in. 

Similarly, you use a subject line to present your email. It’s the very first part of your email that graces your subscribers’ sight—and it can be the deciding factor as to whether they open and read what you have to say or not. No pressure.

Keep reading to discover 7 tips (plus, 21 examples) that’ll help you create irresistible email subject lines.

How to craft email subject lines that stand out

Your subject line lures your audience in—it entices your subscribers to open your email after they see it in their inbox. 

You could even argue that the email subject line is as important as what’s in the email body copy. After all, it’s hard to convince someone to buy your products or engage with your brand if they’re not opening your emails.

Since the subject line of your email is what your audience sees first, it’s essential that the copy is captivating and grabs their attention.  

7 kinds of email subject lines you can test

The subject line of your email is the first point of contact your subscribers will have with your email marketing campaign, so it needs to be click-worthy. Given that it’s a best practice to keep email subject lines around 40 characters or less, it’s important for your copy to be short and sweet.    

Once you know the content you’ll be sharing with your subscribers, consider building your email around one of these 7 kinds of subject lines:

1 | Lead with the benefits to your audience

These email subject lines speak to a specific benefit your audience will gain by opening the email. They also act as a way to pre-qualify subscribers as potential customers—those who open your email are looking for something that you and your brand can provide. 

Examples

  • Your best sleep yet
  • The secret to stress-free travel
  • Find your personalized skin care routine

 

2 | Evoke a sense of curiosity

Email subject lines that evoke a feeling of curiosity are effective because they pique the reader’s interest without giving away too much information. If your subject line is interesting, the urge to see what’s inside may just garner a click. 

Examples: 

  • Did you get your book yet?
  • Searching for support?
  • How about a new little black dress?

 

3 | Create an offer that drives clicks

Promotional offers in subject lines are by far the most popular tactics brands use to advertise special sales (e.g., seasonal or holiday sales). Clearly emphasizing what the offer is in the subject line will tell your readers about what they can expect to find in your email. 

Examples: 

  • 20% off your first order inside!
  • 25% off ends at MIDNIGHT!
  • $100 off the ultimate gift

 

4 | Create a sense of urgency or scarcity

Subject lines that convey a sense of urgency may stir up a feeling that if the reader doesn’t act now, they could miss out on a great deal or product. If something is in short supply, people might be more inclined to go for the buy. Additionally, if an offer is only good for a couple more days, it might encourage your readers to buy right away.

Examples: 

  • Wait! It’s the last day!
  • Less than 48 hours to save 💫
  • GOING, GOING, GONE

 

5 | Share news or an update

Keeping your audience in the loop about company updates and new products is a great way to encourage more people to open your emails and interact with your content. This can work especially well when combined with an element of suspense. 

Examples:

  • The inside scoop on our latest styles
  • New-must haves in clean beauty
  • The future of beauty is sustainable

 

6 | Add in social proof

Shoppers frequently look at the behavior of others when making purchasing decisions. You can leverage this in your email subject lines by mentioning other success stories, familiar names, or testimonials from people who already love your brand.

Examples:

  • Take it from our customers…
  • Have you heard? 
  • Word on the street is…

 

7 | Tell a story that teases what’s inside

Telling a story, or at least teasing the beginning of one, in your subject line is a unique way to highlight a benefit of your product or brand and potentially achieve the email performance you’re aiming for.

Examples: 

  • This is what’s truly essential…[part 2 of 3]
  • Feel better letter [Issue 12]
  • The untold story

Use subject lines to hook your audience

The hardest part of creating and sending an email is persuading your subscribers to open it. But once they do, the other aspects of your email campaign, like your copy and call-to-action (CTA), will help direct your subscribers back to your site (and hopefully the checkout page).

You might not get it right on the first try, but that’s okay. A/B test your email subject lines to see what your audience responds to—it’ll quickly become clear what they like best.   

Want to know how emojis and personalization in your subject lines affect the performance of your emails? Check out these findings from Klaviyo’s data science team.

Back to Blog Home
Get email marketing insights delivered straight to your inbox.