15 Email Subject Line Formulas to Get You More Opens

One of the most important parts of any email marketing program is often the part that most people spend the least amount of time crafting: the subject line. However, this short amount of copy is the first hurdle that stands between you and your recipient. In order to make your email marketing program more effective, it’s important to craft the right subject line. Regardless of the content of your email, keep subject lines short (max of 50 characters) and be specific, to tell the reader what they will get by opening your email.

Take a look at these 15 email subject line formulas to ensure your emails get opened.

Create an Announcement or Invitation

If you want your potential or current clients to feel like you care about them, send them an email invitation or special announcement. Whether you’re holding an event or announcing a new product, service, or store location, using words like “Invitation” or “Announcement” can grab your readers’ attention. Try these formulas for creating excitement in your audience.



1) You’re Invited to [Company Name] Annual [Event Name]

2) Announcing [Company Name] Brand New [Product/Service]

3) [Company Name] Invites You to a [Product/Service] Open House

Distribute a Company Newsletter

A great way to get the “open” from your audience is by sending regular emails with company news, events, and helpful and insightful information. Use the same subject line formula every time so readers will become familiar with the cadence and content of your emails. This enables you to build a relationship with clients and prospects, which can increase the likelihood they will open other sales and marketing emails you send. An analysis conducted by MailChimp showed that newsletter emails containing the company name were more frequently opened than those that didn’t. 

4) [Company Name] Newsletter - [Date]

5) Pulse on [Company Name]

6) [Company Name] Newsflash

Localize Your Content

Consumers usually want to know what’s going on in their neighborhood. Let them know you’re in their area by including the location in your subject line. If you’re located in or serve more than one location, segment your emails based on city or ZIP code to ensure the right audience is reached. For example, if you have a new apartment complex in a specific neighborhood, you could send an email to prospects living in that area inviting them to take a tour. Here are a few location-specific subject lines you could try.

7) Join Us for the Grand Opening of Our [Location] Store

8) Check Out [Company Name]’s Newest Store in [Location]

9) [Location] Residents: Get [Discount] When You Book [Service]

Ask Readers to Take Action

To get a prospect to take action, it’s important to include action verbs in your email subject line. Similar to a call to action on your website or advertising, the subject line should create a sense of urgency and provide a benefit to the reader. For instance, a subject line like “Get a Sneak Peek of Our Summer Menu Items” is more actionable than “River Grill Summer Menu Items.” This formula works well for timely news such as upcoming events, product launches, or special promotions.

10) Meet the Chef of [Business Name] on [Date/Time]

11) Try Out [Product/Service] at [Discount]

12) Refer a Friend and Get [Special Offer]

Provide Helpful Content

It’s important not to just send sales-related emails to prospects and customers. You should also be sending them useful content, such as helpful tips relating to the industry or best practices for using products and service. For instance, if you’re a home remodeling business, you could send an email with tips for choosing the right paint color.

13) Your Guide to [Industry-Related Topic]

14) How To Get the Most Out of [Product/Service]

15) 5 Tips to Extend the Life of Your [Product/Service]

How do you plan on using these subject line formulas to revise your sales and marketing email subject lines?

1 comment about "15 Email Subject Line Formulas to Get You More Opens".
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  1. Margo Wickersham Winter from MRW Consulting, LLC, August 15, 2013 at 5:18 p.m.

    Great tips, Tamara! I think of the subject line as the ad for enticing the reader to open the email. Brackets and invitations do work especially well.

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