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100 Top email subject lines to boost open rates

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Email open rates

100 Top email subject lines to boost open rates

Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you can can achieve high email open rates, email marketing can be an incredibly powerful sales and retention tool – but with billions of emails sent by brands globally everyday it can be hard to make sure that your communication stands out and is ultimately opened and acted upon.

To help, we’ve put together a list of 100 top email subject lines that you can adapt to massively boost your email open rates. Find out more below:


We don’t like having gaps in our knowledge. You can leverage this desire for closure by leaving your subject line open-ended so subscribers will be curious, like a cliffhanger that can only be satisfied by opening the email.

1. Manicube: “*Don’t Open This Email*”
2. Grubhub: “Last Day To See What This Mystery Email Is All About”
3. Refinery29: “10 bizarre money habits making Millennials richer”
4. Digital Marketer: “Check out my new “??”
5. Digital Marketer: “Is this the hottest career in marketing?”
6. Thrillist: “What They Eat In Prison”
7. Eat This Not That: “9 Disgusting Facts about Thanksgiving”
8. Chubbies: “Hologram Shorts?!”
9. The Hustle: “A faster donkey”
10. Mary Fernandez: “a surprise gift for you! {unwrap}”

Email open rates: Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

One psychological principle that is practically impossible to resist is the fear of missing out. You can use this to add scarcity or urgency.

11. Warby Parker: “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring”
12. JetBlue: “You’re missing out on points.”
13. Digital Marketer: “[URGENT] You’ve got ONE DAY to watch this…”
14. Digital Marketer: “Your 7-figure plan goes bye-bye at midnight…”
15. Digital Marketer: “[WEEKEND ONLY] Get this NOW before it’s gone…”
16. Jersey Mike’s Subs: “Mary, Earn double points today only”
17. Guess: “Tonight only: A denim lover’s dream”

Pain Points

If you really understand your buyer persona, you should know their biggest pain points. Use those pain points to get subscribers to open your emails by solving that problem for them.
Here are some examples of email subject lines that bring out the subscriber’s pain points and offer a solution.

18. Pizza Hut: “Feed your guests without breaking the bank”
19. IKEA: “Where do all these toys go?”
20. IKEA: “Get more kitchen space with these easy fixes”
21. HP: “Stop wasting money on ink”
22. Sephora: “Your beauty issues, solved”
23. Uber: “Since we can’t all win the lottery…”
24. Thrillist: “How to Survive Your Next Overnight Flight”
25. Guess: “Wanted: Cute and affordable fashions”
26. Evernote: “Stop wasting time on mindless work”
27. Duolingo: “Learn a language with only 5 minutes per day”


We all long to be liked, accepted and even revered by others – it’s just a part of being human. That’s why some of the cleverest subject lines use vanity. To do this, you can either promise something that makes the subscriber look better to their peers, or invoke the fear of being shamed.

28. Guess: “Don’t wear last year’s styles.”
29. Fabletics: “Your Butt Will Look Great in These Workout Pants”
30. Jeremy Gitomer: “How Have You Progressed Since the Third Grade?”
31. Rapha: “Gift inspiration for the discerning cyclist”
32. La Mer: “Age-defying beauty tricks”
33. Pop Physique: “Get Ready. Keep the Pie Off Your Thighs Returns.”
34. Rapha: “As worn in the World Tour”
35. Sephora: “Products the celebs are wearing”

Email open rates: Personal

According to several recent surveys, email subject lines that were personalised by including a name boosted open rates by 29.3% on average across all industries. But including your subscribers name is only one way to make your subject lines more personal. You can also use casual language, share something personal, or use copy that implies familiarity or friendship.

36. Guess: “Mary, check out these hand-picked looks”
37. Rent the Runway: “Happy Birthday Mary – Surprise Inside!”
38. Bonnie Fahy: “Mary, do you remember me?”
39. Kimra Luna: “I didn’t see your name in the comments!?”
40. John Lee Dumas: “Are you coming?”
41. UrbanDaddy: “You’ve Changed”
42. Influitive: “So I’ll pick you up at 7?”
43. James Malinchak: “Crazy Invitation, I am Going to Buy You Lunch…”
44. Brooklinen: “Vanilla or Chocolate?”
45. Sam from The Hustle: “I love you”
46. Ryan Levesque: “Seriously, Who DOES This?”
47. Jon Morrow: “Quick favor?”
48. Mary Fernandez: “you free this Thurs at 12PM PST? [guest blogging class]”
49. Mary Fernandez: “your detailed results…”
50. Syed from OptinMonster: “300% increase in revenue with a single optin + a neat growth trick from my mastermind!”
51. Revolution Tea: “Thanks for helping us”
52. Harry’s: “Two razors for your friends (on us)”


If your subject line makes your subscribers laugh, then they’ll simply have to open it. After all, have you ever read a subject line that tickled your funny bone and you didn’t read it?

53. Eater Boston: “Where to Drink Beer Right Now” (Sent at 6:45am on a Wednesday.)
54. OpenTable: “Licking your phone never tasted so good”
55. Groupon: “Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)”
56. The Muse: “We Like Being Used”
57. Warby Parker: “Pairs nicely with spreadsheets”
58. UncommonGoods: “As You Wish” (This is a reference to the movie The Princess Bride.)
59. Travelocity: “Need a day at the beach? Just scratch n’ sniff your way to paradise…”
60. TicTail: “Boom shakalak! Let’s get started.”
61. Thrillist: “Try To Avoid These 27 People On New Year’s Eve”
62. Baby Bump: “Yes, I’m Pregnant. You Can Stop Staring At My Belly Now.”
63. Gozengo: “NEW! Vacation on Mars”
64. The Hustle: “Look what you did, you little jerk…” (This one is a hybrid curiosity/humor email.)


You may not think of yourself as a “greedy” person, but it can be really tough to pass up a great deal… even if you don’t really need the item right now. That’s why sales, discounts and special offers work really well in your subject lines.

65. Topshop: “Meet your new jeans”
66. Topshop: “Get a head start on summer”
67. HP: “Flash. Sale. Alert.”
68. HP: “New must-haves for your office”
69. Seafolly: “A new product you won’t pass on”
70. Guess: “25% off your favourites”
71. Rip Curl: “Two for two”
72. La Mer: “A little luxury at a great price”
73. Rapha: “Complimentary gift wrap on all purchases”
74. The Black Tux: “Get priority access.”

Email open rates: Lazy

Another common trait among all humans is laziness. Even people who aren’t inclined to be lazy would prefer a silver bullet over the long and hard route. You can give subscribers an easier way to achieve their goals by offering a shortcut, or a useful resource that saves a lot of time and energy.

75. Syed from OptinMonster: “63-Point Checklist for Creating the Ultimate Optin Form”
76. Syed from OptinMonster: “Grow your email list 10X faster with these 30 content upgrade ideas”
77. Ramit Sethi: “How to email a busy person (including a word-forword script)”
78. Digital Marketer: “Steal these email templates…”
79. Digital Marketer: “A Native Ad in 60 Minutes or Less”
80. Digital Marketer: “212 blog post ideas”


When in doubt, make your subject line simple and straightforward. Contrary to what you might think, these “boring” subject lines can actually convert really well. The key to making this work for your list is to consistently provide value in all of your emails. Don’t ever send an email unless you have something important to say: always make sure your campaigns are packed with value. If you do this, you’ll train your subscribers to open your emails no matter what the subject line says.

Here are some examples of email subject lines that get straight to the point…

81. Al Franken: “Yes, this is a fundraising email”
82. AYR: “Best coat ever”
83. Barack Obama: “Hey”
84. “[Company Name] Sales & Marketing Newsletter”
85. “Eye on the [Company Name] Update (Oct 31 – Nov 4)”
86. “[Company Name] Staff Shirts & Photos”
87. “[Company Name] January 2023 News Bulletin!”
88. “[Company Name] Newsletter – February 2023”
89. “[Company Name] and [Company Name] Invites You!”
90.“Happy Holidays from [Company Name]”
91.“Invitation from [Company Name]”


Retargeting emails are sent to subscribers when they fail to complete an action or a step in your sales funnel (e.g. when they abandon their cart, or fail to purchase after their free trial). These emails serve to bring your subscribers back to your sales process.

92. Nick Stephenson: “How you can afford Your First 10,000 Readers (closing tonight)”
93. Bonobos: “Hey, forget something? Here’s 20% off.”
94. Target: “The price dropped for something in your cart”
95. Syed from Envira: “Mary, your Envira account is on hold!”
96. Syed from Envira: “I’m deleting your Envira account”
97. Ugmonk: “Offering you my personal email”
98. Animoto: “Did you miss out on some of these new features?”
99. Pinterest: “Good News: Your Pin’s price dropped!”
100. Unroll.Me: “Unroll.Me has stopped working”

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