Formulas for Writing Catchy Subject Lines to Get Your Emails Opened

Many bloggers struggle to come up with catchy subject lines for their emails.

Some don’t even give it much thought so they just slap something dull in the box.

Don’t make this email marketing mistake if you don’t want to lose out on opens.

But before I discuss the formulas, let’s first tackle what subject lines are and why they are important.

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Why are Subject Lines Important?

The subject line is the most essential part of your email because it’s what your subscribers first see.

Subject lines impact your open rates.

Catchy subject lines can grab the readers’ attention, making them want to immediately open and read the email.

Poorly-written subject lines, on the other hand, can be the reason your emails end up in the trash (or even spam).

That said, take your time coming up with a subject line.

I understand it could be by far the most challenging part because it is quite hard to compress all you want to say from your email body into a short space.

So to help you come up with catchy subject lines for your email, here are some formulas you can use.

Formulas for Crafting Catchy Subject Lines

Surprise Your Subscribers

Give your readers something unexpected.

Surprise them with a free gift or free content such as a printable or a coupon code.

However, don’t always use the word “free” or use it sparingly. For example, “My gift especially for you.”

If you give away something once in a while, your audience may feel a sense of reciprocity and they may likely want to return the favor, potentially by purchasing one of your products or paid services.

Keep it short and simple

With our attention spans shorter than ever, using concision captures attention as it is quickly scannable by your readers.

Try using three to five words to create a succinct subject line.

Capitalize the first word only so it doesn’t seem that you are yelling.

An example of this is as simple as “We miss you.”

Ask a Question

This formula is probably the easiest when crafting a catchy subject line.

This type gets readers to think about how the topic relates to them and also makes them feel like you care about them.

For example, “Got plans for tonight?”.

Asking questions like this can make your subscribers more emotionally attached to your brand.

Use Listicles or Numbered Lists

Using listicles is an easy way for subscribers to digest your content.

To do this, use a quantified number on your subject lines for better open rates.

Instead of “Reasons your blog posts are not getting seen”, try writing “24 Reasons your blog posts are not getting seen in 2022”.

The “How-To” Formula

Nowadays, more and more people search the net to find out how to solve their problems.

You can cut down their search time by offering the solutions as how-to content in your email.

Example: “How to increase your subscribers overnight”

By doing this, you are also positioning yourself as the expert in the field, increasing your credibility.

Personalize Your Subject Lines

When writing catchy subject lines, sometimes it’s best to make it seem like you are writing a personal email specifically to each subscriber.

To do this, you can simply include their first name in the subject line.

You can also include words like “your”. For example, “Your visit to Australia”.

By doing this, you can make your readers feel valued and important.

Create a Sense of Urgency

This type of subject line formula encourages your subscribers to take action quickly so they don’t miss out.

For example, “Act quickly while slots last — the 60% discount ends tonight”.

Remember though that the urgency and scarcity must be real.

I don’t recommend you mislead your reader by falsely claiming you have xx slots left or minutes remaining if you have more open spaces.

Make an Announcement

If you have something new to offer your subscribers, then you can send an email with the exciting announcement.

Example: “Birthday VIP offers are now live!”

This type of subject line displays a sense of timeliness that encourage readers to act immediately to be included in the latest.

Create Curiosity

Curiosity can make your subscribers naturally want to interact with otherwise static content.

An example of this is, “Do you remember your first time…?”

Writing catchy subject lines like this will provoke your audience to engage with your brand or business.

Include a Statistic or a Number

Sharing facts backed by numbers can increase your credibility as a reliable source and build trust with your audience.

For example, you can write “Bloggers save $100 using this simple tool..”.

Trust me, this works every time!

Bonus: Subject Line Starters

Still stumped on creating catchy subject lines that grab attention?

Here are five subject line starters to get your creative juices flowing:

  1. “Get priority access”
  2. “Don’t open this email:
  3. “Flash Sale Alert: ______(%, discount) off”
  4. “How to find the best ____(product, deal) on the web.”
  5. “Are you making these ______ (number and/or topic) mistakes?”

Catchy Subject Lines: Final Thoughts

Overall, using these formulas and examples to create your own subject lines can increase your open rates.

However, remember not to go overboard. Instead, find the ones that work with your audience and always be testing.

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  1. Susan

    This is great information as I’m getting ready to start my email list! Just in time!!

  2. Elle

    This is so good to know! I will definitely be taking these tips with me for my next email!

  3. Ashley

    Great tips! I just started writing emails, and this is really helpful! Definitely pinning so I can reference it. Thanks for sharing.


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