6 of the Best Email Subject Lines for Email Marketing

  •    Freelance writer focused on web development, email marketing and baseball. He lives in Los Angeles, but wishes he lived in Tokyo.

Everyone's inbox is crammed with messages. This makes it all the more important that your company's emails stand out from the clutter. One way to accomplish this is by writing great email subject lines. But what makes a subject line great?

  • It is engaging and creative, improving the chances that subscribers will take action.
  • It tells subscribers exactly what the email is about so they're not disappointed or surprised when they open it.​

That sounds fairly simple. The hard part, of course, is actually writing a short subject line that achieves those two things. To help inspire you, here are six of the best email subject lines, along with explanations of just what makes them so effective.

1. "Small gifts have a big impact!"

This subject line from the San Francisco Film Society perfectly captures everything they want to achieve in their fundraiser email. In six words they tell subscribers:

  • They're raising money
  • This money is important to the operation of their organization
  • Any size donation is wonderful and appreciated (this is key since readers without deep pockets may feel like a donation email isn't really meant for them)

It's not even necessary to open the email to decide whether you're interested in it or not.

2. "Thanks for being you. We got you a gift!"

Photojojo's subject is a little longer, but is just as successful at conveying what their email is about. They appreciate their customers and want to show that appreciation with a gift. What was the gift? It's $10 off any order over $25. Photojojo took a regular old coupon and made it engaging, fun, and even flattering to their customers. That's what makes this one the best email subject lines we've seen.

3. "Only the Best for Your Bridesmaids "

This email from Brit & Co is targeted to their bridal customers and subscribers. But you already knew that, because the subject line makes the targeting clear, using language that would be interesting only to someone who was soon to be married. Who wouldn't want the best for their Bridesmaids? Especially if those Bridesmaids are helping to pay for all those wonderful things.

4. "Cats. Comets. Laughs. Seconds. How do you measure the passing of time?"

The Exploratorium is a museum dedicated to the joy of scientific exploration — something you could probably tell just from seeing this great subject line. They took a concept that is already inherently interesting to science nerds — time — and made it that much better by opening with other words that almost everyone on the internet likes: cats, comets and laughs. How can you measure time with cats? Open the email to find out.

5. "Netflix shows announce dates | Top shopping cities | Sin City's best eats

This subject line is more straightforward than the others above, but that doesn't make it ineffective. Time Out sends a weekly newsletter linking to many of its most popular articles from that week. It would be difficult to sum that newsletter up in a single subject, so they don't bother, instead they use several short headlines to reference the email's content. This is smart. Since their publication and email covers so many topics, it would be limiting to reference just one of those things. Readers interested in the best restaurants in Las Vegas may be different from those who want to hear more about upcoming seasons of Netflix shows.

6. "Why should daylight get all the savings? | Three-Day Subscription Sale"

The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper takes this approach as well, opting for two subject lines instead of just one. This strategy probably ended at least one argument in their marketing department: “We should be creative!" “No, we should be direct!" “Why not both?" Indeed, why not both? It certainly doesn't hurt to say something a little creative to get someone's attention and then follow that up with exactly what the email is about.

Ready to implement these simple email subject line strategies to drive more traffic and business to your website? Weebly Promote gives you all the tools you need to get started with email marketing today.