How To Create Compelling Subject Lines For Emails (plus 73 examples!)

Subject Lines for EmailsIf you can’t create compelling subject lines for emails, all the time, effort, and maybe even money you’ve spent building your list and creating quality content could be completely wasted! In fact, using proven subject lines for emails could mean the difference between a floundering business and a hugely successful one.
Before heading directly into strategies regarding subject lines for emails – and the 73 examples – it’s important to note current trends with regards to email subject lines. As I’m sure you’re aware, email management can get crazy at times. I deal with hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds!) of emails every day. In light of the massive amounts of information circulating via email, there are trends in subject lines for emails to facilitate email scanning by including “pre-” and/or “post-” subjects for easy filtering.

So, for example, if your autoresponder is all about the latest skin care technology every subject line of your autoresponder series could start with the same “pre-” message so people would instantly realize it is from you.

  • “Destroy wrinkles”: Lesson #1: Keeping Younger-Looking Skin
  • “Destroy wrinkles”: Lesson #2: Shrinking Age Spots
  • “Destroy wrinkles”: Lesson #3: Looking good first thing in the morning.

Along the same lines, the “post-” subject lines for emails, typically bracketed, tend to indicate the type of email. For example, “Build Your List Faster Than Ever [webinar invite]” would indicate that this is a webinar invite about list-building. That is helpful to a recipient who may (or may not) be interested in list-building and, of course, a webinar.
Trends aside, there are many proven strategies you can use to create awesome subject lines for emails. These will evoke curiosity and all but click on the email and open the messages for your recipients! 😉
Of course, if you’re like most marketers, email is still the cornerstone of your communication with your list, be it blog broadcasts, autoresponders, social media, and so on. Suffice it to say, spicing up your subject lines for emails could improve your business activity on many levels. For example, use these subject line strategies in Twitter and Facebook headings as well as email, using engaging keyword-rich headlines (also great for SEO), and see how your content ranks in the search engine results.

The Best Subject Lines for Emails Contain…

The best subject lines for emails contain one or more of the following elements:

  • Short Subject Lines – Short and sweet – 35 characters or less.
    Example: 5 Exercise Tips To Ignore!
  • Controversial Headlines – Create curiosity from current trends.
    Example: 8 Reasons To Actually Fear Organic Foods
  • A Keyword Phrase – Do your research and sink your keywords right up top!
    Example: The Bloggers Guide to Email Subject Lines
  • Numbers and Counts – People are always intrigued by specifics.
    Example: 6 Ways Hollywood Makes Exercise Look Ridiculous in Movies
  • Actionable Subject Lines – Solve your readers problems…NOW!
    Example: Fast Fix For Your Hair Loss Problem. Learn how…
  • Timely or Urgent – Create a sense of exclusivity, and a sense of loss if not acted upon quickly.
    Example: Exclusive coupon code. Act fast – offer ends in 23 hours!

Also, be careful about using subject lines for emails that are deceitful or tricky. It’s very possible that you’ll alienate your list members – and see your list shrink as a result – by using these tactics. Furthermore, while “You are not alone.” and “Did you get it?” are very successful in getting people to open email, they are also overused so I don’t recommend them either.
Without further adieu, here are 73 subject lines for emails that are proven to be effective. Some might require some tweaking for your specific purposes. Enjoy!

73 Awesome – and Proven – Subject Lines for Emails

  1. Will you advise me on this?
  2. I couldn’t keep this a secret
  3. It happens on <some date>…
  4. You’re good with this, right?
  5. Hey it’s me, please open up
  6. Get back to me on this, ok?
  7. Your presence is requested
  8. This is a little-known secret
  9. Just <#> hours left for this
  10. I’m giving you private access
  11. Frankly, I’m a little puzzled
  12. Will you join us on <some date>?
  13. Find out if you should attend
  14. Will you be one of ?
  15. This makes sense, doesn’t it?
  16. A truly inspiring story
  17. Please say YES to this
  18. You only have <#> days left
  19. This is a great new TIP
  20. Ever made this mistake?
  21. Just wanted to say thanks
  22. I’m going to miss you
  23. You willing to commit yet?
  24. This ONE is for you
  25. I want to move forward
  26. This has your name on it
  27. Okay, it’s decision time!
  28. Who’s to blame for this?
  29. This could happen to you
  30. I never thought I’d do this
  31. We’re waiting on you
  32. It’s NOT your fault
  33. Trust me, it really works
  34. This is a good one
  35. I’ll make this quick
  36. We missed you
  37. I’m saying “THANKS” in advance
  38. Here’s another proven winner
  39. Got a quick minute?
  40. I could use a little help
  41. What happens if you say “NO”
  42. Did I show you this yet?
  43. I hate “unsolicited” advice
  44. I thought couldn’t happen
  45. Is THIS a problem for you too?
  46. Were you prepared for this?
  47. It could be you defining moment
  48. Here’s what others say about it
  49. It’s what you requested
  50. It just happened!
  51. Get back to me on this, k?
  52. You don’t have to believe me
  53. Ok, here’s your next step
  54. Why I just couldn’t resist
  55. Check this out
  56. Has THIS ever happened to you?
  57. <#> things you must not do
  58. I’m not asking for much
  59. Can you get back to me?
  60. Now THIS is a good thing
  61. It’s strange, but true
  62. I just couldn’t resist
  63. This could be YOUR time
  64. I’ve got a confession
  65. Don’t you agree with this?
  66. I honestly didn’t believe it
  67. It’s coming down to THIS
  68. Why so many others said YES
  69. You don’t have to believe me
  70. Does this sound right to you?
  71. This is all you need
  72. I had to get this to you
  73. What’s your final answer?

I hope that these inspire you to use the aforementioned strategies for coming up with great blog post titles, subject lines for emails, forum thread titles and more. If not, use some, many, or all of the 73 example above. It takes more than just getting your emails and links in front of your market, you have to entice them to click through as well. Using these strategies, you’ll be well on your way!
Best to you!
– Drew

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With these strategies and example subject lines for emails, you will be getting many more opens than you’ve ever gotten before!




  • Etieno Etuk September 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    This is an awesome post, Drew. I’ve learned a ton and will start implementing them in my emails.
    Thanks for sharing.