Tips to Create a Catchy Subject Lines to Boost Email Open Rate

A successful email marketing campaign is impossible without a good subject line. Email recipients make a snap decision about opening the mail or not based on the subject line. Hence it is very crucial to create email subject lines that are compelling enough to get clicked.

According to statistics, 35% of email recipients open an email solely based on the subject line.

It might be just a line but it certainly creates the first impression, especially in the case of eCommerce business. So, if you want your email to be opened, read and clicked then make sure you create a good subject line.

Here are some effective strategies to create catchy subject lines that boost your email engagement:

1. Create a sense of urgency

If you wish your email recipients to take an instant action then create a sense of urgency. It shouldn’t feel quite forceful. With the right strategy and creativity, you can accept prompt clicks. You can either highlight deadlines or use words like ‘alert’, ‘important’, ‘now’ to help in increasing email open rates.

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out is actually a trending feeling of internet users, so the urgency factor will surely lead to a good number of email openings.

Here are some great examples of fear of missing out subject lines:

  • Warby Parker: Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring
  • Guess: Tonight only: A denim lover’s dream
  • Urban Outfitters: Clock’s ticking ⏲ 50% OFF 500+ items

2. Build Curiosity

Curiosity is the most powerful thing. It has the ability to create interest among the recipients and compel them to open the mail. Make sure you don’t give away all the information in the subject line. Just give a teaser that makes the recipient curious enough to open the mail.

Curiosity based subject lines can lead to high open rates. However, the curiosity shouldn’t be over-hyped or else instead of opening the mail, it would land in thrash.

Here are some great examples of curiosity generating subject lines:

  • Chubbies: Hologram Shorts?!
  • Beauty Bay: Guess what Olivia Buckland is wearing? 👀 🔥
  • Guess: You won’t believe who’s partnered with us
  • Crocs: They did WHAT with a pair of Crocs?
  • Allbirds: Have You Seen Sheep Dance?
  • Revolve: Tomorrow’s outfit forecast
  • Sephora: Products the celebs are wearing

3. Highlight what you offer

People love discounts, offers, freebies. So, if you are offering one, then why not highlight it in your subject line? Directly stating what you offer, comes up as a great opportunity to grab the interest of potential customers.

The word free is not considered spam. So don’t worry, you can include ‘free’ in your subject line without hesitation. In fact, it can generate additional clicks. Make the subject line very clear to the subscribers by telling them what rewards they can expect.

Here some great examples of promotional subject lines:

  • Miss Selfridge: Stop EVERYTHING! Up to 50% off ALL Dresses 🚨👗
  • Dollar Shave Club: Save money. Don’t leave the couch.
  • L’Occitane: Beauty You’ve Had Your 👀 on, Now with $20 OFF!
  • Guess: Last chance to earn $100 to shop

4. Add a personal touch

The subject line more relevant to the reader also boosts the email open rates. Using the reader’s name in the subject line instantly catches their attention and makes them feel more valued. Out of the plethora of emails in the inbox, such personalized mail draws quick attention.

You can move an extra step forward by sending emails with the subject line offering special offers on their special occasions like anniversary, birthday, etc. This can significantly improve open and click-through rates. However, this tactic will only be effective if it fits your brand style of product or service you offer. Not every business can play with personalized subject lines.

According to statistics, personalized subject line emails have witnessed 26% more opening rates.

Personal Subject Line Examples:

  • Guess: Loretta, check out these hand-picked looks
  • Seafolly: Hot new summer arrivals just for you
  • Vinomofo: Can’t decide, Patricia? Get Shiraz & Co NEW mix!
  • ColourPop Cosmetics: Amanda, you don’t want to miss this…

5. Interesting stories

Another unique way to increase email open rates via the subject line is by beginning with an engaging story. You can keep starting of the story or some really catchy line from the story as the subject line. This will build the curiosity and help you get the email open rate that you are looking for.

Don’t forget the story should be relevant to your brand and also it should be intriguing so that potential customers become interested to know about your brand.


  • UncommonGoods: As You Wish (A reference to the movie The Princess Bride.)
  • Baby Bump: Yes, I’m Pregnant. You Can Stop Staring At My Belly Now.

6. Short and sweet subject lines

More than 77% of public access email on their mobile phones, so this makes it quite evident that to make the entire subject line visible on the screen, it should be short. The subject line of fewer than 50 characters is recommended.

Since the subject line should be short, make sure you do not miss the important content. Words matter. Don’t waste the characters using ineffective words. Use action-oriented words. Keep it simple with logical keywords and action focusing on the topic. Good practice will help you.

Here some great examples of short subject lines:

  • Huckberry: It’s Arrived.
  • Glossier: You can’t come in
  • Rip Curl: Two for two
  • Chubbies: ereht ih
  • Wool and the Gang: Oh hey crochet! 👋

7. Start with action words

Using an action-oriented verb at the beginning of the subject line has great potential to attract the attention of the users. It works like call-to-action. Action-oriented verbs inspire people to take instant action and map an increase in your email open rate. Such words also create a sense of urgency and excitement. Simple words like Buy, Celebrate, Giveaway, Introducing can make your email click-worthy.

8. Avoid using all caps

Creating a subject line with all caps is the biggest mistake you could ever make. It not only hampers the readability but also creates a bad tone of the message. Probably, even your email can get ignored due to the usage of all caps.

According to research, around 85% of email respondents prefer lower case subject lines as compared to all caps subject lines. Also, try to avoid overuse of exclamatory marks. It also creates a bad impression on the respondents. Just focus on using delightful language, don’t overdo.

Examples of bad subject lines:


9. Use numbers

The subject line is not all about words, even numbers play a significant role in creating a catchy email subject line. If you want your email to get noticed, use numbers. It will help you to come up with a clear and straightforward subject line.

Whether you are offering a certain discount, tips/benefits, offers anything accompanied by number will be highly effective and can increase your email open rate. Using numbers is said to be a winning email marketing strategy.

Examples of email subject lines with numbers:

  • Urban Outfitters: ONLY $19.99 (or less) for all of THIS?
  • Olay: Over 50 million sold ❤️

10. Ask intriguing questions

Ask the question in such a way that the user is convinced enough to open the mail and either check the answer or give an answer. Posting questions in the subject line builds a sense of curiosity among the users. Try asking the question that will draw the readers’ attention and lead to a strong email opening.

First, understand your targeted audience’s need and start creating questions accordingly. You can ask questions like ‘Do you know…’, ‘Are you making these mistakes’, ‘Can you…’ etc.


  • DSW: Find out how you can make a difference.
  • Death Wish Coffee: Is it your lucky day?

After comping up with a list of interesting subject lines, don’t forget to perform A/B testing as it will help to understand more clearly which style of subject line works best for your audience. With the right subject line, you move one step forward towards a successful email marketing campaign.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *