Best Email Subject Lines for Sales and Marketing: Your email marketing campaign is crafted, you have your goals set and the KPIs you want to hit. Now all you have to do is figure out how to get recipients to open your email.

The trick to email opens comes down to two factors: segmentation and personalization. In fact, marketers who segmented their email lists experienced 39% higher open rates.

However, there a few approaches you can take to crafting your subject line depending on the type of email campaign and segment you’re targeting. Sales and marketing both have to launch email campaigns regularly so you need to be honest, imply a sense of urgency, and catchy if you want to see results.

To help you optimize your open rate and click-throughs, check out these subject line examples you can use in your next email campaign:

Best Email Subject Lines

1. Invoke emotion.

Ex: “Why I knew it was time to give up and start all over again”

Email marketing is all about being human. Be upfront about something you’ve learned and recipients’ interest will likely be piqued by your honesty.


2. The “what’s in it for me?” approach.

Ex: “Follow these landing page tips to optimize your ecommerce funnel”

Always follow a value-first approach in your email marketing because content that tries to sell, doesn’t sell – but, content that tries to teach does…


3. Personalize

Ex: “Hey John, I think I’ve found what you were looking for”

Using someone’s name in an email subject line disarms a recipient. It immediately sends a psychological cue that you can be trusted because how else would the sender know your name if they didn’t already provide it?


4. Stroke their curiosity.

Ex: “You won’t believe what just happened…”

You know that “what if?” feeling? Well, people hate it, so tickle their curiosity and satisfy it immediately in the email so they feel like they’re not missing out. Then, direct the reader to a value-added offer in the CTA.


5. Be relevant and time-sensitive.

Ex: “Your membership is about to expire!’

If recipients are regularly opening your emails, then they’re relying on you to ensure everything is going smoothly in the relationship so updates are expected and appreciated.


Best Subject Lines for Sales

1. The truth about [person or topic]

This signals that you know something the recipient doesn’t. The likelihood a recipient will open the email, however, depends on how much they trust you – indicative by how many emails they’ve opened already.


2. “Quick question about [company/job title]”

People love to talk about themselves, so ask questions that only they would have information on. They will be flattered that you sought their insight.


3. “Would you like some help?”

No one is superhuman, we all need someone to lean on. Why can’t you be that person? Offer helpful advice on a problem the recipient has expressed in a form fill or in a previous communication. They will be happy you reached out.


4. “I see we have a mutual [friend/interest/contact]”

Again, people love to talk about themselves so ask the recipient open-ended questions so they can get into detail and provide you with information you would’ve never thought to inquire about.


5. “I found you through [name of referral]”

If it’s a referral they know and trust, then you automatically have an advantage in building a relationship.


Best Retail Email Subject Lines

1. “Top 20 under $20”

People love lists, especially lists of things they want AND at the price they want.


2. “Last chance to get 50% off!”

Drive impulse buys with a timely offer that provides high value.


3. “Bring this flyer to our store and win!”

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, drive in-store purchases by running a re-engagement campaign through email that pushes the recipient to take action.


4. “Want 25% off on your next order?”

If the recipient is a new customer or a long-time customer, why not give them the incentive to buy again? Send this email soon after the recipient has bought because that’s when they’re most likely to buy.


5. “The best [item] every [boy, girl, man, woman, dog, etc.] needs”

If your data shows a recipient is consistently buying for one demographic (ex: a young boy, possibly a son or nephew) then offer a single deal in an email that will feel hand-picked for them.


Email Subject Line Best Practices

1. Tailor Your Message to Your Audience and Goals

It all comes down to sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time. That’s capability a marketing automation platform provides for email marketing. Segment your email list and constantly test keywords to get the most opens.


2. Provide a Sense of Urgency

You don’t want them to open your email next week, you want them to open it now. Push the recipient to take an active interest in your offer and be specific on what you want them to do.


3. Ask Questions

Asking a question puts the ball in a recipient’s court. Make sure you ask questions they know they can provide an informative answer to.


4. Value First

People love a good deal. Keep their attention and have recipients look forward to your emails by always providing something of value in exchange for their time.


5. Localize and Personalize

Take your email segmentation more in-depth by not only segmenting by demographic, industry, etc. Target recipients based on location and include their name. Bonus points if the offer requires urgent action.


Email marketing takes practice and testing. Download Neil Patel’s Guide to Email Marketing below so you study up quickly on how to optimize your email sends in time for your next campaign:

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