Online communication is growing every year. While we used to only have email for communication, we now have social media, Skype, texting, messaging, voice messaging apps, Facetime and more.
Yet still, when it comes to business marketing, email remains a heavy hitter.
Does Email Marketing Really Work?
You bet! According to a DMA.com Email Tracker 2021 report, “72% of marketers prefer emails to engage with their customers. Moreover, the ROI for email has increased year on year from 40.12 USD (£35.41) to 43.45 USD (£38.33).”
That means that, for every dollar (or pound) you spend on email marketing, your return on that investment tends to be about $43/£38! It’s hard to beat that.
Why is the Email Subject Line so Important?
With all the variables involved and creating successful emails that generate conversions in one form or another, the most important by far is your subject lines.
Yes, the “from” name has a good bit to do with building trust that might encourage people to open your messages. But the subject line remains king of the open rate.
Why? The same reason it has been since the very first email was sent. The subject line is tasked with the job of informing and intriguing people to open the email. If you cannot get subscribers to open your Reem email, they will not read your email.
You get the idea.
Email Subject Lines: Examples Proven to Work
Let’s see the top 15 email subject lines from my 2022 mailings. Of approximately 486 promotional emails that I sent during the year, these are the ones that captured the most attention and caused more people to open the messages.
Email Subject Line Examples and Templates
I’ll give you the exact subject line I used in my email, and explain why it works. Then I will also show you how to turn this into a template so you can customize the subject line and use it for yourself.
1. People spend $1400 on these printables
One of the segments of my email list that I send messages to contains printables sellers. Obviously, that slice of my target audience is very interested in knowing what customers spend their money on. By using this statistic, I immediately grabbed their attention with a hard fact and let them know exactly how much money was on the line.
Template: [Group] spend [$xx] on these [types of products]
- Teachers spend $500 on these markers
- Accountants spend $200/mth on this software
2. I”m $249.59 from my goal (here’s a bribe)
At their hearts, I believe people generally like to help others. This is the basis for this subject line. It lets people know I only had a tiny bit left before I reached my year-end goal and I wanted people to help me get there. The subject gave the impression that I needed their help and offered something in return. That’s true. I provided a coupon code on some of my already-low-priced training. Yes, it worked and I reached my annual goal!
Template: [I’m/We’re] [amount/days/time] from [landmark] (here’s a bribe)
- We are 3 days from our big launch (here’s a bribe)
- I’m 45 minutes from closing registration (here’s a bribe)
3. [FINAL NOTICE] $29.99 instead of $99
This subject line plays on sheer urgency. If you want to save $70 on the product I am promoting, you better do it now or you’re going to miss out.
Template: [FINAL NOTICE] [sale amount] instead of [full amount]
- [FINAL NOTICE] $19 instead of $49
- [LAST CALL] $39 instead of $99
4. Clever rinse-and-repeat income stream
Finding a new income stream that produces for you is very exciting. Finding a new income stream that you can simply duplicate to earn more is phenomenal! Why did this subject line get so many opens? Because it appeals to something my target audience has a desire for, and because it expresses how easy it is.
Template: [Adjective] [synonym for “easy”] [what is desired]
- Remarkable idiot-proof debt reduction system
- Ridiculous autopilot weight loss plan
5. My #1 trick for easy blogging
People who are struggling with tasks in their business often look to others who are successful for inspiration. They are excited to find out simple steps that can help them improve. So, terms like “#1 trick,” “best suggestion,” “top 3 ideas” and others get attention. It gives readers recommendations that don’t seem overwhelming.
Template: [My/Our] [type of tip] for easy [task]
- Our top 3 ideas for easy family meals.
- My best suggestion for affordable vacations.
6. Only $1… only today
Similar to subject line #3, this one also presses the urgent button. Simple, short, and to the point, the reader just cannot misunderstand that this discount is ending shortly and they must act now.
Templates: [Only/Just] [$xx]… [only/just] [timeframe/date/expiration]
- Just $12.99… Just 4 more hours
- Only $10/month … Only until 11/5
7. Genius way to make passive income
There’s something about the word “genius.” Granted, it is overused. Yeah, people still respond to it. The subject line is proof of that. And it’s very simple to replicate, too.
Template: Genius way to [do whatever/reach whichever goal]
- Genius way to lose 10 pounds
- Genius way to stop the itch of eczema
NOTE: You can also test a longer version of this that gives a timeframe. For example:
- Genius way to lose 10 pounds in 30 days
- Genius way to stop the itch of eczema almost instantly
8. Become one of the elite 8%
Nobody wants to be a loser. On the other hand, many people find it hard to believe that they will ever make it to the top 1% or 2%. But the elite 8%? Yeah… That might just be doable with a little bit of work. That’s what this subject line is all about. It is based on a statistic that is then repeated and the text of the email.
Template: Become one of the [word designed to impress] [xx%]
- Become one of the distinctive 9%
- Become one of the impressive 4%
9. The 5-3-1 formula for content conversions
This subject line was based on a specific formula for a product I was promoting. Even if the product or service that you are promoting doesn’t have a specific formula, you may be able to label it with one. For instance, one training course I promoted mentioned that they did things in reverse. My subject line stated something about the “backward” way to achieve X.
Template: The [name of formula] for [results]
- The backward formula for private-label success
- The F.A.C.E. formula for copywriting that converts
10. My exit plan
A lack of clarity is what made this subject line performs so well. Is she closing her business? Is she planning for the future? Because readers weren’t exactly sure what type of exit plan I was referring to they were compared to open and read.
In fact, I was talking about my tenure exit plan. But you might be talking about the final day of sale, the retirement of a product you created years ago, the end of a webinar replay, etc.
Template: My [vague idea/plan/strategy/event]
- My last hoorah
- My final farewell
11. How to start selling your knowledge
People interested in making money online often don’t think they have any special skills. They read how others have made hundreds or thousands of dollars per month and wonder how they could ever do the same.
The reassurance that they already possess of the knowledge others would like to know and that they and create revenue from that is uplifting.
Template: How to start [doing something they didn’t think they could]
- How to start getting paid for watching videos
- How to start turning your hobby into dollars
12. This revenue stream delivers proven profits
There’s so much advice about every imaginable topic online that people get overwhelmed and skeptical easily. Even if the recommendations are valid, if people have complications when implementing the advice, they will feel like failures. When you can provide an approach to something that is proven, you’ll not only get your readers’ attention but also their appreciation.
- These meal ideas deliver fast weeknight dinners
- This printable delivers easy, recurring revenue
13. Add 100 subscribers every month
Want to accomplish an easy goal? Who doesn’t?! That’s why simple tasks in simple language make for excellent email subject lines.
Template: [Add/Get/Give] [#] [subject matter] every [timeframe]
- Add $100 to your bottom line every month
- Get 12 new speaking engagements this year
14. 9 Types of affiliate marketing that can earn you more
Affiliate marketers are not only looking for products to promote, they are also greatly interested in various types of affiliate marketing that work well. This subject line promises nine types that can help affiliates earn more.
Template: [#] Types of [subject matter] that can help you [result]
- 3 Types of pet training that can help you enjoy your dog more
- 15 Types of content that can help you get more clients
Should You Use Emojis in Email Subject Lines?
So far, we’ve been talking about the text of subject lines in emails. But what about other elements such as emojis? If you check your inbox daily, you are likely to spot at least a few subject lines that include emojis. Bad? Good? That’s up for debate.
According to an article by Search Engine Journal, their in-house test on over 100,000 subscribers showed a definite trouble spot. Emails that they sent to their list which included emojis in the subject lines showed significantly higher abuse reports.
In fact, seven out of 10 campaigns sent that included emojis received abuse complaints. Compare that to only three email campaigns receiving complaints that did not include emojis.
There are other reports of emojis increasing open rates. However, I have to wonder if these are legitimate opens from interested subscribers or if the reader has opened the email in order to report it as spam.
Other concerns are that the use of emojis can damage your brand image and be seen as outdated and childish.
Research giant Nielsen conducted significant testing on a variety of email with emojis in the subject lines. The general impression from participants was that emojis are boring and dull and considered to be less valuable than emails whose subject lines had no emojis.
Their conclusion? “Our research shows that emojis in subject lines increase negative sentiment toward an email and do not increase the likelihood of an email being opened.”
As you were going through the process of writing and testing your email subject lines, try some of the templates provided in this blog post. You may also want to test the use of emojis to see if you get the same results as the research mentioned above.