subject lines

Subject Lines Are An Important Selling Tool


A Guide To Crafting Strategic Subject Lines

By Alan Zoldan

By 2021, there will be 333 billion emails sent worldwide daily. That’s a ton of competition for readers’ attention, as more and more readers tune out and delete. That presents a challenge to businesses, which are dependent to a great degree on communicating via email. According to MarketingSherpa, 91 percent of Americans actually WANT to receive promotional emails. The trick is to make the correspondence targeted, timely and relevant to the recipient.

The best way to cut through the clutter and gain subscribers’ attention is with a killer subject line.

It’s the introduction to your brand, your offer, your products, or your content. In fact, 35 percent of consumers say they open emails based on subject lines. Without attention-grabbing subject lines, your email strategy is dead on delivery.

Calls To Action (CTA’s) are critical too, as the super-effective messages can substantially boost your click-through rates. Target Marketing recently compiled a report on such click-worthy copy. Here are some examples, and the creative strategies to utilize. The report also includes four exemplary CTA’s, noting that a good CTA “has to be straightforward enough so subscribers won’t get confused, but also catchy enough to entice someone to click.


Creating a sense of urgency with your subject line is a sure-fire tactic for getting subscribers to click. Selling scarcity (e.g., a time-limited offer) can result in an open rate 22 percent higher than the industry average.

Subject Lines:

  • SALE ENDS TODAY! Up to 50% off! — ColourPop Cosmetics
  • Tonight only: A denim lover’s dream
  • Last Day To See What This Mystery Email Is All About


Sure, sometimes you have to go for that direct offer approach, but other times the best email subject lines invoke curiosity or tease. They make people stop scrolling and ask “What?” or “Why?”

Subject Lines:

  • Something you’ve never seen before.
  • Pick you up at 6?
  • Stop Buying Us! [demand so high that we can’t keep item in stock]


Calling out how much other people enjoy your products and/or services makes other people more inclined to take a chance on your brand. More e-commerce retailers are utilizing it to craft awesome email subject lines, such as:

Subject Lines:

  • Look Who’s Wearing Warby
  • Glowing Reviews: Everyone Loves DayWear
  • Products the celebs are wearing

Alan Zoldan is a freelance copywriter based in Wesley Hills. You can reach him on his website at Last year, Alan published his first book, It Was Funny When I Wrote It: 518 of My Funniest Tweets.