Today, we will be taking you through the 5 best email subject ideas for better open rates. Sometimes it takes a little to motivate people to do one thing: click and open the email! Keep reading to find out how you personally can increase the conversion of your digital marketing campaigns by improving your email open rates.



1. Embrace the simple approach to the subject line

The subject line is the first thing users see and is therefore accountable for the delivery and performance of the email campaign. You literally have a few seconds to grab people’s attention and make them want to learn more about you or your offer.

To make it happen, focus on simplicity and minimalism – your offer – the brand’s voice – needs to be as clear as a day.

According to various studies, the shorter the email, the better the performance; however, you should deliver all of that in a cheerful, engaging tone. Steer away from the cheesy lures, though.

Make the email as specific, short, and sweet as possible. Once you start implementing this tactic, the open rates will certainly start to rise.


2. Use controversy

The idea with this method is to grab their attention.

Pitching controversial ideas might get opens, but if it doesn’t lead to the desired goal, then it all might have been in vain. The goal here is to understand your audience’s perceptions and tastes. They should be used to it, so they can expect it from you. It might sound a little confusing now, but the controversy game is a bit of a gamble anyway. But the pay-off could be very rewarding if you know how to play your cards right.

Here are a few examples:

  • Your Marketing Sucks: Think Local. See How It’s Done – daring approach (nobody likes to be criticized);
  • Don’t OPEN this email….it’s meant for your competitors – extra daring approach – you should be careful with this type of messages;
  • You Will Fail…If You Don’t Open This – depending on the niche, you can say that but back up with your words with an explanation as to why you think so
  • We have a GIFT for you. Click Here to Collect It – to say this, you have to have a gift – a free webinar, etc.


Here’s another approach: you can even step up the game of simplicity and put only one word in the subject line. Only 1! Single-worded subject lines are great because they are ultra-minimalistic.

Just imagine seeing subject lines with the following word:


Would that catch your attention right away? Absolutely! It carries an emotional burden, and it instantly makes users want to know what’s going on. Should they be panicking? About what? Are they in danger? What’s really going on?

What happens next is they click the email as a natural response to their curiosity. Here’s another one that would fit the whole pandemic situation right now.


Are people afraid of the pandemic? Of course, they are!

Use the inertial force to get to people with the right product at the right time.


3. Email Subject Lines with Numbers & Lists, etc.

Using numbers, lists, emoji…have long been known to attract attention. Our brains are drawn to digits.

Lists, numbers, and other similar elements help the brain process the information in a better way.

According to The New Yorker, our brains are attracted by things that don’t fit – things that stand out or are somehow different. Unusual punctuation and question marks are also another way of implementing the numbers method into your campaign.


4. Custom-Made Subject Lines

Personalization is another effective way to boost open rates. However, today, the person’s first name is so overused that it almost looks like spam. Avoid the common practice this time, and try location-specific lines and one-time offers. You can send deals based on previous purchases or interests. Let’s say somebody has bought something that falls into the art category. It would make sense to show art-related offers again.

The best practice here is to know your audience’s taste, behavior, even language style. Use this information to build the perfect email with higher open rates.

Here are some great examples from Thrillist and LivingSocial Deals:

5. The FEAR of Missing Out

Do you usually use scarcity tactics to improve the open and conversion rate?

We all have that fear of not fitting in, fear of being left behind. That “sheep” mentality is exactly what moves people from place A to place B. Use this tactic – it’s the perfect strategy to advertise a product with limited quantities. Such one-time offers usually tend to perform great.



There’s no universal answer to what the perfect email subject lines should look like. However, there are some good practices you can implement right away like; the use of questions, fear of missing out, trending topics, numbers, lists, emojis.

Furthermore, the use of controversy, shocking and unexpected lines could also be a good start as they will appear as something unusual and interesting. So, combine all of this with your audience’s tastes and preferences, and you’ll be a step closer to an increased email open rate.

Now go ahead and put these 5 Email Subject Line Ideas For Better Open Rates to the test. We’re sure that you’ll reach better open rates.



Andriu Barreto is a digital marketing connoisseur who has spent the past 10 years drinking lots of coffee and learning the ins-and-outs of the internet marketing world. He now writes his marketing ideas, strategies, and advice on Internet Marketing Bro.