The Ultimate list of Email Subject Lines: 80 Formulas to Increase Email Open Rate

Email Quote by David Newman

Emails marketing is something which is used by almost any kind of business – right from freelancers, local dentists to established MNCs. With time it has become very difficult to actually get the emails read, especially when every other business, family and friends are bombarding people with emails. Now let’s just remind ourselves that whenever we send an email, the very first thing that a potential customer will see is the subject line. So the trick lies in writing a compelling a subject line to get the maximum number of audiences to open the emails. The best email subject lines have at least one of the following elements:

  • cater to the personal interest of the recipient
  • invoke curiosity
  • challenge conventional wisdom
  • provide offers/freebies
  • induce urgency
  • deliver latest news
  • show validation by other people

We’ve used the above to compile a list of 80 email subject line formulas so that you can use one of them to write a gripping subject line within seconds. Read on!

1. The “What I did” Email

  • Formula: What I did to [Result]
  • Example: What I Did to Grow My Email List to 200k  in Just 2 Weeks

2. The “Have You” Email

  • Formula: Have you [Action] [Product]?
  • Example: Have You Seen The Doormat That People Are Dying to Buy?
    Have You Tried the KeyWord Tool That Has Become a Rage Among Marketers?

3. The Discount Coupon Email

  • Formula: Use Coupon [Code] to Get [Offer]?
  • Example: Use Coupon MAYHEM to Get 40% Discount on Everything!

4. The Suggestion Seeker Email

  • Formula: Do you have any inputs on [X]
  • Example: Do you have inputs on Application of Analytics in HR Transformation?

5. The Last Chance Email

  • Formula: Last chance to get [Offer]
  • Example: Last chance to get 50% cashback on FRESH ARRIVALS

6. The Countdown Email

  • Formula: You Have Just [Number] Days/Hours Left to [x]
  • Example: You Have Just Three Days Left to Claim Your Free Ebook on Customer Onboarding

7. The Breaking news Email

  • Formula: [Breaking news] and [its effects]
  • Example: Government’s new Labour Law and its Implication on Your Company

8. The Reference Email

  • Formula: [Mutual Contact] Suggested I Connect with You to [Topic]
  • Example: Jake Suggested I Connect with You to Discuss about The Ruby Project

9. The “Buy More Save More” Email

  • Formula: [Product Name] [Offer]
  • Example: Premium WordPress Plugins! Pack of 10 at $50

10. The Urgency Email

  • Formula: [Urgent action]
  • Example: 80% Sold. You Need to Rush!
    Open Now to Save More on Ad Campaigns!

11. The “Want to” Email

  • Formula: Want to [X]
  • Example: Want to View Customer’s Interaction with Your App?

12. The List Email

  • Formula: [Number] Steps to [Problem]
  • Example: 5 Simple Steps to Squeeze the Maximum Value from Canceled Subscriptions

13. The Pre-requisite Email

  • Formula: Read This Before [X]
  • Example: Read This Before You Implement a CRM
    10 Things to Know Before Pricing Your Subscription Business

14. The Reminder Email

  • Formula: Remember – You Have [Amount] at [Retailer]!
  • Example: Remember – You Have $50 Store Credit at GamingCentral!

15. The Expiry Email

  • Formula: Your [X] will expire soon
  • Example: Your PeopleGraph Account will Expire Soon

16. The Round-up Email

  • Formula: Best of [Company Name]: [topic]
  • Example: Best of StartupJunkie: The Top 10 Posts That Make Us Proud

17. The Relationship-building Email

  • Formula: [Greeting] [First name]
    [Company] wishes you [Greeting]
  • Example: Happy Anniversary Jake – Surprise Inside
    MCentral Wishes You a Happy Birthday!

18. The Research Email

  • Formula: [Research Name]: What We Learnt from [Sample Size]
  • Example: NPS Survey: What We Learnt from 3000+ Users

19. The Casual Email

  • Formula: Hey [First Name]
  • Example:Hey Tyrion

Note: Use this when you’re sending emails on behalf of someone whom the receiver admires or considers important.

20. The Negative Trigger

  • Formula: Don’t Open This Email Unless [Result]
  • Example: Don’t Open This Email Unless You Want to Reduce Churn Rate

21. Don’t Miss Emails

  • Formula: Hey [first name]! Don’t Miss Out on These [x]
  • Example: Hey Jack! Don’t Miss Out on These Trending Topics

22. Self-association Emails

  • Formula: The [Association hook] [Outcome]
  • Example: The Broke Entrepreneur’s Guide to Employee Retention
    The Crazy Nomad’s Guide to a Luxury Travel
    The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Earn $15,000 Per Month

23. The Pricing and Product Email

  • Formula: [Budget] | [Product]
  • Example: $100K – $200K Properties | Condos and Apartments in Delaware

24. The Inquisitive Email

  • Formula: [Problem Statement]
  • Example: What Are Your Customers Saying About You on Social Media?

25. The Email that Knows the Time

  • Formula: [Timing + Occasion]
  • Example: The 10 Best Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts
    The Best Places for a Sunday Brunch in Berlin

26. The Crisis Communication Email

  • Formula: [Issue] – Here is What We’re Doing
  • Example: GameRewardz Under DDoS Attack – Here is What We’re Doing

27. The Learnings Email

  • Formula: Learnings from [x]
  • Example: 5 Learnings from Our Recent Email A/B Tests
    What we Learnt from Outsourcing Software Development

28. The Common Mistakes Email

  • Formula: Common mistakes to avoid while [x]
  • Example: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid while Ideating Loyalty Program

29. The “How/How to” Email

  • Formula: How [topic]
  • Example: How SalesInsta Does Content Analysis
    How to Do Sales Forecasting

30. The Hack Email

  • Formula: The Simple Hack to [Benefit]
  • Example: Two Simple Hacks to Overcome Writer’s Block

31. Experts Won’t Tell You Email

  • Formula: The One Trick that Seasoned [X] Won’t Tell You About [Problem]
  • Example: The One Trick That Seasoned Marketers Won’t Tell You About PPC Ads

32. The Step by Step Email

  • Formula: [Number] Steps to [Result]
  • Example: 5 Steps to Create a Compelling Business Pitch

33. The Follow-up Email

  • Formula: Did you get what you wanted from [touch point]?
    [Company name] follow up
  • Example: Did you Get What You Wanted from Our Website?
    Did you Get What You Wanted from Our Customer Representative?
    AppJunction follow up

34. The “Know this” Email

  • Formula: Did you know [stats/news/tip]
  • Example: Did you know that Google Has Introduced Shopping Ads in Image Search

35. The Help Email

  • Formula: Want to Help You [Problem]
  • Example: Want to Help You with Your CMS Project

36. The Proven Email

  • Formula: [Number] Proven Ways to [Problem]
  • Example: 3 Proven Ways to Handle Customer Objection

37. The Analogical Email

Formula: You’re Not Alone

Note: In the Email body draw analogy between the solution offered by you and a solution already provided by you that helped a similar company in similar situation

38. The Quick Question Email

          Formula: A Quick Question

Note: Use this to ask a question in the Email body that would require substantially less time to respond.

39. The Benefit Email

  • Formula: [Company Name + Benefit]
  • Example: 5x BakingMonk’s Current Customers

40. Remind Your Prospect Email

          Formula: Would You Reconsider the Partnership with [Your Company Name]?

Note: Use this when your prospect has gone cold and revive the memory with your proposed solution

41. The Death Email

  • Formula: The Death of [topic]
  • Example: The Death of Outdoor Advertising as We Know It

42 The Cannot Email

  • Formula: Can’t [Problem]? Check out [Solution]
  • Example: Can’t Generate Enough Leads? Check Out This Squeeze Page

43. The Newsletter Mail

  • Formula: This [Frequency] at [Company]: [Point 1], [Point 2], [Point 3] and More
  • Example: This Month at D3vX: Introduction to React, Flexbox Cheat Sheet, AMA with Terry Cassidy and More

44. The Influencer Email

  • Formula: [Influencer’s Name] [Topic]
  • Example: The One Question Richard Branson Asks While Hiring
    Unveiling Peter Thiel’s Startup Investment Strategy

45. The “Deal of the Day” Email

  • Formula: [Deal of the Day]: [Deal Name]
  • Example: Deal of the Day: Buy One Movie Ticket, Get One Free

46. The Instructional Email

  • Formula: Seriously, [Instruction]!
  • Example: Seriously, Get Started with Facebook Lead Ads!

47. The Poles Apart Email

  • Formula: [Contradiction to Conventional Perception]
  • Example: This Garage Startup is Clocking Revenue of $1m in Just 8 Months

48. The “Address the Audiences” Email

  • Formula: [Target]! [Topic]
  • Example: Campaign Managers! Here’s How to Get the Best ROI

49. The Validation Email

  • Formula: [Method] Validated by [X]
  • Example: The Memory Technique Validated by Hundreds of Students

50. The “What if” Email

  • Formula: What if [Desired Outcome]?
  • Example: What if You Could Enjoy a Luxury Holiday On a Shoestring Budget?

51. The Ditching Email

  • Formula: [Topic] that Made me ditch [Established Product/Service]
  • Example: The Three Key Features of this Communication App That Made Me Ditch Slack

52. The Surprising Email

  • Formula: [Person/Company] was Surprised by [Topic]
  • Example: Elon Musk Was Surprised by this Robotics Startup
    Google was Surprised by this New Government Rule

53. The Little Known Email

  • Formula: [Number] Little Known Ways/Facts [Action/Topic]
  • Example: 5 Little Known Ways Design Agencies Can Generate More Revenue
    3 Little Known Facts About The Competition Among Advertising Agencies

54. The Sneaky Email

  • Formula: [Number] Sneaky Tricks to [Topic]
  • Example: 5 Sneaky Tricks HRs Use to Suss Out Potential Hire’s Cultural Fit

55. The Gold Mine Email

  • Formula: [Topic] Gold Mine
  • Example: The Instagram Gold Mine

56. The Right Way Email

  • Formula: [Topic] done the right way
  • Example: Cold Calling Done the Right Way

57. The Embarrassing Email

  • Formula: This [X] from [Person/Company] About [X] is Embarrassing
  • Example: This Letter from GamezCon About EA is Embarassing

58. The Truth Email

  • Formula: The Truth Behind [Topic]
  • Example: The Truth Behind Productivity Loss

59. The Real Reason Email

  • Formula: The Real Reason [Topic]
  • Example: The Real Reason Facebook Acquired WhatsApp

60. The Fail Email

  • Formula: [Person/Company/Strategy] Failed Miserably
  • Example: These Common Productivity Boosters Failed Miserably

61. The Most Probable Email

  • Formula: Most Probably The [X] Way To [Action]
  • Example: Most Probably The Easiest Way To Get High Email Open Rate
    Most Probably The Smartest Way To Negotiate with a Client

62. The Never Knew Email

  • Formula: The [Best/Most/Worst] [X] You Never Knew
  • Example: The Most Admired Ted Speaker You Never Knew
    The 10 Things We Bet You Never Knew About Silicon Valley

63. The Problem Email

  • Formula: The Problem with [Topic]
  • Example: The Problem with Saudi Arabia’s Investment in Uber

64. The Usual Email

  • Formula: Usually This [Existing Way]. [New Way]
  • Example: Usually This Angular Course Costs $200. Today, You Get 50% OFF!

65. The Art Of Email

  • Formula: The Art Of [Topic]
  • Example: The Art of Writing  Cold Email

66. The Rules Email

  • Formula: The [Percentage/Number] Rule Of [Topic]
  • Example: 5 Simple Rules for Perfecting Your Email Etiquettes
    The 30% Rule of Email Marketing

67. The Pro/Jedi/Ninja Mail

  • Formula: [Action] like a [X] Pro/Jedi/Ninja
  • Example: Generate Leads like a Sales Ninja

68. The Zero To Hero Email

  • Formula: From [Lower State] To [Higher State]
  • Example: This Immigrant Factory Worker is Now a King of Manufacturing

69. The Old Way Email

  • Formula: [Topic]: Still Handling the Old Way?
  • Example: Customer Support: Still Handling the Old Way?

70. The Fight Email

  • Formula: The Fight Against [Negative Element]
  • Example: The Fight Against Bad Designing Practices

71. The Inside Email

  • Formula: Inside: [Point of the Mail]
  • Example: Inside: 51 Findings from Our SaaS Benchmarking Survey

72. The Ultimate Email

  • Formula: [Topic] | The Ultimate Guide
  • Example: YouTube Advertising | The Ultimate Guide

73. The “No Apparent Connection” Email

  • Formula: [Topic] and [Unrelated Topic]
  • Example: Sunday Barbecue and Website Traffic

74. The “I was” Email

  • Formula: I Was [Topic]
  • Example: I Was Right: Radio Advertising is Dead
    I Was Horrified: Don’t Fall Prey to Bogus Buyers

75. The Private Invite Email

  • Formula: Private Invite to [Name]
  • Example: Private Invite to Try the New Facebook

76. The Intro Email

  • Formula: Introducing [Person 1] to [Person 2] from [Company]
  • Example: Introducing Jenny to Jack from PrestoKafe

77. The Thank You Email

  • Formula: Thank You [Topic]
  • Example: Thank You For Attending the Ad:tech Conference

78. The Exclusive/Special Mail

  • Formula: Exclusive/Special [X] for [Topic]
  • Example: A Special Gift for Your Continued Support
    Exclusive Event to Showcase Your Startup

79. The Review Email

  • Formula: Please share your experience of [past event]
  • Example: Please Share Your Experience of Working with Us

80. The Killer Email

  • Formula: [Number] Killer [Topic]
  • Example: Two Killer Sales Negotiation Tactics

These formulas should give you a fair idea of the kind of email subject lines that can improve your business. Just like every other thing in marketing keep on experimenting and tracking the success of your emails. If you are into sales, don’t miss out these 21 cold email opening lines that will make your sales leads warm.

Try TeamWave Projects CRM HRMS

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Flo

    One of the most “conversion-driving” things is:

    Send your mails with a signature/certificate, since the mail willl be displayed highlighted somehow/somewhat in todays clients (like showing a small red ribbon).

    Though, setting up a signature/certificate for a sending account is not for free, but its comparable cheap 🙂


  2. gapsel

    Great post for email marketers. Thank you very much.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.