Email marketing is effective in engaging prospects, driving them down the sales funnel, and helping your customers place repeat orders. But sending thousands of marketing emails will make no sense if the recipients don’t even open them to see what’s inside.

And the subject line plays one of the most important factors in determining whether or not an email will be opened. A compelling, well-written subject line grabs attention and entices recipients to click.

In this article, I will share with you 150 of the best email subject lines that I have seen work. These subject lines have proven to capture attention and get people to open emails.

I will also share some tips on how to write effective email subject lines. By following these tips, you can optimize your email campaigns for a higher open rate and outstanding results.

Let’s get started.

Disclosure: This content may contain a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

What is an Email Subject Line?

An email subject line is the line of text that appears in the recipient's inbox after the sender’s name. It is the first thing that the recipient sees, and it is often the deciding factor of whether or not they will open the email.

I’ve highlighted the subject lines of a few emails in the screenshot below, for your reference.

email subject lines

What is an Email Preheader?

An email preheader is the text you see next to the sender’s information and the email’s subject line. On mobile devices, the preheader text appears below the subject line.

The preheader is a short summary of the email, and it is often used to entice the recipient to open the email. It is typically 40-130 characters long.

You can use this section to give the recipient a better idea of what the email is about or to build curiosity and encourage the recipient to open the email.

Here’s what an email preheader looks like in your inbox:

email preheader

Why is a Good Email Subject Line Important?

The email subject line is the first thing that recipients see, and it is the deciding factor of whether or not they will open the email for 64% of recipients.

Here are some of the reasons why a good email subject line is important:

  • Subject lines with some specific words and phrases can trigger spam filters, causing your email to land in the recipient’s spam folder. Whereas, well-written subject lines will help your email show up in their inboxes, thereby, increasing your email deliverability rate.
  • A good email subject line gives the recipient a good idea of what the email is about or induces curiosity, which encourages them to open the email. This results in an increase in your email campaign’s open rate.
  • On the other hand, if the subject line is not interesting or compelling, the recipient is more likely to delete the email without even opening it. So, if you want them to read and engage with your email copy, the first step is to write an attention-grabbing subject line.
  • A clear and informative subject line helps build trust with the recipient, making them more likely to open future emails from your brand. Make sure your email fulfills what the subject line promises.
  • Great subject lines for emails also encourage user engagement and interaction with the email’s content. The recipients are more likely to click on the links in the email and take other desired actions.

150 Best Email Subject Lines for You and Why They Work

There are many different types of email subject lines. The best type of email subject line for you will depend on your specific goals and audience.

For example, if you are trying to sell a product, a benefit-driven subject line might be the best option. However, if you are trying to generate leads, a curiosity-driven subject line might be more effective.

It is also important to test different subject lines to see what works best for your audience.

test your email subject lines with constant contact

You can also use email marketing tools to track your open rates and click-through rates to see which subject lines are most effective.

I’ve curated a list of the best email subject lines that fall into different categories. Check them out below!

Personalized Email Subject Lines

Today’s consumers receive too many broken-record sales pitches. This makes it difficult for businesses and marketers to cut through the noise and reach their audiences.

The best way to grab your audience’s attention is through relevance and personalization. Personalization makes the subject line stand out, catching the recipient's attention and increasing the likelihood of them opening the email by 22.2%.

You can do this by addressing the recipient by their name.

However, personalization goes beyond just using the recipient’s name. It also includes exclusive offers for the recipients, free shipping on the product they viewed or saved to their wishlist before, and so on.

You need to use email automation to get these insights about your website visitors and customers to run targeted email campaigns based on their activity.

Let’s take a look at some of the personalized email subject lines that get opened.

  1. Hi [Recipient Name], check out this new offer!
  2. [Recipient Name], we have some exciting news for you.
  3. Your order has shipped, [Name]
  4. Happy Birthday, [Recipient’s Name]! Surprise Inside 😉

    Delight your subscribers or loyal customers with a special offer on their birthdays or anniversaries.

    Rent the Runway, for example, sends out personalized emails to recipients on their birthdays and addresses them by their first name.

    They also offer an incentive or surprise for opening the email, which is an excellent way to get readers intrigued. This helps improve the results of their campaign.
happy birthday- email marketing subject lines
  1. New blog post for [industry]
  2. 👍 Hi [Recipient's Name], We Think You'll Love These Personalized Picks!
  3. 🌟 Exclusive for [Recipient's Name]: Your Personalized Discount Inside!
  4. 🎉 [Recipient's Name], You're Invited! Join Us for a VIP Experience
  5. Hey [Name]
hey - email marketing subject lines
  1. Exclusive offer for [Name]
  2. Your Order #…

    When your email subject lines mention the order number, it becomes clear to them that the email contains information important to them.
shutterfly sends an email for order - email marketing subject lines
  1. Rough day?

    Sephora sent out personalized emails with questions like this one in the email subject line to show that the company cares about its consumers.

    Such email subject lines appeal to the emotions of subscribers who’ve genuinely had a hard day. And most people think they have it hard. The emotion drives higher open rates, making your email marketing campaign a success.
sephora personalized email marketing subject lines
  1. [Name], this can help grow your business
  2. We Saved Something Just for You: Check Out These Recommendations
  3. [Name], Your Favorite Items Are Back in Stock + Extra Discount Inside!

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Subject Lines

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is strong in today’s society as nobody wants to miss out on great benefits.

When an email subject line tells recipients that they’re about to lose out on something, it will instantly catch their attention and act as a compelling call to action (CTA).

It is due to this FOMO that most recipients will open your email and help increase your campaign’s open rate.

When writing FOMO subject lines, it's important to be clear about what the offer is and how long it will be available. You should also use strong, attention-grabbing language that will make people want to open your email.

Here are a few FOMO-inducing email subject lines that work:

  1. You’re Missing Out on [topic, offer, etc.]
  2. Get access to exclusive content with our email list!
  3. Be the first to know about our new products and services!
  4. 💥 Limited Stock Alert: Act Fast Before It's Gone!
  5. THIS Disappears at Midnight

    Time-sensitive email subject lines like this one stir the interest of readers and trigger a sense of having a last chance to get this deal.

    Recipients will be curious about what will be disappearing at midnight if they don’t open the email.
  1. This offer is only available to the first 100 customers!
  2. This deal is going fast, so act now!
  3. Don't miss out, this offer expires soon!
  4. Tonight Only: Get this Now before it’s gone…

    Adding an element of limited availability is the best call to action to promote an ongoing sale, product offers, or freebies.

    Violet Grey, for example, used this subject line in their email.
tonight only-email marketing subject lines
  1. Last chance to get 50% off!
  2. 24 hours only: Get 2 for 1!
  3. Don't miss out on our early bird sale!
  4. Only 10 left in stock!
  5. Act Now or Regret Later: Limited-Time Offers Inside
  6. Time is Running Out! Grab These Deals Before They're Gone
  7. Don't Be Left Behind: Join the Exclusive Club
  8. Your Opportunity Awaits – Act Fast for Big Savings
  9. FOMO Alert: Incredible Offers You Can't Afford to Miss
  10. Tick Tock! Time is Ticking on These Special Offers

Benefit-Driven Email Subject Lines (with Offers)

This type of email subject line focuses on the benefits that the recipient will receive by opening the email.

And who doesn’t like getting free stuff?

When you’re sending out an email with offers and deals, highlighting it in the subject line is the perfect way to attract readers. Recipients are more likely to open the email like unwrapping a present.

You must ensure that your email subject lines make it clear that there’s something special in the email for your subscribers.

Additionally, make sure that you do provide something worthwhile in your email as the subscribers might not open your future emails if there’s no real benefit for them inside.

Here are a few great email subject line examples that highlight a benefit for the recipients:

  1. Get 20% off your next order
  2. Learn how to save money on your energy bill
  3. 50% off your next purchase
  4. 💰 Save Big Today: Get 30% Off Your Purchase
  5. 🚀 Skyrocket Your Productivity with Our Time-Saving Tool!
  6. 🌟 Upgrade Your Life: Exclusive Offer + Free Gift!
  7. Free shipping on all orders
  8. Save on select holiday packs! Now marked down 10%
  9. My Gift to You…
  10. Free [Product1] on Purchase of [Product2]
  11. How to [do something]

    Though simple, the “How to …” email subject lines are the best. The reason that makes them so effective is that these email subject lines offer your subscribers a guarantee that they’re going to learn something.

    These emails can help you stay on top of the minds of your subscribers by providing constant value to them. They’ll remember your products and services when it’s time for them to make purchases.
  12. 😍 Fall in Love with Your Skin: 20% Off Skincare Essentials
  13. 🔥 Hot Deals Alert: Boost Your Style with 40% Off!
  14. 🌿 Go Green and Save: Enjoy 25% Off Eco-Friendly Products
  15. Ready for Round 2? Get 20% Off Your Next Purchase
  16. Save 20% on your next purchase
  17. Get a free gift with your purchase
  18. Easy way to lose weight
  19. Guaranteed to improve your credit score
  20. 💡 Discover the Secret to Success: Free Ebook + 50% Off Course
  21. 🌟 Feel Refreshed: Claim Your Free Sample + 15% Off
  22. 🏋️‍♀️ Level Up Your Fitness: Special Offer on Personal Training!
  23. Learn how to make more money

Catchy Email Subject Lines

Using words like “Sale” in your email subject line can increase your open rate to up to 23.2%. Whereas, certain words and phrases can reduce it drastically.

Writing catchy phrases like “what’s on sale” can induce curiosity and compel recipients to open your email to find out what’s in there for them.

Similarly, email subject lines that make the subscribers feel that they’ll learn something new also spark their innate interest, compelling them to open the email.

Here are a few examples of catchy subject lines for email marketing:

  1. Thanks for Joining – Here’s What’s on Sale
  2. How [Your Company] Got Its Name
  3. 🎁 Get Ready for Surprises: Unveiling New Deals!
  4. 🌈 Hello Sunshine! Brighten Your Day with Savings
  5. 💡 Discover Something New: Exciting Products Inside!
  6. The Next BIG Feature of [Product]
  7. Buffer has been Hacked – Here is What’s going on

    Buffer sent out reassurance emails with this attention-grabbing subject line about the latest news. It’s direct, concise, and serious.

    The subscribers will instantly want to know the status of their Buffer account.

    This is a great way to improve your email open rate and protect your brand reputation all at once because your business is being transparent about things and proactively resolving issues that may occur at any point in time.
  8. 🌟 Your VIP Pass: Unlock Exclusive Deals Today!
  9. The Latest [Company Name] News
  10. 🔥 Hot Sale Alert! Grab Your Favorites Now!
  11. Where to Drink Beer Right Now

    Imagine receiving this email right when you’re finishing up your Friday workday and ready to relax with some friends. You’d naturally want to open the email.

    Such catchy email subject lines can instantly grab the attention of those subscribers who want to go out for a drink. You can further engage them to visit your restaurant by sharing its ambiance photos and offering a little discount if they visit today.
  12. Not all streaming is created equal
catchy email subject line example
  1. 🌺 Spring into Savings: Fresh Deals Blooming Now!

Email Subject Lines That Address Customer Pain Points

Instead of focusing on increasing brand awareness and revenue, you should leverage emails to provide real value to your target audience.

You should create useful content that addresses their pain points, helps them do things in a better way, and helps improve their quality of life.

When writing the subject lines of such emails, start with the pain point you are addressing in the email.

Be more specific. Instead of saying something general like “Tired of feeling tired?,” say something specific like “Get more energy in just 7 days.”

Here are a few examples of subject lines that address customer pain points:

  1. Get a Free [Topic] Report Inside
  2. Lose weight without dieting or exercise
  3. ⏰ Time to Banish [Pain Point]: Unleash the Power of Our Effective Strategies
  4. New Video! [Topic or the problem it will solve]
new video - email marketing subject lines
  1. Get more done in less time
  2. Guaranteed to improve your credit score
  3. 🚫 [Pain Point] No More! Experience Relief with Our Innovative Product
  4. Learn how to make more money
  5. 🎯 Say Goodbye to [Pain Point]: Our Expert Guide Will Lead the Way
  6. Get more energy in just 7 days
  7. 😫 Tired of [Pain Point]? Say Goodbye to [Pain Point] with Our Help!
  8. 🌟 A Solution Tailored to Your [Problem]

Curiosity-Driven Subject Lines

Curiosity-driven subject lines are designed to pique the recipient's curiosity and make them want to open your email to find out more.

However, it's essential to deliver on the promise made in the subject line within the email content to maintain trust and engagement with your audience.

Experiment with different approaches, utilize powerful words and test the effectiveness of different subject lines to optimize your email campaigns.

Here are some email subject line examples that fall into this category:

  1. Shh… It's a Secret. Open for a Surprise!
  2. What's the secret to losing weight?
  3. This one weird trick will change your life.
  4. This just might be the best thing since sliced bread…
  5. Get ready to be blown away!
  6. Don't Open This Email!
  7. We guarantee you'll love what we have in store for you!
  8. You won't believe what happened next
  9. Don’t Make These Seven Google Ads Mistakes

    This email subject line makes the recipient think about what they could be doing wrong with Google Ads. It will appeal to digital marketers who work with paid ads regularly and are looking for ways to improve their click-through rates (CTR).

    They will be very much interested in identifying the mistakes that could be harming their CTR.
  10. Breaking News: Prepare to Be Amazed!
  11. Introducing our latest [Product/Feature/Service]

    Such email subject lines work extremely well with loyal fans of your business as they are constantly looking for the latest offerings of your brand.
introducing new product/feature email subject line
  1. Hold Your Breath… You're About to Witness Something Incredible
  2. What's the Buzz? Find Out in Our Latest Update!
  3. This will change your life
  4. The [Company Name] Holiday Catalog is Here

    This is one of the simplest and most direct email subject line examples. It helps create curiosity in the recipient about the top products your company has to offer for this season.

    This can help grow your holiday sales instantly if the email includes personalized product recommendations and special deals on select catalogs.
holiday or special day deals - email subject lines
  1. Do not commit these Instagram Atrocities
  2. Is this the hottest career in marketing?

    We, humans, tend to desire closure. So, you can use this type of open-ended subject line to increase your open rate.

    Try to make your subscribers curious by asking them a question or saying something that sounds unusual. But make sure that you provide them with an answer to satisfy their curiosity when they open your email.

Funny Email Subject Lines

Funny email subject lines compel readers to open your emails. However, it might take you a bit more thought to come up with humorous, catchy email subject lines for your business.

It's also important to use humor that is relevant to your audience and that is not offensive.

When writing funny subject lines, you can use jokes or puns. If you want to use sarcasm, you need to be careful not to offend your audience.

Using emojis can be a great way to add humor and personality to your email subject line.

Here are a few examples of email subject lines with an element of humor:

  1. I'm not sure if you're a cat person or a dog person, but I'm pretty sure you're going to love this email.
  2. I'm not sure if you're a fan of puns, but I think you're going to love this email.
  3. 🌟 You're a Gem! Check Out These Punny Deals
  4. Let’s Par-TEA
funny email subject line
  1. 🍕 Pizza + Savings = 😂 Don't Miss Out!
  2. Boom shakalak! Let’s get started

    Tictail, an app that simplifies the process of starting an online store, effectively use humor to boost the open rate of their emails.
boom shakalak - email marketing subject lines
boom shakalak - email marketing subject lines
  1. 🔥 Hot Deals and Cool Cats – You're in for a Treat!
  2. Best of Groupon: The Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)
  3. 🎉 Get Ready to LOL! Our Hilarious Sale Starts Now!
  4. 👀 Stop Scrolling! Our Hilarious Surprise Awaits You
  5. All hell breaks loose 🎃🦇
funny email subject line

Urgency-Driven Email Subject Lines

These email subject lines are time sensitive, create a sense of urgency, and make the recipient feel like they need to open the email right away.

Here are a few examples:

  1. This offer expires in 24 hours!
  2. Only 10 spots left!
  3. ⏳ Last Chance! Don't Miss Out on the 24-Hour Flash Sale!
  4. 🔔 Limited Stock Alert: Act Fast Before It's Gone!
  5. Your order is about to expire!
  6. Just Dropped: Luxury styles from [Brand Name]
  7. Pay $1.99 for a New Bundle of 6 STEAM Games (48 HOURS ONLY!)

    Bundle Stars sent out an email with this subject line. It pretty much says everything about what the email contains. It clearly shows the available offer and creates urgency with the time limit. All the reader has to do is open the email for an offer link.

    The “48 hours only” copy gives the subscribers a deadline or a last chance for leveraging the offer and they’d instantly want to make the most of it, which helps increase the open rate.
bundle stars - email marketing subject lines
  1. ⚡️ Urgent: Final Hours to Claim Your Exclusive Offer!
  2. 🚨 Hurry! Time is Running Out for 50% Off!
  3. This event is starting soon!
  4. This offer expires tomorrow
  5. Act now, supplies are limited
  6. Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring

    Warby Parker sends out prescription renewal emails two weeks before the actual expiration date with this subject line. The rest of the email looks like this:
uh-oh, your prescription is expiring- email marketing subject lines
  1. 🔥 Urgent Announcement: Massive Discounts Ending Today!
  2. ⌛ Tick Tock! Grab Your Deal Before the Clock Strikes Midnight!
  3. 🔥 It's Now or Never: Last Chance for Early Bird Pricing!
  4. ⚠️ Warning: Urgent Action Required for Free Upgrade!

Great Email Subject Lines for Retargeting

Retargeting emails target people who have already visited your website or shown interest in your products or services. However, they may not be ready to buy yet.

The subject line of your retargeting emails is your chance to get their attention and convince them to open the email they might otherwise ignore.

Remember to tailor these subject lines to your specific audience and brand voice.

You can personalize the message and make it more relevant to the recipient. For example, you could include the recipient's name in the subject line or mention a product or service they have shown interest in.

It's your chance to create urgency. If you want people to take action, you can use the subject line to create a sense of urgency. For example, you could mention a limited-time offer or a deadline.

Experiment with subject line variations and analyze the results to determine which subject lines resonate best with your retargeting campaigns.

build automated email workflows with mailerlite
  1. We Missed You! Come Back for Exclusive Offers.
  2. You Left Something Behind…
  3. Make Room in That Closet

    Imagine receiving this email from your favorite fashion brand introducing a new line of products or a new collection of attires that suit your past purchase styles. Won’t that make your day and encourage you to shop?
  4. Special Offer Just for You: 15% Off Your Wishlist Items
  5. Still Interested? Enjoy 10% Off Your Abandoned Cart
  6. Complete Your Purchase with Free Shipping Inside!
  7. 40% Off on Your Favorite [Product The Recipient Liked or Last Viewed]

    Offers seldom fail to grab attention, especially when they are personalized. You can boost not just the open rate of your email, but also your revenue with such offers in your email subject lines.

    Promote a discount offer on their favorite products or the product they last viewed. For this, you will need to monitor and analyze your customers’ buying behaviors.
  8. Haven't Forgotten About You! Enjoy a Limited-Time Discount

Email Subject Lines with Numbers

Email subject lines with numbers or lists are intriguing and attention-grabbing.

Did you know that the human brain is naturally drawn to numbered lists? Implementing this to your email campaign could effectively persuade more recipients to open your emails.

Here are a few examples of email subject lines that include a number in them:

  1. Top 10 under $10
  2. 10 tips for [topic]
  3. 5 ways to [improve something]
  4. 212 Blog Post Ideas
  5. 7 most annoying Twitter moments of the #Oscars2014
socialbro sends out emails - email marketing subject lines
  1. 10 jow-dropping drift videos on YouTube
  2. 10 Gift Ideas for Your Little One
  3. 5 Essential Tips for Productivity Boost
  4. 3 Simple Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle
  5. 10 Must-Have Tools for DIY Enthusiasts
  6. Unlock 8 Insider Secrets to Success
  7. 4 Strategies for Mastering Social Media Marketing
  8. The Top 6 Trends in Fashion for Fall
  9. Discover 9 Delicious Recipes for Summer BBQs
  10. The 12 Best Books to Expand Your Mind

10 Tips for Writing the Best Subject Lines for Emails

Here are some additional tips for writing effective email subject lines:

  1. Keep it short and sweet. The ideal length of a subject line is 50-70 characters, but it should never be more than 100 characters.
  2. Using powerful words that evoke strong emotions, such as “free,” “save,” “easy,” “win,” and “guaranteed” can help grab people's attention and get them to open your email.
  3.  strong verbs and action words like “save” and “win” to grab the recipient's attention and increase your email campaign’s open rate.
  4. If you are sending an email about a specific product or service, be sure to include relevant keywords in the subject line.
  5. Address the recipients by name in your email subject lines to add a personal touch.
  6. Test different email subject lines to find out what works best for your audience. You can use the email tracking software of your choice to track metrics like open rate, number of clicks, and user engagement with your emails.
  7. Make it clear and informative. The subject line should give the recipient a good idea of what the email is about.
  8. Use humor or curiosity. These can be effective ways to pique the recipient's interest.
  9. Include a benefit. The subject line should let the recipient know what advantage they’ll gain by opening the email.
  10. Using personal pronouns like “you” and “your” can help make your subject line more personal and relevant to the recipient.

You may also want to check out my list of the best free email template builders to supercharge your next campaign.

Which Email Subject Lines Did You Like?

These are just some of the best email subject lines that I know are extremely effective for marketing purposes. The key is to understand your customers and adopt a tone that suits them best.

You should also ensure that your choice of subject lines and emails align with your overall email marketing strategy and business goals.

Use creative, crisp email subject lines and your marketing campaign will work wonders for you!

Got more quirky one-liners for catchy email subject lines?

Share your best email subject line examples with me through the comments below. And don’t forget to pen down your thoughts about this article.


  1. Rahul Yadav says:

    Thank you so much for this article. Extremely helpful!

  2. Winter Dominguez says:

    It is very important for the marketers to write good subject lines. I particularly liked the idea of adding humour to the subject-lines. Humour makes the subject lines unique and creative. I also liked the concept of to-the-point subject-lines as they generally grab the attention of subscribers.

  3. I wish to claim that this informative article is amazing, awesome written includes very important information.

  4. Mary Smith says:

    Hey Shane, great job. Thanks for sharing the article. I agree the subject line is one of the most important elements in email marketing because the short, catchy and meaning full subject line can increase your campaign open rate.

  5. Jenine Konye says:

    Thank for the great information!

  6. Edmond Holiman says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. I have shared this link with others. Please keep posting such information.

  7. Ravi Shankar says:

    Thanks for sharing these subject lines which is very useful for email marketing. Keep it up.

    1. Shane Barker says:

      I’m glad you loved it. Thank you so much, your comment really motivates me to share more of such information.

  8. Just wish to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is simply excellent.

    1. Shane Barker says:

      That’s nice of you to say. Thank you so much. Keep coming back for more such information.

  9. Whoah, this blog is fantastic I like studying your posts. Great work!

    1. Shane Barker says:

      I’m glad you loved it. Thank you so much, your comment really motivates me to share more of such information.

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