Increase Open Rates with these 7 High-performing Subject Lines

The higher your open rate, the more sales you make. But what can you do to improve it?

In email marketing, the effectiveness of your efforts can depend on the words you use in the subject line. In this day and age, everybody’s inbox is bombarded with email communications and each sender has to compete for the recipient’s attention.

Most people filter out unwanted or unnecessary emails by spending a fraction of time evaluating email subject fields in order to choose which emails are worthy of their attention.

In this article, we will explain how you can improve the open rates of your emails and grab the interest of your recipients in a short, one-line description.


Lists are an effective way to grab attention. BuzzFeed has and continues to make millions using lists. It’s important to remember that just adding a number to a headline won’t make the cut and you should expand on it by including an emotional angle. 

For example: “5 content ideas for Facebook” isn’t a great subject line. However, “5 content ideas for Facebook that will boost engagement”, will more than likely get more open.


Urgency is fundamental to direct response advertising. Deadlines and time restraints are great ways to get more people to open your emails and get more sales. It’s important that the urgency is real and not to abuse the use of this in your subject lines.

Examples: “1 Hour Only! 25% Off Storewide”, “Buy One Get One Free Sale: 4 Hours Left”.


Did curiosity kill the cat? No, curiosity leads to more sales! Creating curiosity in your subject lines will lead to more opens as the recipient feels the need to open the email to have their questions answered.

Examples: “Things are heating up…”, “We’ve got something for you”.


Our brains are hard-wired to respond to questions which is why including one in your subject line can lead to more opens.

For example: “Feeling lucky?”.

Discount and Offers

If your audience is already aware of you, sometimes they just need a final push. Including a discount or offer in the subject line is a great way to increase your open rates. Being direct is sometimes best and if you combine this with urgency, you can get even better results.

Examples: “Enjoy Up to 30% Off (Limited Time)”, “Ends Tonight: 20% off sitewide”.


Personalising a subject line with the recipient’s name helps you to stand out and grab attention. It’s important not to overdo this and also to make sure that you send a test email beforehand to ensure the personalisation works.

Examples: “Hi John, 20% off just for you”, “Thought you’d want to see this, John”.


If you’re emailing out to a colder audience, using a story is an efficient way to maximise open rates. You can share a transformational story such as:

  • Rags to riches
  • A great discovery
  • How someone achieved something amazing

Make sure that you take the recipient from A to B in the email and make your product or service the reason the transformation was possible.

Never get stuck for a subject line again with the above ideas. Remember that you want to create as much interest as possible without coming across as too spammy or clickbaity.

Try and implement these into the emails you send out in future and watch your open rates increase.

Stuck for content? Not sure what to email about? Try our Social Media Duplication System and never get stuck again!

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