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10 Types of Email Subject Lines for Improved Open Rates

Email Marketing

Nov 20, 2019

Email Subject Lines_2Imagine you’ve written the perfect email for your audience. You KNOW that it is going to lead to record conversions for your company. Or at least it would if you could make sure that people would open it. What you need are some tips for crafting the perfect subject lines for enticing or compelling readers to open your message.

Fortunately for you, MarketingProfs has put together a top 10 list of types of subject lines.

1.    Social Proof
Social proof is the theory that people will generally follow the masses. Large groups of people will frequently dictate the behavior of others, making social proof a powerful integrated marketing tool for shaping how people form allegiances to businesses, products, and services.

Example: The Algorithm Big-Time Major Company Uses to Generate Leads

2.    Data
Include useful or valuable data in your subject line to build credibility and show readers that you are on the level. This information must be accurate to demonstrate your reliability and transparency.

Example: This Search Tactic Helped Me Get 125% More Leads to My Website

3.    The Curiosity Gap
This powerful technique is positioned between what readers know and what they want to know. Integrated marketers must leverage the power of curiosity, slowly answering questions while also delaying audience satisfaction—all without irritating them.

Example: We Were Surprised by How Well This Tactic Worked

4.    Surprise!
Imagine that you are presenting a well-worn topic or engaging with people who have heard a similar message from you or your competitors many times before. How can you surprise them, or get the reader to think about the topic in a new way?

Example: I Have a Gift for You!

5.    The Announcement
Reserve this subject line for when you are announcing or introducing something new or updated to your audience so that they know they can trust the message. These subject lines include words that invite your reader to open your email and see what is new or has changed since their last visit.

Example: Check Out Our New Website

6.    Scarcity
Scarcity is often used to influence the concept of value. If something is rare or difficult to get hold of, people will want it because humans are driven by a fear of missing out. Two caveats for this type of subject line: your content has to be engaging enough to justify the message, and the item really must be scarce.

Example: Last Chance to Save $25

7.    Personalization
According to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened by recipients. This is unsurprising when you consider that readers want to feel a connection with companies they do business with, and they will be more interested in reading emails that feel more personal to them.

Example: Karen, 9 Out of 10 Integrated Marketers Find This Valuable to Their SEO

8.    Question
Asking recipients questions that are relevant to them will pique their curiosity. The question subject line attracts readers and intrigues them to take the next step: reading your email. Make sure that the subject line asks a question that focuses on their needs, not your selling points.

Example: Are You Making These Social Media Mistakes?

9.    How To
This straightforward subject line uses a problem/solution construction. Your reader has a problem and rather than having to go talk to a lot of other experts or dig through research, they will get the answer from your company—their trusted source. Once again, demonstrating your expertise also increases your credibility with customers for future interactions.

Example: How to Increase Your Downloads

10.    Numbered List
Numbered lists are effective because they are bite-sized and easy to review. Using a numbered list subject line tells recipients exactly what to expect when they open your email. Make sure the content isn’t boring or dense once they start reading and consider using lists of odd or round numbers that easily stick with readers.

Example: 3 (or 5 or 10) Steps to Building your First Website


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