5 subject lines that stood out in my inbox this month

Written by Jo Seward: Digital marketing manager.
· 4 minute read

With so many brands vying for attention in our inboxes every day, email marketing can be a difficult channel to master. One of the most important, yet challenging metrics to consider for any email campaign is the open rate – if consumers aren’t opening your mail then you’ve fallen at the first hurdle.

This is why subject lines should never be an afterthought – they need to convince recipients that your email is worth opening and will provide value to them in some way, shape or form.

Here are 5 subject lines that stood out to me in my largely unopened ‘promotions’ tab over the past month, and why they won my click.

“It’s Been 2 Years Since We Met 💘” – Boohoo

I’m not a regular Boohoo shopper, but here was a nice little reminder that it’s been 2 years since my first purchase. The tongue in cheek tone caught my attention and it did its job of re-engaging me.

Once opened there was a 25% off offer – a nice little ‘reward’ for my 2 year anniversary and a great way for ecommerce brands to build loyalty and advocacy. It’s something that I haven’t seen being done too often – an excuse to send out personal offers other than the more typical birthday emails.

“*1 SOLD EVERY 24 SECONDS* ⭐” – Charlotte Tilbury

A bold statement that made me curious to know which product was so popular. Subject lines that entice a recipient in without giving everything away can be a great way of increasing CTR.

I also liked the way the brand used a statistic – proof that their products are successful which can make a consumer feel like they are missing out on something big.

“Want to opt-out of Mother’s Day emails?” – Firebox

This one stood out for a different reason, in that it’s the first time I’ve seen a brand be more mindful when it comes to Mother’s Day – a time of year that is bound to be difficult for so many people.

Giving users the chance to opt-out of seeing Mother’s Day promotions is likely to make this time of year that little bit less difficult, and shows subscribers you’re thinking of them instead of sending out offers willy nilly. I’ve seen several brands sending out a similar email this year – hopefully more will catch on and give users more options at times of the year that can be difficult for some.

“ENDS MIDNIGHT: Your Mystery Discount Is Waiting…❤️”  – Look Fantastic

I admittedly got sucked in by the urgency in this one, and the intrigue of a ‘mystery’ discount. But still, these are both features that can drastically increase your click through rates. Subscribers may well be intending to take up an offer, it just takes that extra prod of urgency to get the sale.

As for the mystery discount – this is a different way of engaging users with the thought of a potentially big discount.

“Jo, your exclusive birthday treat…” – Cult Beauty

Who doesn’t love a birthday email! Personalised with the recipient’s name and enticing them in with an offer is a sure fire way to make an impact and make people feel special on their day, not to mention boosting revenue.

Birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate than regular proportional emails, and generate 342% higher revenue, making them a no brainer for ecommerce businesses.

Key takeaways

Here’s what stood out from the above subject lines…

  • Remember key dates – automated birthday / anniversary emails are so easy to set up and a nice treat for the recipient. Show your subscribers you appreciate and give them an incentive to shop on their special day.
  • Personalise where you can – using the recipients name will make your email stand out just that little bit more over others.
  • Think about emojis – when used sparingly and strategically, emojis are statistically proven to increase open rates.
  • Keep it short and sweet – the above subject lines have an average of 36 characters. And sometimes that’s all it needs to hook people in.
  • Don’t give too much away – if you tell recipients what the email / offer includes in the subject line, automatically you might be giving them a reason not to click through. Add a bit of intrigue and curiosity and you might find open rates increase. On the other hand, the offer might be the exact reason a user might open, so it’s worth testing.

Need a hand with your email marketing strategy and increasing those open rates? Get in touch today!