Newsletter Subject Lines: 100s of Examples + Tips

Writing newsletter subject lines is a lot of work.

You want to capture your subscribers’ attention, entice them to open your email, and deliver on your promise. But how do you do that in a few words? And how do you stand out from the hundreds of other emails in their inbox?

In this article, we’ll show you how to write newsletter subject lines that get results. We’ll cover the basics of subject line best practices, along with some examples of good subject lines you can take inspiration from for your next email marketing campaign.

Newsletter Subject Line Best Practices

1. Cut the fluff

Shorter is sweeter when it comes to subject lines.

Yesware dug into the data, analyzing around 265,000 sales emails, and discovered that the most successful ones – measured by open and reply rates – had subject lines consisting of just 1-5 words.

And let’s not leave out the mobile phone users. With 85% of users checking emails primarily on their mobiles, it’s essential to consider the mobile experience too.

Here’s the golden rule: Keep it snappy and avoid exceeding seven words in your subject line.

In a nutshell, when crafting your subject lines, think concise, catchy, and optimized for mobile.

Here are some examples:

  • Announcement: “Exciting Updates Await!”
  • Event Reminder: “Don’t Miss Our Webinar Tomorrow!”
  • New Product Launch: “Introducing the Game-Changer You’ve Been Waiting For”
  • Exclusive Offer: “Limited-Time Discount Inside!”
  • Newsletter Highlight: “May Newsletter: Insights & Inspiration”

2. Segment and personalize based on subscriber interests

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a poorly done email campaign, you know how frustrating it can be to receive irrelevant emails from different companies and services.

I know I see them as pests that need to be eliminated (or reported as SPAM) asap.

To avoid invoking this reaction in your target audience, you need to segment your email list.

Segmenting your list means breaking down your subscribers into groups based on their interests so that you can send them relevant content.

For example, if someone signs up for your newsletter or email list because they’re interested in fashion news and trends, they may not want to see offers for new home appliances or deals on pet supplies.

Other than segmenting your email list based on interest, you can also segment and personalize your subject line by user behavior, location, and actions.

Let’s say someone clicked on a link in one of your emails or website. You could then send them a newsletter with similar content or products related to the original content they clicked on.

For example, I was casually scrolling through Tory Burch’s items on Poshmark, a vibrant social commerce marketplace.

The next day, a familiar name popped up in my inbox. Poshmark with attractive discounts on Tory Burch items – with the personalized subject line: “Just In: Tory Burch at up to 70% off.”

To make subject lines even more personalized and engaging, incorporate personalization elements like the subscriber’s name, location, or past interactions.

Pro Tip: Consider adding a third-party email marketing tool or even Google Analytics to your email marketing stack. These tools help you track user behavior and segment them based on different criteria and attributes, including location, preferences, previous actions, etc.

Once you have a list of people interested in certain things, you can start personalizing the subject lines for each group.

Here are some more tips for personalizing subject lines based on segmentation:

  • Use triggers like dates, times, locations, and weather conditions to segment your audience. You can create segments based on when your customers receive your emails or when they’re most likely to open them.
  • Ensure that the content within your newsletter matches the interests indicated by each segment. This alignment enhances the overall experience and reinforces the relevance of your subject lines.
  • Continuously test different subject lines and assess their performance across various segments. Analyze open rates, click-through rates, and conversions to refine your segmentation and personalization strategies over time.

3. It should spark curiosity or interest

Email subject lines should be short and sweet but also catchy and compelling enough to get people to click.

To pique curiosity, you have to create subject lines with a sense of intrigue. They should encourage subscribers to open the email to satisfy their curiosity.

Similarly, to evoke interest, tap into your subscribers’ specific desires, needs, or passions.

But how would you do that?

For starters, incorporate numbers and statistics into your subject lines to create a sense of urgency or importance that grabs attention.

For example, instead of “Our latest updates and offers”, you could write “You won’t believe what we have for you” or “Last chance to save 50% on everything.”

Let’s take a look at this example.

Here’s how a food startup that brings healthy food right to your doorstep leverages the power of numbers to grab attention.

With the subject line “MY10 – Transform Yourself In 2 Weeks,” – they’ve hit the sweet spot by combining an enticing offer with the power of numbers.

Who wouldn’t want to get a little closer to their dream body in that short amount of time?

Will Yang, Head of Growth & Customer Success at Instrumentl, also suggests using questions in your newsletter subject lines to invoke curiosity.

Will says,

“I’ve found that questions in my newsletter subject lines have been incredibly effective at getting people to open the email, read it, and engage with me. Using a question will help you create an emotional connection between yourself and your readers. When we’re curious about something, we tend to feel more invested in what we’re learning about – which means that if you can make them curious about something, they’ll be more invested in what you have to say!”

Take a look at this subject line from a travel agency: “Monday Blues hitting you hard? Check out our 5-star Maldives deals!”

They’re cleverly using a question to grab attention and acknowledge a common sentiment. We’ve all experienced those Monday Blues, right?

And then they sweeten the deal with the promise of 5-star Maldives deals.

It’s an irresistible combination that sparks curiosity and entices readers to explore the exciting offers.

Here are some more tips to spark curiosity and interest with your subject lines:

  • Tease a surprise or exclusive information: “Discover the Secret Behind Our Best-Kept Success Strategies.”
  • Pose a thought-provoking question: “What’s the Key to Unlocking Your True Potential?”
  • Use cliffhangers: “You won’t believe what happened next…”
  • Highlight a unique benefit or value proposition: “Revolutionize Your Workflow with Our Time-Saving Tool.”
  • Showcase intriguing content: “Unveiling the Ultimate Guide to Mastering Photography.”
  • Appeal to their aspirations or goals: “Achieve Your Dream Body with These Proven Fitness Hacks.”

4. Offer exclusivity

Exclusivity means there’s something in the content of your message that’s only available right now. It could be an exclusive discount, access to a new product or service, or something else.

The goal should be to offer something your readers can’t get anywhere else.

For example, let’s say you’re sending out a newsletter with tips on how to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

You could write something like “5 easy ways to save money while still keeping your house comfortable.” That’s useful information, but it doesn’t offer exclusivity.

Instead, try “5 energy-saving hacks you won’t find anywhere else” or “5 ways to save money this winter.”

Here are some different ways you can use to offer exclusivity:

  • VIP Access: Subject lines that suggest exclusive access or benefits to make subscribers feel special and privileged. For example, “Exclusive Invitation: Be Among the First to Discover Our New Collection.”
  • Limited-time Offers: Subject lines emphasizing time-limited promotions or deals to create a sense of urgency and drive subscribers to act quickly. For example, “Exclusive 24-Hour Flash Sale: Save Big on Your Favorite Products” or “Last Chance: Limited Spots Available for Our Exclusive Workshop.”
  • Sneak Peeks: Subject lines that offer a sneak peek into upcoming content or products to generate excitement and anticipation. For instance, “Be the First to See: Preview our Upcoming Collection.”
  • Early Access: You can promise early access to new features, events, or releases to make subscribers feel like insiders. For example, “Get Early Access: Reserve Your Spot at Our Exclusive Webinar.”
  • Tailored Offers: Subject lines highlighting personalized or targeted offers to demonstrate that you understand your subscribers’ needs and preferences. For example, “For Our Loyal Customers: Enjoy a Special Discount on Your Next Purchase.”

The more exclusive the information sounds, the more likely people will want to read whatever you have to say about it.

However, you need to actually walk the talk.

If you’re offering something exclusive in your subject lines, you also need to deliver on the promise within your newsletter content.

5. Emphasize value or benefits

Keep in mind that your newsletter is not about you. It’s about what you offer and how it will benefit the reader.

The subject line should reflect that.

So, whether it’s educational content, insider tips, or exclusive discounts – communicate the value or benefits subscribers will gain from opening your newsletter.

Focus on highlighting the outcome.

Make sure to clearly communicate the positive outcome or benefit your target audience can expect when they open your email. Focus on what they’ll gain or learn.

For example, the subject line “Easy Summer Bowl Recipes for Mindful Eating” highlights the outcome and benefits readers can expect from opening the email.

The word “Easy” suggests that the recipes inside will be simple to prepare. “Summer Bowl Recipes” indicates the focus on refreshing, seasonal dishes.

The phrase “Mindful Eating” also hints at a holistic approach to food, suggesting that the recipes will not only be delicious but also promote mindful and healthy eating habits.

Here are some more tips to emphasize value and benefits in your newsletter subject line:

  • Communicate Quick Wins: Highlight quick and achievable benefits your readers can gain if they engage with your newsletter. Show them that your content offers immediate value or actionable tips. For example: “Master Your Presentation Skills in 5 Easy Steps.”
  • Use Power Words: Incorporate impactful words that evoke emotions or curiosity and convey the value of your newsletter content. The words you choose should resonate with your audience and align with your brand voice. For example, “Revolutionize Your Fitness Routine with Cutting-Edge Strategies.”
  • Create a Sense of Urgency: Highlighting the urgency can help you relay your newsletter’s value and, at the same time, make your target audience feel the need to open the email promptly. For example: “Last Chance: Don’t Miss Out on our Exclusive Offer” or “Limited Seats Available: Reserve Your Spot Now.”

Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager at PhotoAid, also suggests,

“Consumers mostly decide to buy in a short period of time and based on first impression, emotion, and need of the moment. Therefore, a good title for a mailing or newsletter should speak the language of the recipient’s benefits from the very beginning. At the same time, directly inform the recipient of what awaits them after opening the email.

Usually, there is one main news issue in a newsletter, and it is worthwhile for you to mention it at the title stage of the message. Secondly, if you offer any benefits to your recipients, it is worth mentioning them already at the level of the message subject. What’s more, the closer to the left side (the beginning of the subject line) you mention (write) it, the more impact it will have on the open rate.”

6. Use humor or creativity

Humor can be a great tool for getting people’s attention – especially if it’s relevant to what you’re writing about in your newsletter.

You can use puns, jokes, or even just silly statements.

For example,

“Donut Miss Out on Our Sweet Deals.”

“It’s Tea Time: Steep Into Some Hot Gossip.”

You could also inject humor and creativity using:

  • Unexpected Twists: Add an unexpected twist or element of surprise to spark curiosity. You could also play with contrasting ideas or introduce a humorous twist that defies expectations.
  • Pop Culture References: Tap into popular culture, movies, TV shows, or trending topics to create a connection with your audience, especially if you’re targeting a young audience. For example, “May the Sales be With You: Exclusive Star Wars Day Discounts.” or “Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Nah, Breakfast with Our Irresistible Pancake Recipes.”
  • Playful Questions: Pose playful or humorous questions that spark curiosity and make readers chuckle. Use questions that align with your content and evoke a sense of curiosity or intrigue. For example, “Can You Handle the Awesomeness? Introducing…”

However, be careful not to go too far with this. If a message isn’t taken seriously, it could lead to your newsletter being deleted without being read.

7. Test for mobile responsiveness

You’ve got a great newsletter.

You’ve crafted an awesome subject line that will get people to open it, and you’re ready to send it out.

But first, check your mobile responsiveness.

A good rule of thumb is that if your subject line doesn’t fit in the first line of text on a mobile device, it’s too long. It might be difficult for someone to read on their phone or tablet.

If your subject line is too long, you need to reconsider how you phrase it for mobile devices.

Aim for subject lines that are 30-50 characters long to ensure they are fully visible.

Also, start by using responsive email templates or themes designed to adapt to different screen sizes automatically. These templates are optimized for mobile devices, ensuring your subject line is displayed properly.

You can use email marketing tools that come with ready-to-use templates and a drag-and-drop builder to help you create the best email campaigns that are mobile-responsive as well. These email builders also let you preview the mobile version of your message before sending it and track the performance of your campaign on different devices.

Types of Newsletter Subject Lines

Here are some great subject lines for newsletters:

1. Informative newsletter subject lines

Informative newsletter subject lines provide straightforward information about the content of the newsletter. They help you inform your customers about new products and services, upcoming events, and the like.

You can also use them to announce important changes within your company.

Here’s an example:

Or you could also use subject lines like:

  • “Weekly Roundup: Latest Industry News and Insights”
  • “New Product Launch: Introducing Our Exciting Innovation”

2. Curiosity-inducing subject lines

These subject lines pique curiosity and make your subscribers eager to discover what’s inside the email.

For example:

  • The Untold Story Behind Our Success
  • Guess What We Have in Store for You…
  • The one thing you need to know about X

3. Personalized newsletter subject lines

These subject lines incorporate personalization by addressing the recipient by name or referencing their specific interests or preferences.

For example:

  • John, Exclusive Offers Just for You!
  • Attention Fitness Enthusiasts: Your Custom Workout Plan

4. Subject lines inducing urgency/scarcity

Subject lines that create a sense of urgency or highlight limited availability prompt subscribers to take immediate action. They emphasize time-sensitive offers or limited-time opportunities.

To induce urgency, you could use subject lines like:

  • Last Chance: Limited Stock Remaining!
  • Don’t Miss Out on Our 24-Hour Flash Sale.

Here’s an example:

5. Question-based subject lines

Question-based newsletter subject lines pose questions to engage subscribers and stimulate their curiosity. They help you encourage your target audience to open the email in search of answers or solutions.

You could add subject lines like:

  • Ready to Take Your Business to the Next Level?
  • Looking for the Perfect Gift? We Have You Covered!

Here’s a perfect example:

6. Subject lines that tap into the emotional appeal

These subject lines tap into subscribers’ emotions to evoke a response or connection – focusing on feelings like joy, excitement, or inspiration.

Here are some examples:

  • Experience Pure Bliss with Our New Collection
  • Get Inspired: Stories of Overcoming Adversity

7. Offers and discounts

These are the most popular type of newsletter subject lines – open your inbox, and you’ll see tons of subject lines offering discounts, freebies, and special offers.

Here are some more examples:

  • 50% Off Sitewide: Your Exclusive Discount Inside!
  • Claim Your Free Ebook Today: Limited Time Offer

Newsletter Subject Line Mistakes

​​Subject line mistakes are easy to make, but it’s also easy to avoid them. Your subscribers don’t want to see their inboxes flooded with irrelevant emails, so you need to be sure that your subject lines are relevant and interesting. What you’re writing about is important to them, so they’ll want to read what you have to say.

Here are some common mistakes that marketers make when writing subject lines:

Avoid Spam trigger words

Stay away from spammy words or phrases that could trigger spam filters and harm your deliverability. For example, use spam words like “free,” “limited time,” or excessive punctuation (!!!) sparingly.

Avoid being too clever in your newsletter subject line

Sam Tabak, Board Member at Rabbi Meir Baal Haness Charities, shares his insights based on his experience with email marketing for fundraising campaigns. According to Sam, one mistake that email marketers should avoid is being too clever in their subject lines. Here’s what he has to say:

“Don’t be too clever in subject lines to avoid confusing people about what the newsletter is about. Using too much wordplay blurs the message you want to convey and makes your subject line difficult to understand. Remember, the primary purpose of your subject line is to clearly communicate the email’s content and encourage the recipient to open it.

A subject line that’s too clever can lead to lower open rates. Recipients wouldn’t see the value of opening a newsletter if they don’t understand it from the get-go. While it’s okay to inject some creativity into your subject lines, always be clear and concise in your messaging to avoid turning off your audience.”

Overlooking localization

Generic language that is not localized for the region or country may not only appear unprofessional but can also turn readers away.

So, here’s what happened: I placed an order through the official website of this amazing Colombian resort wear brand, and of course, I got excited about staying updated on their latest collections and special offers.

But guess what? When their newsletters started rolling in, I was taken aback because they were all in Spanish.

Their social media and website were all in English to cater to their diverse global user base. It just didn’t add up.

In the end, I found myself deleting their newsletters without even exploring the content.

Don’t forget to align your newsletter subject lines with the language preferences of your subscribers.

It’s a small detail that can make a big difference in keeping your audience engaged and interested in what you have to offer.

After all, communication is key, and speaking your subscribers’ language can go a long way in building a strong connection with them.

Unfamiliar sender name

Let’s say someone is subscribed to your newsletter, and they get an email from “Unfamiliar Sender Name.” They’ll wonder why they didn’t recognize the name and might even assume that it’s spam.

The solution: use your company name in the subject line instead of your first name or last name.

Using a “clickbait” subject line

Clickbait subject lines usually have promises that appear too good to be true, like “10 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days.”

They’re designed to get you to click on an email – but they don’t deliver on their promise.

If subscribers click on one of these emails, they’ll almost certainly be disappointed by what they find inside. And then they’ll either unsubscribe from your list or mark all future messages as spam.

Newsletter Subject Line Examples

If you’re trying to attract subscribers, you need to use the right subject line. If you don’t, your message will get lost in the flood of emails that people receive every day.

Here are some examples of engaging subject lines that work:

1. “You Need Vitamin D – Dubai 🇦🇪 Head to Sofitel Dubai Downtown 😍” by Luxury Escapes

What makes this newsletter subject line special?

For starters, the use of wordplay with “You Need Vitamin D” adds a playful and attention-grabbing element to the subject line. It connects the idea of sunshine (vitamin D) with the destination (Dubai), enticing the reader to learn more.

The emojis reinforce this message while also making it fun and friendly.

The subject line also creates a sense of exclusivity and a tailor-made experience for the reader. It implies that the email will provide information or offers related to Dubai and this particular luxury hotel, appealing directly to the recipient’s interests.

I also liked the non-salesy approach they took. Usually, travel agencies are too pushy with their supposed “best deals” that they come across as sketchy.

However, this subject line strikes a balance by not sounding overly salesy and instead focusing on the destination and the experience.

 

2. “Here’s how to maximize your Points” by Hilton

The subject line accompanied by the preview text “Free nights are in your future with Hilton Honors” creates a compelling combination for a newsletter from Hilton.

Here’s why it works:

  • Clear Benefit: The subject line communicates the benefit (maximizing their Points). It appeals to the recipient’s desire to get the most out of their loyalty program (who doesn’t want that?).
  • Action-oriented Language: The phrase “Here’s how” suggests that the email will provide practical tips or strategies, creating anticipation to open and read further.
  • Brand Recognition: The mention of “Hilton” reinforces the sender’s credibility and brand recognition. Subscribers can quickly identify that the email is relevant to their interests.
  • Complementary Preview Text: The preview text “Free nights are in your future with Hilton Honors” complements the subject line by emphasizing the loyalty program, further enticing you to open the email.

3. “You look so classic” by Poshmark

“You look so classic” is a personal compliment – a strong way to get someone to open an email. It also sparks curiosity and creates a positive emotional response.

It also has the preview text “Deepti, these classic luxury pieces will be in your wardrobe and stand the test of time.”

The preview text, “Deepti, these classic luxury pieces will be in your wardrobe and stand the test of time,” also helps sell the message. It shows that the sender knows who I am and what my style is, making me feel like a special customer.

4. “This Stock has given 11% returns to our clients.”

The subject line “This Stock has given 11% returns to our clients” stands out for its use of quantifiable results to demonstrate a clear benefit (11% returns).

By further mentioning that the returns are for “our clients,” the subject line establishes credibility and trust.

It implies that the sender has a track record of helping their clients achieve positive financial outcomes, enticing the recipients to open the email and learn more about the stock.

5. “Create a course outline in seconds with the NEW Course Outline Builder” by LearnDash

The subject line clearly communicates the benefit – which is the ability to create a course outline quickly. It also emphasizes the speed and efficiency of the process, enticing the recipient with the promise of saving time.

The word “NEW” is also a good way to draw attention because people love new things.

Plus, ​​by introducing the “NEW Course Outline Builder,” the subject line offers a solution to a common pain point. It suggests that the recipient can overcome the challenge of creating a course outline by using this tool, making it easier to organize their course content.

Tools to Help Write, Test, and Optimize Newsletter Subject Lines

When it comes to writing, testing, and optimizing newsletter subject lines, there are several useful tools available to help you achieve better results. Here are a few examples:

Email Subject Line Analyzer

You can use tools like CoSchedule’s Email Subject Line Analyzer or SendCheckIt to analyze your subject lines and provide feedback on their effectiveness.

They evaluate factors like word choice, length, emotional impact, and subject line type, helping you fine-tune your subject lines for maximum impact.

For example, I ran the subject line “You Need Vitamin D – Dubai 🇦🇪 Head to Sofitel Dubai Downtown 😍” in CoSchedule’s Email Subject Line Analyzer – and these are the results:

A/B Testing Platforms

Platforms like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or Sendinblue offer A/B testing features that allow you to test different subject lines with a portion of your audience.

This helps you gather data and insights on which subject lines perform better, allowing you to optimize your future campaigns.

Open Rate Trackers

Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, and the like often provide open rate tracking metrics, allowing you to monitor the performance of your subject lines in real time.

This data helps you identify which subject lines resonate with your audience and optimize future campaigns accordingly.

Customer Segmentation Tools

Many email marketing platforms (for example, Mailchimp or HubSpot) also come with customer segmentation tools that allow you to personalize subject lines based on specific customer interests, behaviors, or demographics.

Naturally, you’ll most likely see improved open rates and engagement when you tailor subject lines to individual segments.

AI-powered Tools to Create Subject Lines

In addition to traditional tools, there are also advanced AI writing tools to help you create newsletter subject lines.

These tools can be your secret weapons in injecting wit, charm, and creativity into your subject lines. Just provide them with a brief about your email content and specify the desired tone of voice for the subject line – and they’ll do the rest.

Here are a few AI tools worth exploring:

1. Jasper

First up, we have Jasper, the AI copywriting virtuoso that can help you 10x your content production.

It has over 50 templates for different content types, including blog posts, landing pages, social media posts, newsletter subject lines, and more. You just have to pick the template and provide Jasper with details about your email content and desired tone.

(Source)

Jasper also has a chat-style interface called Jasper Chat that allows you to interact with the AI using natural language. You can use Jasper Chat to generate ideas, write headlines, edit your copy, and more.

2. ChatGPT

ChatGPT is powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model and excels at transforming prompts and descriptions into actionable copy.

When it comes to subject lines, you can provide ChatGPT with information about your newsletter content, and it will generate a variety of options. You can also prompt it to change the tone of voice, include any keywords you want, or practically anything else you want in your subject line.

For instance, let’s say I want to create a newsletter to promote monthly blog posts.

Here’s the prompt I used: “Hi, I’m crafting a newsletter to promote my monthly blog posts on b2b marketing. I want a subject line that’s witty and informative, something that grabs attention and boosts my email open rates.”

These are the results:

The best part? ChatGPT is currently free since it’s being used for research purposes by its creators.

For more details, check out this in-depth Jasper vs. ChatGPT comparison review.

3. Copy.ai

Like Jasper, Copy.ai also offers tons of templates to help you generate creative copy for your projects. You can use these templates to create blog post snippets, intros, slogans, product descriptions, bios, captions, newsletters, and more.

There’s a special template to create “catchy email subject lines.”

You’ll just have to enter your Product/Brand name, describe your product, and choose the tone for the subject line. Copy.ai will generate multiple results you can copy, save, or remove.

Copy.ai also has a chat feature called Copy.ai Chat that lets you talk to the AI and get suggestions for your copy.

All these AI tools can assist you in brainstorming, generating, and refining good email subject lines that resonate with your audience and writing style.

And these three tools are just the tip of the iceberg. There is a wide array of AI writing tools at your disposal to craft compelling subject lines. For more options, check out this detailed review of the best AI writing software tools.

Your Turn to Elevate Your Newsletter Subject Lines!

Your subject line will play a vital role in determining whether your weekly newsletter will get opened up or end up in the dreaded “delete” folder or even spam folder.

With the right combination of creativity, relevance, and strategic thinking, you can create a good subject line that stands out in crowded inboxes.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and test different approaches to see what resonates best with your audience.

With these tips, examples, and the right tools at your disposal, you’re well-equipped to make your newsletter subject lines achieve higher open rates, increased engagement, and, ultimately, the success you’re aiming for.

Deepti Jain

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