Do you ever wonder if there is a trick to writing the best email subject lines?

It may seem like a simple and unimportant task, but coming up with a catchy subject line is an art in itself. It can make or break your email campaign!

According to Statista, in 2017, over 269 billion emails were sent worldwide. Most people begin their workday by opening their email, filtering through, and deleting everything that does not seem interesting or relevant. The best email subject lines keep your email out of the trash. The subject line represents only a small part of your message, but the first impression on your recipients is crucial.

So, how do you stand out in a sea of spam, advertising, and demanding day-to-day email?

Your subject lines must be creative, informative, and eye-catching enough to make people stop and think. They must be compelling so that your prospect opens the email and read on. The best email subject lines are short and sweet, clear and concise, and as intriguing as possible. Keep it simple and direct. Be honest and engaging and don’t overpromise. After all, you are building a relationship of trust with your subscribers through every email you send. The higher the trust factor is, the more likely the subscriber is willing to do whatever you are trying to get them to do.

Keep in mind that 67% of all email gets opened on a mobile device. We recommend that your subject lines are 40 characters or less so that your recipients can see the entire message as they scroll through. Every single word counts in such a limited phrase. Examine your word choice closely. If you fail to make your subscriber understand what your email is all about in your subject line, you may have lost that fleeting chance that they will actually open it. Remember that subject lines are a call to action, hopefully prompting your reader to click through. The best email subject lines get the highest open rates, and when your customers open your emails, you make more sales!

Here are a few tips JVZoo has on writing the best email subject lines:

Speak to Their Self-interest. People immediately want to know “what’s in it for me?” Appeal to their self-interest by touching on a pain point, stroking their ego, or offering value. Use your subject line to let them know what the exact benefit will be when they open your email. These are the types of subject lines you should use most often. Make it all about your subscriber!



  • “How to Boost Your Sales by 50% This Month”
  • “7 Ways to Get Noticed on Social Media”


Pique Their Curiosity. This approach is the opposite of the self-interest subject line. Make your subject line irresistible for the reader by not giving away too much information.


  • “Tomorrow is the Big Day…”
  • “Is This Your Game Changer?”


Make an Offer. Everyone loves free stuff. Offering something of value in your subject lines will get your subscribers interested. Phrases like “download this” and “grab this” let your readers know they will get a freebie if they click through.


  • “[Coupon Inside] 85% Off Your Favorite PlugIns”
  • “[Download] Your 3 Step Success Workbook”

Create Urgency and Scarcity. When done well, the best email subject lines use scarcity to create a powerful force convincing readers to act NOW. People just can’t help themselves when they think they are missing out on something. If you convey in your email subject line that the reader must take action because the offer is time sensitive, they will find it hard to resist.

  • “Sale Ends at Midnight…”
  • “2 More Hours…Are you In?”

Use Social Proof. As mentioned above, people don’t want to miss out. If the majority of people are doing something, chances are your reader will be interested. Use your email subject lines to make them want to jump on the bandwagon.  

  • “80,000 Users Can’t Be Wrong!”
  • “Join 550 Others at This Event”


Give it Visual Appeal. Use emojis or other visual tools such as brackets or parentheses in your email subject lines to help your email to stand out. Be careful not to overdo it with the emojis. Use them only when they will truly enhance the subject line.


  • “⏰[Last Chance] The Ultimate Video Template”
  • “[Exclusive] Insider Secrets to SEO”


Make it Personal. Begin your best email subject lines with your reader’s first name and they will pay attention. Everyone loves the sound of their own name. Write to them as if you are talking to a friend. Like any other technique, try not to go overboard with this one. Reserve the use of the reader’s name for a situation where you really want to capture their attention, such as a promotion, subscription, or specific campaign.


  •  “Jenny, have you received Your Free Gift?”
  • “This is your big chance, Jim…”


Tell a Story. If you use your subject line to begin crafting a captivating story, you draw in the reader. They will click through to find out what happens.

  • “I knew the moment I saw it…”
  • “The One Sales Tip that Made all the Difference…”


Here are a few things to AVOID in your subject lines:

  • The overuse of exclamation points doesn’t work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Spammy words like free, winner, or profits
  • Any combination of the above

A good way to narrow down what your best email subject lines are is to use split testing. Try A/B testing in your next campaign and then check your stats to see which ones get the higher open rate. Different things work for different audiences. You simply need to figure out what works best for your niche. Also, consider testing what time of day you are sending out your emails so you can find the time that your subscribers are most likely to engage.

Of course, if you are consistently emailing your list, you will need to employ all of the above techniques in order to keep it fresh for your subscribers. Make it fun and keep your message clear. Once you have written the best email subject line you can come up with, ask yourself: “Would I open this?”

Looking for more great ways to improve your email open rate?

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