5 Types of Subject Lines You Should Try

By Jenn Alessi


One of the most important factors in any email campaign is the subject line. It’s the first way to entice your subscribers to engage with your email. Coupled with the perfect preheader, it can increase your open rates. A poor subject line/preheader combo will most certainly send your email straight to the trash. Of course, each list is different; what works for one list, may not work for the other. Here are some types of subject line styles you can try out on your lists.

1. Personalized Subject Lines
This doesn’t necessarily mean including each subscriber’s name in the subject line, but rather their interests or demographics. Maybe you know what state your subscribers live in, their hobbies, their favorite products, etc. Use that information to segment your list and send targeted subject lines.

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2. Numbers and List Subject Lines
People enjoy quick tips or lists that they can easily digest. Just like the title of this blog post, you can use numbers and highlight lists in your subject line.

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3. Funny Subject Lines
Whether it’s a play on words, a joke, or a random sentence, a funny subject line could be a good way to entice your subscribers to open your email. If you’re not a comedian, Vertical Response has some tips on how to write a funny subject line.

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4. Shocking Subject Lines
A shocking or controversial subject line is sure to grab the attention of your subscribers. Sometimes being blunt and straightforward will peak your subscriber’s interest and get them to open the email.

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5. Question or Symbol Subject Lines
Question marks or other symbols can make your email stand out in an inbox. Asking a question can feel more personal, as though you are engaging in conversation with your subscriber. Experiment with symbols to grab their attention.

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Of course there are many other “styles” of subject lines you can test such as single-word, time sensitive, simple, etc. Remember that what works for one list won’t necessarily work for another. It’s important to continually test your subject lines and use what works for each list. You can only benefit from learning more about your subscribers and potentially increasing your open rates. And who wouldn’t want that?