You can’t judge a book by the cover may hold true, but when it comes to email subject lines, many people decide to open an email based on them. It’s why email marketers often spend a considerable amount of time researching which subject lines work the best with their recipients. Email marketing has and probably always will be one of the best small business lead generation tips out there.

The following are five attention-grabbing email subject lines that can get your email recipients clicking to read the important message you’re trying to get to them.

#1: Use Reverse Psychology

Example: Don’t Buy This from Amazon

As we know, curiosity killed the cat. While it may not actually kill email recipients, it can elicit a strong urge to know what NOT to buy from Amazon since millions of consumers are buying whatever they need from the super e-tailer.

You don’t need to use this subject line exactly. The message in your email must correspond to the subject line, or you’ll lose the trust built with your subscribers.

Think about the mission of your email, and then use some reverse psychology to get your subscribers to click. Do you want to sell your latest inventory of dresses? Use a subject line that says, “Don’t Be Caught in This Dress.” Selling a course? Use something like, “Don’t Take This Course.” You can follow it up in the email with, “Don’t take this course unless you want financial freedom.”

Piquing the curiosity of your audience will make them more likely to open your email.

#2: Solve A Problem

Example:  5 Tips to Save You Time and Money

People’s inboxes are bombarded with emails and they want to open ones that are going to provide them with personal value. Use subject lines that solve a problem and appeal to the personal interests of your subscribers.

In the example above, the subject line clearly addresses something that most people want to do — save time and money.

You can use this type of subject line for just about any information you want to pass on to your subscribers. If you recently conducted a study, you can spark people’s interest with a sneak peek at the results. For example, “Study Finds 68% Felt Happier After Using Our Product” or “New Weight Loss Program Leads to 10 Pounds Lost in 2 Weeks.”

#3: Share A Special Offer or Discount Code

Example: Inside- Your 20% Off and Free Shipping Offer Is Here

Offers motivate people to open emails only when they are in the mindset to spend money. This is why it’s important to know your audience, and what stage they are in when you send this email.

Segmented email campaigns, separate campaigns for audiences in different stages of the buying process, will work best with email marketing. This type of email should be sent when you’ve warmed up your subscribers with other types of emails, such as the self-interest, informative ones.

Don’t send this type of email too often. If people start to feel they can get this offer all of the time, the urgency of it will wear off, and people won’t open it. Speaking of urgency, be sure to put an expiration date with this type of email, or people will simply put it to the side and never use it.

#4: Make Them Personal

Example: It’s Time To Celebrate Your Birthday Month, Kate

Set up emails that are personalized to each individual’s experience. Doing this has been shown to improve click-through rates by 14% and conversions by 10%.

There are a variety of ways that you can personalize your subject lines. You can start by simply addressing someone by their name. Or, send out an email to wish them a happy birthday like in the example above.

Emails can be personalized based on browsing history, location, past purchases, or any other ways that you can prove to your subscribers that you know them and actually care about them and their interests.

#5: Use Social Proof

Example: Our Biggest Seller This Year

People want to make sure that they’re spending their time and money wisely. With the huge variety of information and shopping available online, it can be difficult to make yourself stand out from your competition.

Offering social proof helps people know that you’re an expert at what you do and that they should trust you because other people have in the past. This is why online reviews and testimonials are also so important.

Use numbers to show people how popular your products and services are, such as, “We’ve sold 2,567 bottles of Amped this year.” You can go on to tell people why it’s the biggest seller, and close it with a chance for your subscribers to purchase. Or, feature a testimonial from a well-known customer or from a few different customers. Use email to prove to people that you’re worth the investment of their time or money.

Subject Lines and Email Types Go Hand-in-Hand

Attention-grabbing subject lines must go hand-in-hand with the same type of emails.

  • Use a curiosity type of subject line to let people know what not to do, so they can learn what to do.
  • Informative subject lines should relay a message that adds value to subscribers’ lives.
  • Offers are best for subscribers who are already in the mindset to spend money on a product or service and just need an extra little push.
  • Personal subject lines make people feel valued and the body of your email should go along with that.
  • Finally, social proof subject lines give you the opportunity to show subscribers that others have found your products and services valuable and can lead them to want to give it a try as well.

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