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Introduction Email Subject Lines to Captivate Your Audience

Did you know that in 2024, nearly 70% of emails will go into spam filters because of their subject lines? It’s not just the email service providers or ESPs doing this, but internet users themselves.

Today’s netizens are smarter and savvier than ever, and they can recognize a spammy, clickbait subject line as soon as it arrives in their inbox. If your messages fit the bill, your future correspondence will be marked as spam. This hurts your customer relationship and the sender’s reputation.

What should effective email subject lines look like in 2024? That’s a great question, and it’s one you’ll have the answer to by the time you’re done reading.

In this blog post, I’ll explain why introduction email subject lines matter so much and how to write one that converts. There will be plenty of great examples along the way, so don’t miss it!


Why You Need Powerful Email Subject Lines in 2024

Strong subject lines have always been required for any successful email marketing campaign. That’s only become truer as the years pass, and email volume increases.

The average person receives 121 work emails a day. With an estimated 361.6 billion emails sent and received globally each day, the amount of promotional and transactional emails you get in your inbox daily means there’s always something new to discover.

Your subject lines must stand out, or you will miss these benefits.

High open and click-through rates

An email subject line is your only chance to make an impression in an email marketing campaign. If your opener is a dud or reeks of spam, guess what? Your audience won’t even bother to open the cold email.

This will also hurt your click-through rates, as they depend on your audience opening and engaging with your messages.

Good sender reputation

Your sender reputation is everything. If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention a sender reputation, make sure you check out this informative post all about it.

Essentially, your sender reputation tells ISPs how trustworthy you are. If you have a high reputation, ISPs will let your emails through, preventing soft and hard bounces. However, a low ISP could cause your messages to be blocked.

If an ISP blocks your emails, your recipients never receive them. There’s usually no way to fix this unless and until you work on your sender reputation, building back trust and reputability.

So yes, while it’s doable to rebuild your sender reputation, it’s better to have a good one from the get-go rather than take the many weeks and months it usually requires to improve your reputation.

Read also: 103 Black Friday Email Subject Lines to Outshine Your Competition

Better lead and customer engagement

Why do businesses send emails? Primarily, it’s to connect with their audience so they can drive goals like conversions and sales.

Your audience must be engaged for them to buy a word you’re saying, which requires you to take time to nurture the professional relationship.

Email remains one of your most steadfast and effective strategies for driving this outcome, as you can use drip marketing and automation to ensure your audience receives messages at precise moments.

A subject line is a tantalizing opener that inspires your audience to open your messages and interact with your content. It has to be good if you want to build and strengthen engagement.

Email prioritization

When you go through your inbox and see 100+ messages, you prioritize them by order of importance. While the sender is one criterion you’ll look at to determine which email gets your time first, you also review the subject line.

That’s not to say you should send high-energy, urgent subject lines with every email, as that will tire out your audience sooner rather than later.

However, if you write subject lines evocatively, you will make your audience prioritize your messages.

6 Examples of High-Converting Email Subject Lines to Emulate

Are the subject line ideas coming few and far between? It happens! Allow yourself to be inspired by these real-life subject line examples from top brands.

1. Carnival Cruises

Introduction email subject line from Carnival
Image courtesy of Only Influencers

How do you get people on board with your promotion before it ends? By blasting them with an email reminding them they’re running out of time to act. The subject line for this email from Carnival Cruises reads, “Deleting this email is like deleting $200.”

That’s an excellent way to grab attention because who wouldn’t want $200? Then, the verbiage in the email, like “last day” with a bold yellow background and “like all fantastic deals, this one goes poof” in red text, ensures you understand that this is your last chance.

Read also: Mastering the Letter of Introduction: Examples and Tips

2. Bisque Imports

Introduction email subject line example from Bisque Imports
Image courtesy of Constant Contact

Who says a welcome email subject line has to be wordy or overcomplicated? This message from Bisque Imports, presumably sent on a Friday, read “TGIF!” It’s short, simple, and concise, highlighting the email body and colorful imagery.

Read also: 55 Exemplary Newsletter Subject Lines to Boost Email Open Rates

3. Strong Women, Strong Girls

Introduction email subject line example from Strong Women Strong Girls
Image courtesy of Constant Contact

Asking a thought-provoking question through email is sometimes efficient enough to drive engagement and interest. Strong Women, Strong Girls posed the question, “Who was Wonder Woman’s role model?” in its email subject line, which is something to mull over for a while.

The subject line is interesting enough to inspire readers to open the email to see the answer or get more information.

Read also: 149 Captivating Holiday Email Subject Lines That Work

4. Grammarly

An example of good introduction email subject line from Grammarly
Image courtesy of ReallyGoodEmails

Celebratory emails that make your recipient feel special, such as this message from Grammarly, are always sure to do well.

The subject line, which reads “Happy Grammarversary!” is a fun play on the word “anniversary,” as Grammarly sends this message to its users who have been with the grammar service for a year.

Grammarly smartly uses this email to offer the reader an exclusive, limited-time deal discounting its service Grammarly Premium.

Read also: 71 Irresistible Webinar Email Subject Lines to Drive Engagement

5. Tropical Travelers

Good email subject line example from Tropical Travelers
Image courtesy of Constant Contact

The words “rock star treatment” are like music to any consumer’s ears, which is why this subject line example is so effective. The full subject line reads, “Destination Weddings…Want Rock Star Treatment?”

Presumably, Tropical Travelers segmented its audience, so only those engaged and planning a wedding received the email. Destination weddings are already a popular topic for an email, and mentioning the exclusive treatment customers can get will inspire them to look into Tropical Travelers’ services.

Talk about first impressions!

Read also: 37 Reminder Email Subject Lines That Get Results


Introduction email subject line example from UNICEF
Image courtesy of Only Influencers

UNICEF could pull on the heartstrings with each email it sends as it solicits donations and spreads awareness. Its catchy email subject lines are varied out of necessity, as this way, its audience doesn’t become immune to the same old type of emails.

The subject line, “Will you put down your phone to save a child’s life?” is genius. UNICEF’s subscribers will undoubtedly want to know how putting down their phones can save a child, so they’ll eagerly open the email.

Read also: The Best Email Subject Lines For Any Occasion

Tips for Writing Email Subject Lines

Are you ready to begin producing five-star subject lines like the examples above showcase? Great! Here are some pointers and best practices to internalize as you get started.

Know your audience (and segment them)

You can’t build a successful email marketing campaign without knowing your audience innately. You must be able to break down their numbers by geographic, psychographic, and demographic data.

You can’t send emails to your entire audience in 2024. That strategy hasn’t worked in, well, ever, and it’s especially not going to work now. Build lead and audience segments, updating them as you learn more about your various groups as they progress through the sales funnel.

Tap into emotions

The best subject lines conjure a reader’s emotions. You get to decide which emotions you want to harness in your messaging, but here are some you might play up:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Fear of missing out (FOMO)

FOMO, especially, is one many email marketers prey upon, and rightfully so! Everyone wants to feel cool. FOMO taps into that need.

You might use language in your messages like “exciting,” “new,” “last chance,” “limited time,” “act now,” and “urgent” to convey the importance of your promotion.

Read also: 75 Captivating Labor Day Email Subject Lines for Small Businesses

Use concise, clear language

A subject line can only be 30 to 50 characters. Due to how much you want to express with such tight limitations, you might let clarity fall by the wayside.

You can’t do that if you want your campaign to be a hit. While you can sometimes sacrifice good grammar, using abbreviations and slang depending on the product and audience, your language must be clear and concise.

If you can’t express your point in the character limit, keep editing until you can whittle down your message. The best email subject lines all have clear, concise language.

Personalize your subject lines

It used to be that personalizing an email subject line was enough, but these days, your messages need more than that.

For example, if a customer already has a product or service you’re promoting, they should receive a different email upselling them or advertising a related product or service.

The messages you send should also be tailored toward their position and status in the sales funnel. For instance, long-time customers might receive special VIP emails, but your newer customers and leads would not.

Read also: How to Respond to an Introduction Email: Tips and Templates

Use emojis sparingly

Emojis in email subject lines are a great way to grab attention and convey a sentiment with fewer words, so they naturally have a good place. Well, most of the time, they do.

It all depends on your brand. Some brands with a cheekier, more relaxed tone can always use emojis and still seem on-brand, while for others that are more buttoned-up, an emoji can seem like a strange inclusion.

If you incorporate emojis into your subject lines, at least know what they mean first. Nothing is more embarrassing than using an emoji incorrectly in an email that goes out to hundreds or thousands of customers and potential customers.

Also, limit the use of emojis per email. More than two or three is overkill, especially if the emojis convey the same emotion. For example, two different smileys are unnecessary when one does the job.

A/B test subject lines

Don’t send a live email before you test your subject lines.

A/B testing determines which subject line will perform better based on factors like length, tone, copy, use of emojis, and emotion. Always test your subject lines, especially in the formative early days of your campaign when you’re still trying to determine what works with your audience.

Read also: Red, Write, And Blue: The Best 4th Of July Email Subject Lines

Common Email Subject Line Mistakes to Avoid

Thanks to the tips from above, you think you’ve got the gist of effective email subject lines. Before your campaign begins, carefully review these costly subject line mistakes to ensure you don’t make them yourself!

Neglecting mobile optimization

With about 1.7 billion people checking their emails through mobile devices, you can’t afford to skip out on email optimization. By comparison, roughly 0.9 billion people read their messages on desktops.

It’s more convenient to check emails on your phone, as you don’t have to be in your office in front of your computer to stay connected to colleagues and clients.

If your emails aren’t optimized for your mobile audience, your email marketing campaigns will fail. Your messages will be cut off, the images will be bloated and block out text, and the elements will all be jumbled.

Since email optimization is common today, your customers or leads will assume your email is spam and report it as such.

Using misleading language

I know you want to increase your open email rates, don’t we all? However, misleading your audience is not the way to do it.

Your emails must be honest. Your readers will fall for it the first time you lie to them, and some might even give you the benefit of the doubt. More than likely, you will lose a lot of subscribers for your dishonesty, which isn’t worth it.

Incorporating spam terms

Many, many words are considered spammy in emails, including but not limited to:

  • Action
  • Exclusive deal
  • Free
  • Acceptance
  • Compare rates
  • Cents on the dollar
  • All-natural
  • Avoid bankruptcy
  • Escape debt
  • Double your income
  • Millions or billions
  • Earn
  • Credit
  • Be your own boss
  • Accept credit cards

Using these terms is an excellent way to get your emails marked as spam, where your subscribers will likely never see them again.

Overusing punctuation and capital letters

You can’t use fancy characters in email subject lines; even bolding and italics are usually off-limits. That’s why you may sometimes see emails using capitalization for entire words, like “Sale starts NOW!”

All caps are okay to use in moderation, as they can underscore important words and drive a sense of urgency. However, when your entire message is in caps, it loses all sense of urgency since readers don’t know which word matters most.

More so, it can come across like you’re yelling and generally turns readers off.

Likewise, abusing punctuation is a bad look. One exclamation point or question mark will do it.

For example, I made up this subject line on the spot. “Do you want to miss out on this deal???” versus “Do you want to miss out on this deal?”

One question mark conveys the same sense of mystery without risking getting your message sent to spam.

Being too generic or vague

On the note of maintaining a sense of mystery, there are many ways to convey it, but being vague and generic aren’t two of them. If you’re so cryptic that your audience has no idea what you’re talking about, you’ll get your messages sent to spam and lose many subscribers.

Read also: 15 Introduction Email Templates That Work Like A Charm

Wrapping Up

Subject lines are nothing short of an art form and should be treated as such.

They’re how you make an awesome introduction and amplify your marketing message. Without a good subject line, your email marketing metrics will drag, and your campaigns will underperform.

Mastering subject lines takes time, but you will get there with good fundamentals and A/B testing!

EngageBay is an all-in-one marketing, sales, and customer support software designed for small businesses and startups. The software offers email marketing, A/B testing, templates, personalization, lead management, and multistep automation.

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