Subject Lines: How Do Yours Stack Up?

by Deidre Rienzo on May 26, 2011

Previously, I shared tips for click-worthy subject lines, but today, I’m going to give some examples. Let’s take a gander inside my inbox:

Good Subject Lines

  • Is It Okay to Eat Raw Oatmeal?
    This subject line tells me what the email is about, it’s specific, and it also provokes a slight sense of concern. I eat oatmeal often—and even though I think I know the answer—I’d better open this email to be certain. Another plus: Questions make great subject lines.
  • TODAY ONLY: 40% Off EVERYTHING + Free Shipping
    Did your audience sign up for coupons and discounts? In this case, hard-sell offers are okay. I like getting 40% off + free shipping, and if I’m in the mood to shop, I’ll open this email.
  • New Menu Sneak Peek. Like Our New Entrées?
    I like this restaurant, and I want to be in the know about their new menu. I appreciate that they’re giving subscribers an inside view, but more specifics would make this subject line stronger.
  • 60 Ways to Make Chicken
    Short and simple, this subject line tells exactly what’s inside. Because the email is packed with value, it’s easy to show in the subject line.

Not-so-good Subject Lines

  • LimoLiner Service
    What’s the point here? Upon opening the email, I discovered that they are increasing service. That’s valuable. A better option would be: “Starting May 1st – More Departures to Smithville.”
  • BULLETIN: Take to the Highways with Trip Ideas from
    Here, the word “bulletin” took up 8 characters. This subject line should get to the point sooner. “Take to the Highways. Trip ideas from GoRVing.” or “Top 5 Places to See in Your RV This Spring.”

When you’re relying on 35 characters, a subject line needs to pack a punch. It should give a glimpse inside your email in an inviting way.

What is the best subject line in your inbox? Please share below.


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