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Best Practices for Email Subject Lines

Email marketing is a force to reckon with for your business. A well-coordinated email campaign can quickly build momentum for your product or service. Furthermore, it is preferred by recipients, with 73 per cent of millennials citing email as their preferred method of business communication.

However, to maximise your email campaign’s success and improve your open rate, you need to focus on your subject lines. Why? Because your email subject line can make or breaks the success of your email campaign. 47% of emails are opened or discarded based solely on their subject lines, the significance of a compelling and effective subject line becomes crystal clear. Your subject line is the most important element in your email. If you don’t put effort into crafting a compelling subject line, then you can expect mediocre returns from your email marketing efforts.

If used correctly then the sales email can produce impressive results. The sales email receives 8x more number of opens and clicks than other general emails, and they can generate six times the amount of revenue.

What makes a good email subject line for sales?

When it comes to writing subject lines for sales emails, you want to make sure you spend the time necessary to make them as effective as possible. To do this, you want to consider each of these subject line best practices:

Know your audience

  • Test your subject lines before mailing
  • Avoid using all caps, in fact, ditch the title case altogether
  • Keep it short, sweet, and to the point
  • Personalization can help you stick out in a crowded inbox
  • Emojis are your friends when they’re used correctly, so don’t be afraid to incorporate them
  • Generate excitement and/or a sense of urgency to get readers to act now

We’ve compiled a list of 12 email subject lines that’d be perfect for a sales email, let’s jump into it.

1. Have you tried?

It’s great to start by asking your readers. Ask them if they have tried anything product/service/brand/location from your brand in the past. The idea is to get your readers thinking, and once they are intrigued, they’ll surely click through your message and see what your goal is.

2. Convey a benefit for your reader

As an email marketer, you understand how valuable an incentive can be to get a subscriber to not just open your email but also click through your website. There is no better formula for sales email subject lines than to offer an incentive to the reader. Incentives can be offered in any form:

  • Special gift
  • Downloadable content
  • A percentage off their purchase and more

3. Tips/tricks/ideas for (common pain point)

Consumers look forward to more informational and less promotional content. So, what should the subject be?

You can convert your sales email into an informational one by promoting helpful tips and tricks to your readers. If you’re thinking you can’t have a CTA to purchase something, of course not! Just avoid allowing it to be the primary focus of your message would work.

4. How well are you aware of the topic/brand/product/service?

A sales email doesn’t have to focus on selling a product. You need to intrigue your readers to open the message and get all the information they desire. Once they are teased with the information, they’re likely to click on the website link to check out the products that the brand has to offer to address the pain points covered in their informational content.

5. Personalization

Email personalization is a fantastic way to grab your reader’s attention. Content personalized to address the specific needs of the readers is 26% more likely to be opened by them.

6. Don’t wait and get the deal

Create a sense of urgency for your readers. Time is money in sales, so combine urgency with a good offer and you’re sure to see your engagement rates start to climb. An urgent-sounding email subject line gives the reader an incentive to act quickly and grab the offer.

7. Name’s the year in review

A year in a review may not appear to be a good sales strategy at first, but when done correctly, it can encourage your customers to stay engaged with your brand. This year in review pages show your clients that you care about their activities and encourage them to stick with a brand that cares about them and their activities.

8. Welcome email

It’s always a good move to send a welcome email to a new subscriber who joins your email list. When a user signs up for your email list, they expect to hear from you in some way. Therefore, a welcome email is a crucial part of your email marketing strategy to get the ball rolling.

You want your new subscribers to know that you’re excited to have them join you. Share some more information about your brand and encourage them to click through to your website.

9. The newest product/service is here?

You never want to come across as gimmicky when it comes to sales. Excited and gimmicky, on the other hand, are two completely different things. Subject lines that generate excitement among readers are among the best for sales emails. Share the excitement with your readers, whether it’s about some exciting industry news, a brand-new product or service you’re offering, or a big upcoming sale. Don’t be afraid to include some festive emojis to help generate some “good vibes.”

10. We want to hear from you!

Your subscribers feel happy if they know that you care about them and their opinions. So, including a customer feedback strategy is an absolute must.

An email survey’s average response rate is around 24 per cent, making it a valuable piece of content to have in your arsenal. Don’t be afraid to include a feedback email subject line in your sales email collection because it shows that you care about your customers and their needs.

11. Introducing your product/brand/service

Teasers are a great way to inform your readers about a new product. Share the excitement by keeping things simple with your sales email subject line. Your consumers will be intrigued by the idea of you introducing something new and will be inclined to open your message and see what all the hype’s about.

12. (Competitor/brand/product) Alternatives they’ll love

You can afford a little healthy competition in promoting your product. Keep things classy and professional when it comes to “alternative” product informational emails. Discuss how your process or product differs from other similar products on the market. Again, the goal with these emails is to be informative rather than sales-oriented, so focus on weighing the benefits and drawbacks rather than criticising other brands for what they lack.


Email marketing has been a proven marketing strategy and has come a long way in generating effective results. A compelling subject line unlocks your prospect’s attention and gives you a great shot at building a relationship and closing that deal.

So, don’t take email subject lines lightly.

If you need an expert’s help or thinking to outsource your email marketing process, then chose Shergroup to be your marketing partner. Our email marketing subject matter experts know which mail will trigger the desired action for you and step up your sales email game and watch those open rates lift-off. Call us on 0845 890 9200 for a no-obligation chat or write to us at [email protected] and let’s get started with designing those perfect emails to land in your reader’s inbox.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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