Top 10 best practices for email subject lines. 60+ Professional examples included
The subject line is critical because it's your first impression of your email. The quality of your subject line can determine whether or not the email gets opened or immediately trashed. It can influence whether your email is marked as spam or important. The subject line is essentially the 'headline' of your email. It's your chance to grab the reader's attention and persuade them to engage further with your message.
In the following lines, we will expand on the best practices for writing good subject lines and provide examples of the most common emails.
What is the subject of an email?
The subject line of an email is a short summary of the email's content. It's the first thing people see when they receive your email, and it often determines whether the recipient opens the email or not.
Best practices for email subject lines
However, when you want to write an important email and are stuck with no idea what a good subject line would be. What do you do? Well, we have some suggestions. We do have creative, typical, and unconventional examples you can emulate. You will see that the subject line can be the title of a letter, note, or memo. Let's see the top 10 tips now:
1. Keep it short
Email subject lines will get cut off if they're too long, especially on mobile devices. Stick to under 50 characters.
- "Flash Sale: 50% Off Today Only!"
- "Invitation: Q3 Strategy Webinar: Jun 11, 3PM"
- "New Blog Post: Improve Your SEO"
- "Update: Project Timeline Adjusted"
- "Meet Your New Teammate, Janet"
2. Personalize the subject line
Include names or personal topics. Personalization boosts open rates. If you know your client's name or the colleague you're writing to, mention them in your subject line.
- "John, Your Customized Weekly News Roundup"
- "Exclusive Offer for You, Sarah"
- "Mike, Your Subscription is About to Expire"
- "Welcome to the Community, Lisa"
- "Alex, Your Order Has Shipped"
3. Use a sense of urgency
Making people feel like they're about to miss out can encourage them to take action. A deadline, a specific milestone, a clear date, or number will encourage the people interested about the topic to act.
- "Last Chance: Register for Our Webinar"
- "48 Hours Left of Our Season Sale"
- "Only 3 Seats Left for the Conference"
- "Hurry, Your Cart Items are Almost Gone!"
- "Your Coupon Expires Tonight"
4. Use actionable language
Start with verbs to make your subject line sound more imperative and engaging.
- "Join Our Webinar on Cybersecurity"
- "Save Big on Your Next Purchase"
- "Download Your Free E-book Now"
- "Explore Our New Product Line"
- "Get Your Personalized Fitness Plan"
5. Highlight the value
The subject line will be the first thing your reader sees with emails. What will your recipients gain from opening your email?
- "Boost Your Sales with Our Free Guide"
- "Save Time with Our Project Management Tips"
- "Improve Your Design Skills with Our Course"
- "Learn Spanish in Just 5 Minutes a Day"
- "Upgrade Your Wardrobe with Our Fashion Picks"
6. Test different subject lines
What works best can vary between different audiences and types of emails. Practically you have two variations of the same message. However, if you will send them to, let's say, 100 subscribers, send to 50 version A and the other 50 version B, then compare the one that converted better and use it for the set of clients since you know which one works better.
- A/B Test: "Introducing Our New Product Line" vs. "Explore Our Latest Products"
- A/B Test: "50% Off All Items Today Only!" vs. "Flash Sale: Everything Half Price Today!"
- A/B Test: "Free Shipping on Your Next Order" vs. "Say Goodbye to Shipping Costs!"
- A/B Test: "Your Subscription is Expiring" vs. "Don't Lose Your Subscription Benefits"
- A/B Test: "Join Us for a Live Demo" vs. "See Our Product in Action: Live Demo"
7. Use numbers and lists
Numbers and lists are eye-catching and easy to understand. We like to read things diagonally. We want to see the best of our key takeaways, not bulky texts.
These such examples just work:
- "5 Tips to Boost Your SEO"
- "10 Book Recommendations for You"
- "7 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill"
- "Top 3 New Features in Our Latest Update"
- "Your Checklist for a Successful Project"
8. Ask a question
Questions can pique curiosity and prompt opens. Even we have started this section with a question. Questions can spark interest in the reader's mind, and if the subject is of interest to him, then you have more chances to have an email with a high open rate.
- "Ready to Boost Your Marketing Skills?"
- "Need Help Planning Your Vacation?"
- "Want to Know the Secret to Great Skin?"
- "Looking for Affordable Home Decor?"
- "Dreaming of a New Job?"
9. Use emojis carefully
They can add a nice touch but don't overdo it, and ensure they're appropriate for your audience. Especially with younger generations and for the mobile-first type of users, such use cases can be more engaging and bring some sparkle to the message.
- "🎁 Surprise Inside: Open Now!"
- "🚀 Lift Off: Our New Product is Live!"
- "📚 Your Reading List for the Week"
- "🏋️♀️ Get Fit with Us: Join Today"
- "🌞 Summer Sale: Hot Deals Inside"
10. Avoid spammy language
Who doesn't hate spam? Words like "free," "help," "reminder," etc. can trigger spam filters. Spammy messages get immediately deleted, so what can we do about this? The answer is simple. Use an alternative.
- Instead of "Free Gift Inside!" use "Complimentary Gift with Your Purchase"
- Instead of "Reminder: Webinar Tomorrow", use "Looking Forward to Seeing You at the Webinar"
- Instead of "Help Us Improve", use "Your Feedback Makes Us Better"
- Instead of "Click Here for a Discount", use "Your Exclusive Discount Awaits"
- Instead of "Buy Now", use "Your New Favorite Product is Here"
Subject Lines Examples
If above we've discussed tips and best practices, in this section, we will provide a concrete list of subject lines that you can use for various occasions:
Event emails are dispatched when organizing an event such as a corporate conference, product launch, or a company-wide meeting. It's crucial to send these emails well in advance to provide your recipients ample time to schedule their participation.
- "Invitation: Meet the Author – James Patterson"
- "Register Today: Annual Charity Gala 2023"
- "Live Webinar: The Future of Digital Marketing"
- "You're Invited: Opening Night of 'The Lion King'"
- "Tickets Selling Fast: The Ultimate Food Festival"
A follow-up email is a subsequent message sent after an initial communication or meeting. It serves as a reminder, provides additional information, or prompts a response from the recipient. It ensures continuity in the communication process and helps maintain engagement.
- "Missed You at the Webinar, Here's What You Missed"
- "Let's Try Again: Rescheduling Our Call"
- "Just Following Up on Our Previous Conversation"
- "Your Feedback Would Be Appreciated"
- "We Value Your Thoughts on Our Recent Event"
Recommended reading: How to optimize the way you write follow-up emails.
Holiday emails are an excellent way to express appreciation and goodwill to employees, customers, and business partners. They enhance the sense of community, boost morale, and strengthen business relationships.
- "🎄 Merry Christmas: Special Gift Inside!"
- "🎃 Spooky Savings: Halloween Flash Sale"
- "🎉 Celebrate the New Year with Us"
- "🦃 Gobble Up These Thanksgiving Deals"
- "💕 Love is in the Air: Valentine's Day Specials"
Tip: We do provide public holidays from more than 100 countries and states.
Introduction emails are written when a new member is joining the team or when you're introducing a new initiative, product, or service. They can also be used when connecting with a new business partner or client.
- "Nice to Meet You, John: A Introduction from [Your Name]"
- "Welcome to the Team, Sarah"
- "Meet Your Personal Fitness Coach"
- "Introducing Your New Account Manager"
- "Say Hello to Our New Product Line"
Reminder emails function as a tool to ensure important tasks, deadlines, or events do not get overlooked in busy schedules. They aid in time management and contribute to the general productivity and efficiency of the business.
- "Don't Forget: Your Subscription Expires Tomorrow"
- "Tick Tock: Your Cart is Waiting"
- "Just a Reminder: Webinar Starts in 1 Hour"
- "Your Appointment is Tomorrow at 3pm"
- "Friendly Reminder: Your Payment is Due"
Tip: Interested in writing reminder emails like a pro? We give you the formula.
When you want to get the pulse of your organization, or learn more about what your customers think about the products/services you're offering, you need to send them a survey. Still, the way that a survey reaches the eyes of your employees or customers is via one email. Find below some examples of email subject linees for surveys.
- "We Need Your Feedback: Short Survey Inside"
- "Help Us Serve You Better: Quick Survey"
- "Your Opinion Matters: Share Your Thoughts"
- "3-Minute Survey: Help Improve Our Services"
- "Question for You: Can You Fill Out Our Survey?"
Thank you email
Thank you emails are sent to express gratitude. This could be in response to a completed project, a successful meeting, or simply to acknowledge the consistent hard work of your team. They foster positive relationships and contribute to a healthy work culture.
- "Thank You for Your Purchase, John"
- "We Appreciate Your Support: Thanks for Donating"
- "Thanks for Attending Our Event"
- "A Big Thank You for Your Referral"
- "We're Grateful for Your Business"
A welcome email to new hires is essential as it sets a positive tone for their experience and facilitates their integration into the team. It demonstrates that you value their contribution, which can boost their engagement and productivity.
- "Welcome to the Community, Alex!"
- "Glad to Have You, Sarah: Welcome to [Company Name]"
- "Your [Company Name] Account is Ready"
- "Welcome Aboard, John! Let's Get Started"
- "You're In! Welcome to the [Product Name] Family"
When sending a fundraising email, it's important to be concise, clear, and passionate about your cause. Highlight the importance of the initiative, the impact of their contribution, and express gratitude for their support, regardless of their decision to contribute.
- "Help Us Reach Our Goal: Support Our Cause"
- "Join Us in Making a Difference: Donate Today"
- "Your Contribution Can Change Lives"
- "Every Dollar Counts: Support Our Charity Run"
- "Together We Can Make a Change: Fundraising Campaign"
Leave request email
Leave request emails should be sent whenever you need to take time off. It's generally best to send these as far in advance as possible, specifying the dates and reason for your absence, to ensure seamless workflow management in your absence.
- "Leave Request for Sept 10-15"
- "Vacation Request: June 1-7"
- "Request for Medical Leave: April 20-27"
- "Sabbatical Leave Request: Jan to March 2024"
- "Parental Leave Request for July 2023"
Tip: LeaveBoard HR and Leave management software helps to streamline leave request emails so that your employees can focus on the important elements of the business and forget about repetitive tasks.
A confirmation email should succinctly include all the critical details agreed upon in a prior conversation or meeting. This helps ensure clarity, prevents misunderstandings, and serves as a record of the agreement.
- "Order Confirmation: 3 Items ([Order ID])"
- "Webinar Registration Confirmation"
- "Confirmed: Your Meeting with [Name] on August 20"
- "Booking Confirmed: Flight to New York"
- "Payment Received: Invoice #12345"
Continue reading: Essential Confirmation Email Templates.
Performance review meeting invitation email
Performance reviews offer a structured platform for feedback, enabling employees to understand their strengths and areas for improvement. They facilitate open communication, align individual and organizational goals, and inform decisions related to professional development and promotions.
- "Invitation: Your Performance Review Meeting"
- "Scheduled: Performance Review on Sept 25"
- "Your Annual Performance Review: Let's Discuss"
- "Let's Talk About Your Progress: Review Meeting"
- "Performance Review Meeting: Confirming Your Slot"
Related: How to evaluate employees? An in-depth 10-step guide.
Training invitation email
Training investments enhance skills, increase productivity, and boost employee morale. They also help attract and retain top talent, maintain a competitive edge, and adapt to industry changes and advancements.
- "Training Session: Improve Your Sales Skills"
- "Join Our Workshop: Mastering Design Basics"
- "Invitation: SEO Training for Marketers"
- "You're Invited: Leadership Training Program"
- "Boost Your Skills: Free Training Session"
1. Be Concise: Keep your subject line short and to the point. Aim for about 6 to 10 words.
2. Create Urgency: If applicable, create a sense of urgency to prompt the reader to open the email.
3. Personalize: Use the recipient's name or relevant details to make the email feel personalized.
4. Value Proposition: Clearly state the benefit or value the recipient will gain from opening the email.
5. Avoid Spam Triggers: Certain words or phrases can trigger spam filters. Research these and avoid them to ensure your email gets to the inbox.
Remember, the subject line often determines whether an email gets opened, so it's worth spending time to get it right.