Top 10 Email Subject Lines That Get Opened

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Email marketing has been, by far, the best tool around for connecting with existing and potential customers. It’s also a tool that goes unused, or used incorrectly by so many businesses. When you send email out to your existing customers or subscribers it makes your business seem more credible and adds that personal touch that is usually missing through electronic communication. However, before you can even nurture that connection, you will need to get the customers. This means creating email subject lines that won’t get dumped in the spam folder and actually get read.

Email Subject LinesThe phrase “The first impression matters” was never truer than it is with email subject lines. A perfect subject line will grab the users attention and entice them into wanting to find out more.

Here are some of the top email subject lines that get opened. Keep in mind that personalizing them and customizing them can make all the difference.

1. Warning (add enticing info like “reading this email can change your life”)
2. Free offers just for you (People like to get free stuff)
3. This is like cheating (Implies a secret to make something easier for the reader, like making money)
4. Are you making this 100 year old mistake?
5. Less than a minute to huge amounts of website traffic
6. I’m sharing info they don’t want you to know about
7. Do you suffer from<…>?
8. Fwd: Private invitation
9. I really need to share something important/amazing with you
10. The amazing secret to (losing weight, making money, living happily…the options are endless)

Different Styles

There are a few different styles or categories that email subject line fall into as well. Used wisely, these could help get your emails noticed.

How-To Write a Great Subject Line

This one grabs the reader’s attention because it promises to show them how to achieve a certain goal or benefit. Take an irresistible benefit or offer and add “How To”, it’s that simple. “How to make…” has come up as the top opener in this category.
Fascination – This one can use the words “discover”, “amazing”, and “secrets” in the subject line and work because they grab the readers curiosity and make them want to learn.
List – Using a subject line like “10 reasons why…..” shows your audience that you have taken the time to compile a convenient list about a subject that interests them.
Announcements – Sharing news is a great way to make people feel like you are including them in something special or that they are one of the first to hear about something new.
Curiosity – Use a subject line that suggests the person thing they may be missing out on something great. For example “Mark, are you making a common mistake?”
Time sensitive – “Only 3 days left” or “Only 20 copies available”

Tips
Above are just some examples of the top email subject lines. You can easily craft your own by following a few simple tips.

Personalize Your Email Subject Lines

A subject line that is personalized is like calling someone by name in a crowd of people. It will grab the attention of the reader. It’s a pretty standard step and you can take it one step further by adding other personal details like the city the receiver lives in. Example: Chris, want to do something fun this weekend? Now make it extra personal: Chris, want to do something fun in Tulsa this weekend?
Keep your subject lines short – Take a look at your own inbox. Does any one subject line really stand out to you? I bet the subject line is a short one. You need to make the subject line short but mention the most important elements in the first couple of words.
Use simple formatting that is understated – What this means is not sending out a subject line in all caps or with too many exclamations. It looks too much like a hard pitch sales method and will end up getting ignored. Write like you would to a friend or family member and keep it professional and personal.

Make use of some compelling angle that will grab your readers interest. Make sure your subject actually has to do with the content of your email. No one likes getting an email with a specific subject line that grabs their interest just to find out that the actual email has nothing at all to do with the subject. It’s misleading and makes you look untrustworthy.

29 Comments
  • Jack Bauer

    How Do I add a photo to the signature line of an outgoing e-mail?

    August 12, 2013 Reply
  • Kaylla

    have a email acc : allex_why@yahoo.com , why i cant recieve any mails ?
    It gives me this ERROR :

    Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message to the following address.

    :
    Remote host said: 554 delivery error: dd This user doesn’t have a yahoo.com account (allex_why@yahoo.com) [-5] – mta168.mail.sp2.yahoo.com [BODY]

    — Below this line is a copy of the message.

    Received: from [77.238.189.230] by nm6.bullet.mail.ird.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 14 Aug 2011 15:10:44 -0000
    Received: from [212.82.108.244] by tm11.bullet.mail.ird.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 14 Aug 2011 15:10:44 -0000
    Received: from [127.0.0.1] by omp1009.mail.ird.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 14 Aug 2011 15:10:44 -0000
    X-Yahoo-Newman-Property: ymail-3
    X-Yahoo-Newman-Id: 6.95148.bm@omp1009.mail.ird.yahoo.com
    Received: (qmail 2553 invoked by uid 60001); 14 Aug 2011 15:10:43 -0000
    DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=yahoo.ro; s=s1024; t=1313334643; bh=LN/UdZ2OxdfMGvUigrPF1Ex6J1ZdNO2oUyBPr… h=X-YMail-OSG:Received:X-Mailer:Message-… b=fOGnf83EHpIpfhNdbAmltd7qnfglIcz5XTpsnA…
    DomainKey-Signature:a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws;
    s=s1024; d=yahoo.ro;
    h=X-YMail-OSG:Received:X-Mailer:Message-…
    b=iHD9pcuXWEMKSGQCvRtYJp0RQHaJv+JQq6gSt7…
    X-YMail-OSG: uVmBwNUVM1k35PBkhGn8ymDLT8O.x4IVnDkimfQI…
    iORFHiGChuhD8AiECVMFm3Qy9hAHYuMnUzngCz…
    yFl6Qea7YfpnsZJDV4M8zGvBkqmW1ip_A4EEz4…
    4USWQfRwYaNxDDZ1omkOuWVFB00.CexzbtRYJ1…
    NaUEqfK4l_13ttTyh9L1js0KpEEakxjEBLh6WC…
    RaQGoodcEAOYD3eGdEvvBjB.1T1f1sd6zFiA6j…
    jjXpEa.6jrreZWJiO__aM28FPNdLLehpNSaFMm…
    6Itnyy2UhILC7Dd4YGjAMZnKastk-
    Received: from [79.114.15.228] by web132320.mail.ird.yahoo.com via HTTP; Sun, 14 Aug 2011 16:10:43 BST
    X-Mailer: YahooMailClassic/14.0.4 YahooMailWebService/0.8.113.313619
    Message-ID: <1313334643.1951.YahooMailClassic@web132…
    Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2011 16:10:43 +0100 (BST)
    From: Alex Why
    Subject: whwysaydas
    To: allex_why@yahoo.com
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=”0-2028151166-1313334643=:1951″

    –0-2028151166-1313334643=:1951
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

    sd asgd asgdasghdas dasdas

    –0-2028151166-1313334643=:1951
    Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii

    sd asgd asgdasghdas dasdas
    –0-2028151166-1313334643=:1951–

    The eamail EXIST ! im online on yahoo messenger now , what can i don ?

    August 12, 2013 Reply
  • Matt

    When I first started receiving the Nigerian scam spam I initially reported the first two to the FBI cyber crimes, but then I just started blocking the senders and getting over it. Now, I must be on some international list, because I get at least 5-10 different ones EVERY single day! I don’t want to have to change my yahoo email address, but I don’t know what else to do. If anyone knows how to fix this, I would so greatly appreciate any suggestions.

    August 13, 2013 Reply
  • Jose B

    The following spam account is using my name:

    Begin forwarded message:

    > From: Bill Hyder
    > Subject: Hey Gypsy
    > Date: November 3, 2012 11:58:03 PM PDT
    > To: “deborah@gypsycanyon.com”
    > Return-Path:
    > Envelope-To: deborah@gypsycanyon.com
    > Delivery-Date: Sun, 04 Nov 2012 01:17:38 -0500
    > Received: from impinc03.yourhostingaccount.com ([10.1.13.103] helo=impinc03.yourhostingaccount.com) by mailscan03.yourhostingaccount.com with esmtp (Exim) id 1TUtWb-0005Pp-Tz for deborah@gypsycanyon.com; Sun, 04 Nov 2012 01:17:37 -0500
    > Received: from nm28-vm10.bullet.mail.gq1.yahoo.com ([98.136.216.169]) by impinc03.yourhostingaccount.com with NO UCE id KJHd1k00X3fsJwa03JHdxa; Sun, 04 Nov 2012 01:17:38 -0500
    > Received: from [98.137.12.63] by nm28.bullet.mail.gq1.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 04 Nov 2012 06:17:36 -0000
    > Received: from [208.71.42.207] by tm8.bullet.mail.gq1.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 04 Nov 2012 06:17:36 -0000
    > Received: from [127.0.0.1] by smtp218.mail.gq1.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 04 Nov 2012 06:17:36 -0000
    > Received: from localhost (y9b63cf52461@190.205.165.47 with login) by smtp218.mail.gq1.yahoo.com with SMTP; 03 Nov 2012 23:17:36 -0700 PDT
    > X-En-Origip: 98.136.216.169
    > X-En-Impsid: KJHd1k00X3fsJwa03JHdxa
    > Dkim-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=yahoo.com; s=s1024; t=1352009856; bh=K568D1iEACZlPHadEwzPfj1YNLEimQUlLyrbTzMK+KI=; h=X-Yahoo-Newman-Id:Message-ID:X-Yahoo-Newman-Property:X-YMail-OSG:X-Yahoo-SMTP:Received:Date:From:To:Subject; b=i9uEGyUDPoYHO6e+y+uPSyzELnZVL+Az9ENPxoNRYxGbjkjKR1QJW4YyXRMAJTLrkuog4sx4v5+1FqrG83n6jyZwKxlg0SSwM0F9IU0Cq1LBD2kAwc5JJrHGADngJzF8mLtRU9kte3IkHhcnMAHB70HJHWEkjs8luBFUaL2C0dQ=
    > X-Yahoo-Newman-Id: 905349.51703.bm@smtp218.mail.gq1.yahoo.com
    > Message-Id:
    > X-Yahoo-Newman-Property: ymail-5
    > X-Ymail-Osg: lP8G0k0VM1l56z.M769HsMv5CvDE0wpZ3wzuKLik4v0odCQ QkZYjzh9nPoWGBr5ZDScpZyIDpb3d.7M3P.JzaPb2hlrnMpU4yXMKVcmF450 Hvzjf0pCjw5p3lSSHdUf1d3ZOdGqCS2XsVWqjOonILU20pa9ad87_x1q0u4U RXAFJWbsLy0Zct9qu8TWQ13dYub6XbJp5DwtXq36JXD5FXqKxhVPvFe4PTLJ wUwk8KrN18ELcqBA6yxs3X.B6W94I.3anlmDrGhj2WKnQqMAn6OnVLDkzRKT wMsDmclkslzV8zBMF7ikqjOZ1yi5pasBfXVpz77INNir8FWmz8_Jvp2EPrQp JloE.vUzo6S2hO19.yTWsrzGCaV.Rj.NlHxBO58ne6cl721n9uBmUGpuQUEC 5gszOEDBpfNuQK5NUKMs7g5m2MwLsJ1cnS7THb_lgbeUjXAnaJVdlPRxC9j. vYL22uCw.zJKjZ0XUsAqOgwsXenQyEE8O5Fa5DlqtLGvgw0ZFjiGQaLLnc8u TKCBx31oeOhYh_YHoKuldCiVfMts2WpWZ9ofAtnTVQ1wfKugz1fidhc8qw5c EVpAw
    > X-Yahoo-Smtp: kyNxsmyswBB0_Ch52gYJEGbIHzvaXNjtVw–
    >
    > hey Gypsy http://rOGwoJsKIEgO.pL:80/biologydad/57briansullivan/
    >
    >
    > 11/3/2012 22:58:03 PM

    y9b63cf52461@yahoo.com is not me and is sending spam using my name as an identifier.

    August 13, 2013 Reply
  • Hotshot t

    Where to study in London, how much time it takes, how much does it cost? any relevant web page?…thank you.

    August 15, 2013 Reply
  • Jose B

    hello evryone.. i would some help and ideas over an assignment am doing for my criminal law module… i would to get some relevant cases as well…. the question is .. ” DISCUSS THE CONCEPT OF CO-AUTHORSHIP AND ACCOMPLICE.”

    thanks in advance…

    August 15, 2013 Reply
  • maskills24

    What is the best thing to write in a subject line to get somebody to open email? I would like the “perfect” subject line eyecatching phrase or sentence.

    August 16, 2013 Reply
  • thinkthought

    New computer, Windows 7, IE 10. Everything worked fine at first, but now I can’t attach more than one file or photo at a time. I can attach them one at a time. I’ve tried the suggestions: clear temp. files, cookies, re-start, etc. but nothing helps. What happened? Worked fine at first. Thanks.
    I downloaded Google Chrome, still can’t attach a pdf. Not even one. Gave up on Firefox…. too many strings attached.
    By the way, none of the “help” links in the email work anymore.
    Oops! System Error::

    We’re sorry! There was a problem submitting your update to incident # .
    Please reply to the email we sent to let us know if your issue was resolved.

    Attempting to reply as instructed resulted in a delivery failure, so I can’t do that either.

    August 16, 2013 Reply
  • Taylor2k

    people fly a lot nowadays. I just wonder if we can vote for the top 10 worst experiences in the airline industry! I always feel that unless you are travelling in Business/First, most passengers experience some negative experience one way or another. Airlines always make you feel that you are subjected to their wish!

    let me share mine first –

    The first one was with bmi Dublin – one male counter staff was very rude and shouted at us “I said I only needed your passport!” when we showed him our online check-in receipt. His friend was laughing at us when he did that! He also made us move the luggage up and down twice, and my husband is a 50+ old man!

    The 2nd one was with S’pore Airline at Heathrow when the female counter staff asked somebody else to jump our queue (we were waiting at the Business counter), and then tried to make it difficult by querying the authenticity of our passports (you know sometimes when people feel embarassed they have to overwhelm you first), and later threw our passports onto the floor by accident.

    and of course in both incidents, I emailed their customer service people.
    thanks. I should have said customer service experience…

    August 16, 2013 Reply
  • Blake

    Ive been getting strange emails from people I don’t know, about 10 emails a day, that have subject titles like “Ayana! You wanna go on a date?” or like “Ayana I lost my pet please help” and stuff like that, and when I open the email, theres a link to a porn site and its driving me NUTS!!! How did these people get my email adress, and how do they know my name??? How can I get rid of these horrible disgusting emails??? I would greatly appreciate your help!!!

    August 19, 2013 Reply
  • Ramblin Spirit

    I interned with my old company while I was in school, and am now emailing my old boss. I want to check in with her, keep in touch, and possibly inquire about permanent employment. For some reason I cannot think of an appropriate subject line for the email. Any suggestions?

    August 20, 2013 Reply
  • Bryant B

    I want to send many folders so plz help me…..

    August 20, 2013 Reply
  • Jeracoo L

    This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification

    Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

    twjohnson@yahoo.com

    Technical details of permanent failure:
    PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 12): 554 delivery error: dd This user doesn’t have a yahoo.com account (twjohnson@yahoo.com) [-5] – mta125.mail.re4.yahoo.com

    —– Original message —–

    Received: by 10.82.188.15 with SMTP id l15mr4767640buf.1175879525397;
    Fri, 06 Apr 2007 10:12:05 -0700 (PDT)
    Received: by 10.82.171.15 with HTTP; Fri, 6 Apr 2007 10:12:05 -0700 (PDT)
    Message-ID:
    Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2007 12:12:05 -0500
    From: “Tom Johnson”
    To: twjohnson@yahoo.com
    Subject: test
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
    boundary=”—-=_Part_4350_31841402.1175879525313″

    ——=_Part_4350_31841402.1175879525313
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    Content-Disposition: inline

    this is a test

    August 20, 2013 Reply
  • Jerosh Nagulachandran

    From: From Mr.Ernest Dadanu
    Sent: Wed, 10 February, 2010 16:51:04
    Subject: With Due Respect

    With Due Respect
    Dear Friend,
    Pls i want you to read this letter very carefully and i must apologize for barging this message into your mail box without any formal introduction due to the urgency and confidential of this issue and i know that this message will come to you as a surprise, Pls this is not a joke and i will not like you to joke with it.

    I am Mr.Ernest Dadanu, a Manager in Baank of Africa (BOA) Ouagadougou , Burkina faso.

    I Hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that i am about to establish with you for the mutual benefit of me and you.

    I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of ($15)millions usd into your account within 7working banking days. This money has been dormant for years in our Bank without claim due to the owner of this fund died along with his entire family and supposed next of kin in an air crash since July 31st 2000.

    Pls go through the website ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm )

    I want our bank to release this funds to you as the nearest person to our deceased customer while i come over to your country to share this fund with you as soon as you confirm this fund into your account and ask me to come over.

    I don’t want the money to go into our Bank treasure as an abandoned fund. So this is the reason why i contacted you so that our bank will release this money to you as the next of kin to the deceased customer. Please I would like you to keep this proposal as a top secret and delete it if you are not interesting.

    Upon the receipt of your reply and indication of your capability, i will give you full details on how the business will be executed and also note that you will have 45% of the above mentioned sum if you agree to handle this business with me while 50% will be for me and 5% for any expenses that may arise on the process, Because i don’t want anyone here in our bank to know my involvement until you confirm this fund into your account and ask me to come over for the sharing as i indicated.

    Am looking forward hearing from you immediately,
    Thanks with my best regards
    From Mr.Ernest Dadanu

    August 21, 2013 Reply
  • Motordom

    at top of mail just inbox calender no send or delete

    August 21, 2013 Reply
  • wwwavid360gamercom

    I tried to send a video and i waited 10 uhh maybe 20 min and it did not load does it even send videos?

    August 21, 2013 Reply
  • Miguel M

    I used to be able to “pre-view” pictures that were attached to an incoming email by thumbnail. Now, suddenly all I see is a “white paper with lines on it” icon. What a pain to have to download all pictures just to view them then realize you’ve already seen them or that you have no interest in seeing them. It takes up a lot of my somewhat limited computer time. (Kids!) I know it’s not the sender because some of the pictures I’m getting are from the same people and in the same format they’ve always used. Any help?

    August 24, 2013 Reply
  • stingerms

    In The online Edition of Home Made Simple, there is a photograph of cookies in a tin. I am dying to know what kind of cookie the Red & White or Green & White “Kiss” Shaped cookies are and a recipe for them! Below is the link!
    http://www.homemadesimple.com/en_US/nbrcontent.do?contentType=cl&articleId=ar010
    I beleive they are made with merainge and a decorators bag. But what are the other ingrediants? 10 points for the best answer and a special holdiay email treat for everyone who contacts me via email with cookie as subject line! Yipppee and Thanks I wont sleep till I find my answer!
    Proud to Be 51 is VERY close to what I’m looking for I think! Qnd yes- I already emailed the website the photo originated from!
    Well I have to say the Poet Babe has kept my family in stitches for the last 3 hours and her recipe does look right on the money. Thanks For ALL your wonderful answers!

    August 24, 2013 Reply
  • Xavier Hawthorne

    I am good in ASP.NET with C#, SQL SERVER 2000/2005, XML, PERL, CGI, PYTHON, JAVA & C++

    August 27, 2013 Reply
  • floydian8717

    I get medical emails from sites like WebMd, which contain various articles. I save the e-mails in my Saved folder; however, the subject line is not the subject I am interested in saving. How can I change the subject line when I place the e-mail into my Saved folder?

    August 29, 2013 Reply
  • Zanto

    Im writing to my teacher who just got back from month trip about help with a question.
    IDK what to make the subject line bc i don’t want to just say “help”

    August 29, 2013 Reply
  • Alina Elliott

    when i click the inbox it automatically closes the entire page. i just changed my password, now what?

    August 29, 2013 Reply
  • Boo Cookie

    Have rx 10-15 answers on subject with no content visable from yahoo. all title answers to my question and no subject matter appears with emailed message so therefore i cannot read message as none appears,only subject line and sender info. what’s up with this, no help whatsoever. still lost in limbo. sugest put fix if possible in subject matter someway

    August 30, 2013 Reply
  • Superman

    I just opened my email and found this forwarded to me to I thought I would copy and paste it and go right to the source. Please see below and answer with details if possible.
    Subject: Fwd: YAHOO IS CLOSING DOWN

    Hi everyone

    be blessed in this wonderful season

    Dear YAHOO User,

    Because of the sudden rush of people signing up to YAHOO, it has come to our attention that we are vastly running out of resources. So, within a month’s time,anyone who does not receive this email with the exact subject heading,will be deleted off our server. Please forward this email so that we know you are still using this account.
    We want to find out which users are actually using their YAHOO accounts. So if you are using your account, please pass this e-mail to every YAHOO user that you can and IF YOU DO NOT PASS this letter to anyone we will delete your account.

    From Mr. ALLEN SMITH
    YAHOO Admin. Dept.

    Our YAHOO system is getting to crowded!! We need you to forward this to at least 20 people. I know this seems like a large number, but we need to find out who is really using their account. If you do not send t his to at least 10 YAHOO members, we will delete your account. Sorry for this inconvenience.
    Sincerely, Director of YAHOO Services
    BOB LOPEZ
    Isn’t Lucee so nice?

    September 1, 2013 Reply
  • ScRSC

    I have issues with my yahoo mail. I have a MacBook with OS version 10.5.8 and I use Firefox 3.6.13 or Safari 5.0.3. The problem I’m having is downloading files from emails or attaching files to my email. Every time I try to attach or download a file, the finder window ( which you use to select the location where you want the file to download or select a file to attach) collapses after 2-3 seconds. This ONLY happens in yahoo. My email account with others such as gmail do not have that problem. THis has been going on for 2 weeks now. Please help

    September 2, 2013 Reply
  • joevsyou

    I never received any spam from on-line casinos until about a month ago. Now I receive anywhere from 3-10 a day. It is so frickin’ irritating. Why won’t the spam filter weed them out?

    September 2, 2013 Reply
  • Jose B

    How can you disable the pop up that anounces new email and it’s subject line, that appears in the lower right corner of the screen when new yahoo mail arrives? I don’t always like to share email with whoever is in the room !!

    September 2, 2013 Reply
  • vanvark83

    I always send pictures to people, but for some reason I cannot see/find the attachment tool or the little paperclip. I have all of the toolbars checked/turned on. How do I attach pictures without the attachment tool? Am I going crazy, or just blind? Thanks. 🙂

    September 2, 2013 Reply
  • krow147

    In email, the subject line width has extended out too far — now it is not left justified and even with the To and From lines. How do I get the subject line back to the default?

    September 2, 2013 Reply

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