10 Subject Lines Proven to Boost Open Rates

Ever struggled to write email subject lines that gets your messages opened?

Or maybe you’re just not impressed with your current open rate.

Whatever feeling brought you here – you’re not alone.

Many Marketers struggle to achieve their ideal email open rates…

But they know that a smart, compelling subject line is the first step toward fixing that.

In fact, 33% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone.

The question is: Where do you start?

We’ve gathered a list of 10 kinds of subject lines that are proven to boost open rates and get emails read!

Let’s jump right in.

1. A ‘How to’ subject line

If someone has subscribed to your email list, it’s because they want to hear from you.

And in some cases, it’s because they want to learn something from you.

And leveraging the ‘How to’ subject line means you’re making it easy for the reader to discover exactly what he or she will learn by opening (and reading) your email.

It’s simple, clear, and ultra-effective.

Think about trying subject lines like:

Subject Lines Examples

Remember to keep a strong focus on the benefit the reader will get by reading your how-to email.

Use hard numbers or exciting results to show that it’s worthwhile to both open and read your message.

2. A question subject line

Posing questions in your subject line helps tease out an emotion in your reader – which can be a compelling reason for that person to open your message.

It also helps them recall past situations, problems, or pain points that can prime them for a solution.

Take a look at these examples to see what we mean:

Subject Lines Examples

These question-based subject lines remind the reader that they have a problem – and that you can potentially solve it with the contents of your email.

It sparks their curiosity and gets them interested in what you have to say.

3. A limited offer subject line

Scarcity is a powerful motivator.

Whether it’s a limited time offer or a limited quantity promotion – we know that fear of missing out compels people to act more urgently.

Just by tweaking your subject line to convey a sense of urgency, your open rates can increase by 22%.

So instead of leaving an email offer open-ended, consider making your promotion limited to make people act – and act quickly.

An email subject line in this scenario might look like:

See how the urgency light kicks on in these subject line?

It creates a slight sense of anxiety that makes the reader think, “Oh man. I better act right now! It’s going to run out!”

4. A curious subject line

If you’ve ever been sucked into an online quiz about “Which (movie/TV show) character are you?” then you know the power of curiosity.

The good news is that you can also put this tactic to work to boost your email open rates.

Think about making your readers curious with subject lines that make them need to know what’s within the message body, like:

Subject Lines Examples

I don’t know about you, but I certainly would want to know what’s in those emails.

5. A personalized subject line

We’ve talked before about the importance of personalization in email, so it’s no surprise that including a subscriber’s name in the subject line makes it feel more customized and special.

What’s really interesting is that Experian found that implementing this minor change of personalization had a dramatic effect on open rates:

Subject Lines Stats

Pretty incredible, right?

It might look like this:

Subject Lines Examples

Bottom line: You need to collect your subscribers’ first names – and then use them in subject lines.

6. A benefit subject line

Sometimes, you just need to tease a benefit to compel your subscribers to open your emails.

Tell them exactly what they’ll get out of opening your message, and they’ll be more likely/willing to take action.

The thing to remember here is that you’re touting benefits – not features.

Showcase the problem you can solve, the way you’ll help their business, or how you can make life simpler for them (rather than listing the features – no one cares.)

Like this:

Subject Lines Examples

7. A funny subject line

People get a lot of emails in their inboxes every day – so if you can make them pause and chuckle, you’ll stand out from the noise.

Use a pun, rhyme, call on pop culture, or craft a silly line that’s quirky and unusual.

It’s easier than it sounds:

Subject Lines Examples

If you’re worried about a funny subject line falling flat, try an A/B test to let the best performer be the one that sends out to the majority of your subscribers.

8. A numbered subject line

Numbers make your email subject lines more concise by giving the reader greater detail (without using words.)

Instead of saying, “Our tips for growing your social media following”, you could add clarity by saying, “3 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers.”

Other examples:

Subject Lines Examples

Remember: Use numbers to make your message simpler and more clear.

9. An announcement subject line

Subject lines that announce or introduce something new helps remind your subscribers that they’re getting VIP access to content others aren’t.

It makes them feel like insiders – getting an inside look at brand new offerings before anyone else.

And exclusivity is a great way to keep your email subscribers interested in what you have to say.

Try this:

Subject Lines Examples

10. A problem solving subject line

Last, but not least – you can think about writing subject lines that solve a problem for your readers.

Again, you’re teasing out a pain point and presenting a quick, easy solution – and your readers will love you for it.

It might look like:

Subject Lines Examples

Get Additional Subject Line Ideas

If you want your subscribers to notice your emails in their inboxes, taking the time to craft an eye-catching subject line is crucial!

Luckily, with the strategies we’ve outlined here, you’ll never waste another minute trying to craft an open-worthy subject line.

Just remember, once they’ve made it past your subject line and into your email, your message should continue to offer value and cultivate a relationship with your audience to keep them coming back for more.

Now… time to get to work!

Natalie Ryder

Natalie Ryder

Front End Developer at Sendlane
Natalie’s passion for creating things inspired her to pursue graphic design, and her love of precise details and problem solving led her to web development. After moving to San Diego from Keene, New Hampshire to attend Point Loma Nazarene University, Natalie can’t imagine living somewhere cold again. In her free time, Natalie enjoys social dancing (Lindy Hop, Blues, West Coast Swing, and Fusion), moving heavy things around at the gym, and doing jigsaw puzzles.
Natalie Ryder