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50+ Subject-Line Ideas to 5X Your Conversion Rates

You’ve spent days in collecting all those email addresses and finally, you’ve got hundreds of impatient prospects sticking to their computers, tablets, laptops and cell phones, just to go through the “Golden Message” from you. If that’s what you think, we’re living on Mars.

Perhaps, you’re properly awake by now, wondering what you should send to the people who’ve thrown their addresses at you. But before they go to the real message of your email, you have to come up with a subject line that will make them so uncomfortable and confused that they have no place to hide, but read.

Before we move on, let’s take a quick look at this great video from Volusion on email marketing and subject lines.

Creating a Subject Line of Your Promotional Email

That’s hard and the problem is two-fold:

  1. Perhaps your prospects are so stupid they don’t know the importance of your email (or perhaps they’re smart enough to know what’s inside). -OR-
  2. The subject line of your email is either too good to be true or it is so lame even your best friend won’t read.

Maybe, the root of the problem IS the subject line of your email. Maybe, the people are right to avoid it. But that doesn’t make you stupid either. It’s the problem businesses face these days.

People have social media channels, messaging apps, mobile games, and awesome videos to pay attention to. Plus, they already have their inboxes full with hundreds of sales promotion emails from several different brands, especially those similar to yours.

Why should they waste their time opening an email that talks about your product? They won’t, unless they’re tempted to do so. And that’s the trickiest part of all.

As the title suggest, we’re going to share some of the best Subject Line Ideas that will make them open your email. Speaking of which, there’s something really important you should know before jumping to those ideas.

Email Open Rate

There are many factors that determine average open rate:

  • Perhaps your subscriber didn’t have any motive to buy from you. He became your subscriber because of the free gift you were giving away in exchange of email address.
  • Perhaps you’ve not segmented your list properly. The subscribers you’re sending an introductory email to, have already purchased from you in the past.

Anyways, let’s see what average email open rate actually is and where you stand.

SmartInsights analyzed billions of emails sent via Mailchimp, and they found out that the average email open rate lies between 15% and 25% depending upon the niche or industry. This is a difference of just 10% but it says a lot about different industries and how people see their emails. For instance, restaurant industry has the highest email open rate of 24%, followed by health and fitness (23.4%).

And if your average open rate is between these two extremes, you’re safe! Even if it’s lower than the lowest, you’ll soon learn the art to make a huge impact. But before that, you need to know why it’s important to monitor open rates.

Your autoresponder dashboard has quite a few numbers, like:

  • Bounce rate
  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Complaints, and more

These numbers are significant, but the reality is, your email needs to be opened before you can gather any other information. And another truth is, you need to make your email count because your sale from the list is totally dependent on it. Apart from the brand name mentioned in the “From” line, subject line is the strongest factor that encourages your subscriber to open your email.

Why Subject Line?

Now, going back to where we started, what makes your subject lines so tempting that people stop, click and read the message? Here’s what experts suggest:

  • Your subject line should “Provide succinct summary” within 40 characters – roughly 5 to 10 words
  • The subject line should “Develop a sense of urgency” so that the reader should open your email then and there.
  • Your email’s subject line should “Match your content” because readers get easily annoyed with contradicting content.
  • The subject line should “Arouse curiosity” in your subscriber and inspire him so deep that he couldn’t resist opening it.
  • The subject line of your email must “Convey clear and strong benefits” to the reader. The benefit can be a 50% limited time discount offer or free eBook.

Here is a comparison of two subject lines to let you decide which one’s more appealing.

  1. “Do my wicked email ways work in B2B?”
  2. “Major elements of B2B marketing – Summer 2017 Kit”

The first subject line may seem weird but it’s worth an open, isn’t it? It has almost everything we discussed above.

Subject lines are the point of contact between your subscriber and your message. So, make them count. The problem is, you have to generate emails on regular basis.

For each of the messages, you have to create a unique subject line right from the scratch. This is the reason why we have come up with 50+ subject line formulas to help you create an impressive subject line throughout the year.

Subject-Line Ideas to Increase Your Conversion Rate Five Times

The Urgency Email

Formula: [Action] Now

Example: Open this right now

The Last Call Email

Formula: Last call: [Name Of Product] closes in [#] hours

Example: Last call: The Weight Loss Program closes in 3 hours

The List Email

Formula: The [#] way to [Benefit]

Example: The top 3 ways to lose weight

The Don’t Buy This Email

Formula: Don’t buy [Product Name] until you read this

Example: Don’t buy The Rabbit Story until you read this

The Welcome Email

Formula: Welcome to [Business/Brand Name]!

Example: Welcome to DevriX!

The Case Study Email

Formula: [Case Study] [Result of Case Study]

Example: [Case Study] Girls earns first $50,000 online

The How To Email

Formula: How To [Achieve Desired Result]

Example: How To Get 5X Your Conversion

The Do This Email

Formula: Do THIS [Benefit]

Example: Do THIS if you want to win your customers

The School Of Email

Formula: [Insert Celebrity] School Of [Topic]

Example: Jackie Chan’s School Of Martial Arts

The Branded Newsletter Email

Formula: [Name of Newsletter] [Issue #]

Example: The WordPress Best Practices Newsletter #25

The New Post Email

Formula: [New Post] [Blog Post Headline]

Example: New Post: How to fix your Tablet

The Versus Email

Formula: [Subject] vs [Subject]

Example: Fake SEO vs Real SEO

The What If Email

Formula: What if [Negative Result]

Example: What if Facebook shutdown

The “We’re Hiring” Email

Formula: [Brand] is hiring!

Example: Business Insider is hiring!

The Product Q&A Email

Formula: [Number] [Topic] FAQ’s You Should Know

Example: 21 Subject Line FAQ’s You Should Know

The Mistakes Email

Formula: [Number] [Topic] Mistakes You’re Making

Example: 21 Subject Line Mistakes You’re Making

The Roundup Email

Formula: [Number] experts [Topic]

Example: 50 Content Marketing Experts Share their Favorite Marketing Tools

The Flash Sale Email

Formula: [Flash Sale] [Name of Product] [Discount]

Example: Flash Sale: Ogilvy on Advertising 50% Off

The Authority Email

Formula: [Authority’s Name] [Topic + Secret/Tips]

Example: Jeff Bullas’ Content Marketing Secret

The Avoid Email

Formula: Avoid These [Number] [Topic] [Pitfalls/Mistakes]

Example: Avoid these 5 copywriting mistakes

The Death Of Email

Formula: The Death Of [Topic]

Example: The death of Content

The What I Learned Email

Formula: What I Learned After [Accomplishment]

Example: What I learned after spending $100,000 in FB ads

The Command Email

Formula: Stop [Action]!

Example: Stop eating hamburgers!

The Quick Announcement Email

Formula: Quick Announcement: [Topic]

Example: Quick announcement: The complete web developer course is here

The 180 Contrast Email

Formula: [Opposite vs Opposite]

Example: A lean man decimates 300lb attacker

The Call Out Email

Formula: [Audience] [Topic]

Example: SaaS owners! Here’s how to reduce your churn rate

The Social Proof Email

Formula: Proof That [Product] Works

Example: Proof that 5 weeks to shredded works

The Question Email

Formula: [Question]

Example: Am I the only one with a million questions?

The Results Email

Formula: How We [Result] In [Timeframe]

Example: How we got 100k followers on Twitter in 6 months

The “You” Email

Formula: You, A [Desired Result]?

Example: You, a best WordPress Developer?

The Little Known Email

Formula: [Number] Little Known Ways To [Action]

Example: 3 little-known ways to build your email list

The Imagine Email

Formula: Imagine [Desired Result]

Example: Imagine being able to travel around the world

The Hack Email

Formula: [Number] Hacks To [Desired Result]

Example: 15 hacks to work faster

The National Inquirer Email

Formula: Man/Woman/Kid [Weird Action/Thing]

Example: Man writes sales letter with straws

The New York Shocker Email

Formula: [Subject] Shocked By [Unusual Thing/Person]

Example: Gary Vaynerchuk shocked by weird FB ads

The Three-Point Email

Formula: [Topic 1], [Topic 2], and [Main Topic]

Example: UFC, sore thumbs, and email copy

The I Love Email

Formula: I [Adjective] Love Topic]

Example: I freaking love copywriting

The Seasonal Discount Email

Formula: Save [Discount] [Items] This [Season]!

Example: Save 25% on shoes this spring!

The Advice Email

Formula: [Topic] Advice To all [target market]

Example: Fashion advice to all millennials

The Tao Of Email

Formula: The Tao Of [Topic]

Example: The tao of email marketing

The Real Reason Email

Formula: The Real Reason [Target Market] [Attracted To Product/Topic]

Example: The real reason men want to learn pick up

The Lessons Email

Formula: [Topic] Lessons From A [Weird Source]

Example: Programming lessons from a real life ninja

The Nazi Email

Formula: The [Topic] Nazi

Example: The wine nazi

The Possibly Email

Formula: Possibly The [Smartest/Dumbest] Way To [Action]

Example: Possibly the dumbest way to train a dog

The Never Met Email

Formula: The Most [Hated/Loved] [Person] You’ve Never Met

Example: The most loved salonist you’ve never met

The Truth Email

Formula: The Truth About [Topic/Person]

Example: The truth about abs

The Big Mistake Email

Formula: My Big [Topic] Mistake

Example: My big self defense mistake

The Problem Email

Formula: The Problem With [Insert Problem]

Example: The problem with pricing too low

The % Rule Email

Formula: The [Percentage] Rule Of [Topic]

Example: The 47% rule of building a business

The Art Of Email

Formula: The Art Of [Topic]

Example: The art of gaming

The Most Interesting Email

Formula: The Most Interesting [Person] In The World

Example: The most interesting shoe shiner in the world

The Most Common Mistakes Email

Formula: The Most Common [Topic] Mistakes [Target Market] Make

Example: The most common health mistakes seniors make

The Best Of Email

Formula: The Best Of [Brand]

Example: The best of Sumo

The Can’t Believe Email

Formula: Can’t believe how much you’ll love this [product]

Example: Can’t believe how much you’ll love this app

The Can’t Be Wrong Email

Formula: [Number] People Can’t Be Wrong

Example: 5,000 people can’t be wrong

The Normally Email

Formula: Normally We [Do Something]. You Get It [New Way]

Example: Normally we charge $500 for this advice. You get it free.

The Rags To Riches Email

Formula: From [Rags] To [Riches]

Example: From homeless to Fortune 500 CEO

The Use This Email

Formula: Use This [Thing]

Example: Use this marketing plan

The Try Out Email

Formula: Try Out [Product] For Yourself

Example: Try out DevriX for yourself

The War Email

Formula: The War Against [Enemy]

Example: The war against the health industry

The He/She Lost/Gained Email

Formula: She gained [Result]…and blamed me!

Example: Possibly the dumbest way to train a dog

The Great Hoax Email

Formula: The Great [Topic] Hoax [Optional Time/Place]!

Example: The great content marketing hoax of 2016!

Do These Subject Line Work?

Gary Bencivenga is the world’s greatest living copywriter. He came up with the following equation after analyzing some of the best headlines ever used in direct mail: 

Interest = Benefit + Curiosity

In other words, I should be able to read your email subject line, feel like I’m going to get something out of it and wonder what the rest of the email is going to say.

And this is why these email subject line formulas above work.


  1. Good ideas !!

  2. @Author

    Your article help me a lot. i’m start working in Digital Marketing Company and my major interest is in Email Marketing. Thanks a lot. Keep Sharing.

    Emma | VAdvice

    1. atif says:

      Thanks Emma. We wish you good luck!

      Keep reading, keep sharing!

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