Marketing Email Subject Lines that Get Results

BY Rachel Cagle
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If your clients can’t get their emails opened, what’s the point in even sending them? Even 41.5% of Email Ad Responders say that when they get email after email from the same company, they’ll ignore the messages entirely, according to AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. However, the recipients’ attitudes can be changed with effective subject lines and useful content.

Crafting Effective Email Subject Lines

First of all, you have to evaluate the message your client is sending to their current and potential customers. The purpose of the content needs to be clear in the email subject line. According to Kristen McCormick, writing for WordStream, here are the types of words and phrases you should be using to snag the attention of recipients and get them to open the email.

Savings and Limited-​Time Offers

AudienceSCAN data shows that Email Ad Responders’ have two favorite types of email to receive from companies. These are coupons and discount codes or limited-​time offers/​sales. Everyone is more inclined to consider making a purchase if they’re getting a deal on what they’re buying. This is even true if they don’t have previous experience with the brand. That’s why McCormick encourages marketers to use phrases in email subject lines that include:

  • Savings:
    • Save now,” “Get your money’s worth,” “Affordable,” “Easy on your wallet”: All of these phrases show that there is money the recipient could be saving if they open the email.
    • Earn rewards,” “Collect”: These words also show that there is savings to be had immediately and more. Customers can also accrue rewards that can be used later on.
  • Limited-​Time Offers:
    • For a limited-​time only,” “While supplies last,” “Ends [insert a date],” “Offer ends soon,” “Last chance”: If the recipient doesn’t open the email and take action NOW, they will be missing out!


With the internet providing us with immediate answers at all times, a bit of curiosity-​stoking that only your client’s email can satisfy serves as great email subject line clickbait. Words that can spark curiosity include “What if…,” “Insider,” “Scoop,” and “Imagine.” McCormick uses an example of a social media post made by a bakery. “Sign up for our newsletter and get the inside scoop on our favorite recipes, pro-​tips and more.” Obviously, that would have to be shortened to use as an email subject line. But it does spark some curiosity into what you can get out of the newsletters, doesn’t it?


No matter what the product or service is, consumers want to know they’re buying from the authority of the industry. While you can’t go into detail of what makes your client the authority in their industry, you can begin to establish their credibility using certain words in the email subject line, including:

  • Best-​in-​class
  • Expert-​approved
  • Top-​rated
  • [Location]’s best, only, or top
  • Cutting edge
  • Leading

Remember, no matter how well-​crafted your email subject line is, if the content doesn’t back up the promise your client made in the subject line, all they’ll have to show for their efforts are clicks with no sales behind them.