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20 Best Email Subject Lines & Templates You Can Use in 2023

To get the best results and the highest email open rates, you should aim to use only the best email subject lines. It doesn’t matter if your email holds the key to world peace and unlimited food and energy for all – no one will ever know if the subject line doesn’t entice them to click through.

But, if you are working on dozens of campaigns and sending out lots of emails every day, it is hard to come up with a good line every time. Whether you are struggling with low email open rates or simply need inspiration on how to improve your already good email subject lines, you came to the right place.

Best email subject lines

We have collected some of the best email subject lines across industries (skip to see them), all with proven real-life results. But before that, let’s see what the data says about email subject line quality:

Why having a good email subject line is important

  • Almost half (47%) of email recipients decide on opening an email purely based on the subject line, and 69% of them will report a mail as spam based on the subject line, too [1].
  • 38% of salespeople say that getting an answer from a potential client is getting harder [2].
  • The average American white-collar worker spends a total of 5.6 hours each workday checking emails; 2.5 hours are dedicated to personal and 3.5 hours to business email correspondence [3].
  • The American we mentioned above receives more than 120 messages each day [4].

No wonder it is getting harder to get an answer – the average person with a desk job spends over 5.5 hours a day checking emails. That’s why it is crucial to get that email subject right.

Let us show you how others do it and what their results are.

Best email subject lines of the year – backed by real-world data

How {{someone}} did {{something important, impressive, etc.}}

According to Sumo, one of their best-performing emails, with an open rate of 57%, was made with a simple structure – How (name) achieved something important. For instance, How X influencers grew their sites from 0-10K visitors [5].

Product Update – Announcing {{what and why}}

Salesmate used the following email subject line to reach a 45.24% open rate: “Product Update – Announcing Brand New Import and Integrations” [6].

An email subject line like this is bound to spark interest because what client wouldn’t be interested in new features they could or will get?

10 {{industry}} trends you must know

What professional could resist opening an email with a subject line that talks about the latest trends in their industry? The thing is – trends are constantly shifting, and no one wants to fall behind. Sumo got a 64% open rate with this specific email subject line: “13 email marketing trends you must know.”

Falling short on {{pain point}}?

It is not hard to see why this email subject line made 41.68% of the recipients open it: “Falling short on your business goals?” [7]

These days, who isn’t falling short on their business goals? The sender was a company named Uplers, and its main area of business is connecting employers from all over the world with India’s top talent.

Here is why we {{unusual or unexpected action}}

Sumo got a 47% open rate with this email subject when it announced its name change: “Here’s why we just spent $1.5 million” [5].

Dramatic, I know. But you can make it a bit more down to earth. Something along the lines of: Here is why we are donating, spending, using, etc.

Build {{something}} without any {{knowledge, means, resources}}

A 43.78% open rate doesn’t sound so bad, does it? And you are right [8]. It is well above the industry average, and Salesmate is quite happy with the results it got with this subject line: “Build forms without any technical expertise.”

Announcement – {{important event, release}} summary

A summary is a great word to attract attention because it provides additional information and closure for an event or release that other people witnessed. Think of this analogy – some people don’t follow sports games but still like to know the results and general positions on the boards. Here’s the email subject line used by Salesmate: “Announcement – Salesmate October Release Summary.”

⚠️ Final Chance for {{benefit, discount}}

DigitalMarketer achieved a 34.53% open rate with this subject line: “⚠️ FINAL Chance for free access![9].

As you would expect, free rarely fails when it comes to any kind of offers. Here, DigitalMarketer offered free access to one of its core products. The company also incorporated capitalized letters and a danger emoji, making the message even more powerful. However, we should add that this is not recommended for cold emails. It’s because the very things that make it appealing to clients who trust the brand could make cold-mail recipients simply mark it as spam.

X hours left: {{offer}} for free

It is no secret that a ticking clock speeds up some customers’ decisions. Sumo used this human trait to craft a subject line: “48 hours left: 1 year of Beacon Unlimited for free”. This line brought a 53% open rate. The most important thing to remember is – if there is an expiration time on an offer, make sure to say it in the subject line.

CLOSING Down in 3…2…1…?

DigitalMarketer used this fun email subject line for one of its most popular playbooks – the 1-minute Facebook Video Ad Playbook. They got an open rate of 28.08% [9].

Bye

Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best. Just imagine yourself receiving a mail with this subject line from a company you do business with. DigitalMarketer got a 25.12% open rate for its T&C 2020 convention closing announcement. This can be compared with Obama’s famous “Hey” email, which helped him gather $690 million online. Of course, you have to be a well-known company or a person to expect results [10].

I was right – and that’s not good for you

Sumo again, and this time with an email subject line that made 69% of the recipients open the mail.

Want more email subject line suggestions from the Sumo team? Check out these bonus ones:
  • “Before you write another blog post, read this” – 61% open rate.
  • “Are we still on for 12?” – 61% open rate.
  • “You don’t want FOMO do you?” – 60% open rate.
  • “We’re starting in 5 HOURS” – 59% open rate.
  • “Missed you, how’s Thursday?” – 59% open rate.
  • “How 35 influencers grew their sites from 0-10K visitors” – 57% open rate.
  • “It’s time to rethink Black Friday” – 57% open rate.
  • “How to Google-proof your mobile site in 2017” – 53% open rate.

Get Certified in {{something}} for {{price}}

DigitalMarketer again, this time with a 25.27% open rate with the following email subject line: “Get Certified in Content Marketing for $195?” [9]

This is one of those pitches that work well both for cold emails and for existing clients. How is that? Well, the question mark does wonders here. The existing clients knew the full price of the Content Marketing Mastery course is $495, so they jumped at the opportunity. As for the cold-mail recipients, this question mark made them click and compare prices. They were wondering if it is cheap, expensive, etc.

Want {{interesting data}} for industry benchmarks

Unbounce, a global marketing company, used this subject line to promote its Conversion Benchmark Report: “Want hot conversion rate data for industry benchmarks?”

It had an 83% open rate [11]. Professionals just love data, and getting their hands on the latest batch is something that’s hard to resist.

Any insights from {{common_event}}, {{first_name}}?

User.com, a marketing automation company, used this simple email subject line to start a conversation with potential clients. It worked very well and got 90% of emails opened [11].

No-brainer?

This is one of the best email subject lines both for cold mailing and prospect reactivation. That’s because it is intriguing. Just imagine an inbox full of flashy sales subject lines, all mentioning your name, percentages, and ticking clocks. And then you see this simple message. Baremetrics got an 81% open rate with this subject line [11].

The most exciting opportunity for companies in {{year}} (and beyond)

SuperOffice, a CRM platform company, used this email subject line to promote its key piece of content that was ranking #3 in Google SERP. This cold outreach campaign proved to be a success – thanks to the 90% open rate and link-building that followed, the content in question took that 1st position the company was after [11].

Read this mail if you need {{XYZ}}

This simple but effective email subject line was used for sales outreach by Nextiva, a CRM software company. It got them solid results and a 37% open rate [11].

🤝 Let’s keep it between us, {{first_name}}!

Sometimes it is best to use emotions in subject lines, and everyone loves secrets. That’s because knowing them makes them feel special. Furthermore, the handshake emoji instills trust. This subject line is not the salesy or in-your-face type of commercial email we often see in our inboxes. That freshness got it a 63% open rate and some smiling faces at GorrilaDesk, a business automation company [11].

Hi, {{first_name}}

Last but not least – the simplest of email subject lines, comparable to Obama’s subject line we’ve mentioned before. SocialBee used it for generating leads, and it was a success – a 60% open rate [11]. However, you should keep in mind that the company has a name that already gives a hint about its industry, and it is relatively well known. This might not be suitable for new businesses with less descriptive names.

Tips for creating the best email subject lines

Include numbers

Yesware’s study, conducted on more than 1.2 million emails, found that email subject lines that contain numbers have a 45% higher open rate [12].

Keep the subject line short

Email subject lines between one and five words long get more clicks. However, sometimes it is impossible to convey a message with so few words. If you need more space, make sure you put the important or enticing information at the beginning of the subject line.

Ask questions

People love questions because it sparks their curiosity. According to research, best email subject lines with questions get a 10% higher open rate than average.

The message should imply immediacy

Make sure that the recipient understands that the deal is time-limited and that the expiration date is soon. For instance, “today” works much better than “next week.” It can have up to three times better open rates and up to 25 times higher reply rates. You should do research and figure out when is the best time to send emails.

Make it personal

Personalized emails get 26% higher open rates [13]. It shows intimacy and good research. In the eyes of the recipient – you bothered to find out their name and reach out to them personally.

Provide value

This is the most important thing. Namely, you have to offer something your recipients find interesting, something they would want to click on. Furthermore, it is also important for the reply rates. When you give people something valuable and useful, they feel the urge to return the favor.

What not to do

  • Avoid using spammy words. Your email might end up in the spam folder. Even if it doesn’t, it won’t get many clicks.
  • Do not overuse emojis. Occasional and well-placed emojis serve a purpose. However, if you overdo it, it looks spammy and not serious.
  • Don’t use all capital letters. It will look like you are shouting.
  • Limit punctuation marks. Studies show that you shouldn’t go over three.
  • Limit special characters. They can set off spam filters.

Conclusion on best email subject lines and how to write them

If you are a beginner, these examples should help you get started. If you are already a seasoned email marketer, they should give you an insight into how other professionals in your space do it and what you can learn from them.

But, no matter what position you hold at the moment, keep the context in mind. The best email subject lines we’ve shown were crafted for specific campaigns and specific industries. They might not work for your specific needs. That’s why it is important to create your email strategy and experiment.

Do you have any thoughts on best email subject lines? You can share them in the comments section below!

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