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The 50 Best Subject Lines to Use in 2019 and Beyond!

First impressions matter.

Research has shown that the average email subject line gets just 11 seconds to make a favorable impression.

That means that your subscribers are making the decision to open, delete or mark as spam in less time than it takes to send a text message.

If you’ve noticed a drop in open rates for your emails, or are just looking to make sure that more of your emails get opened, this post is for you!

Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours crafting a great email only to see that no one opened it.

There are lots of different opinions on what types of email subject lines work best, but we wanted to see what was actually working for our Kajabi users.

Here at Kajabi, we work with over 15,000-course creators who use Kajabi to send out emails, so we turned to the data.

Over the past few weeks, we analyzed the subject lines from hundreds of thousands of our course creator’s emails to find the best subject lines to use in 2019 and beyond!

To avoid small sample size errors we made sure to only look at emails that went out to at least 20,000 people.

In analyzing these emails we were able to sort the top-performing subject lines into 7 different categories.

The 7 Categories of top-performing email subject lines are:

     1. Announcements. An announcement lets the reader know that there is something new they need to know about. Announcements made up 26% of the top performing subject lines.

     2. WIIFM. WIIFM stands for “What’s in it for me?” A WIIFM subject line appeals directly to the reader’s self-interest. 24% of the top performing subject lines were WIIFM subject lines.

     3. Teaching. Teaching subject lines let the reader know what they are going to learn in the email. Teaching subject lines made up 16% of the top 50.

    4. Intrigue. Intrigue subject lines bait the reader into opening the email to satisfy their curiosity. 12% of the top performing subject lines used intrigue.

    5. Opportunity. Opportunity subject lines let the reader know about a sale or opportunity. 10% of the top-performing subject lines were opportunity based subject lines.

   6. Questions. Questions work similarly to intrigue by asking a question the reader has to open the email to learn the answer. Question-based subject lines made up 8% of the top 50.

   7. Scarcity. Scarcity based subject lines use the fear of missing out (FOMO) to get readers to open the email. Somewhat surprisingly scarcity-based subject lines made up just 4% of the top 50.

One last thing to keep in mind about the categories of subject lines is that oftentimes the best performing subject lines use a combination of these elements.

Now let’s take a look at the 50 top performing email subject lines.

* Spelling and punctuation are exactly how it appeared to the recipients of the email.

The 50 Top Performing Email Subject Lines:

1. THANK YOU! Top 20 omg

Category: Announcement.
Performance: Opened 162% more than average
Analysis: The top-performing subject line combines an announcement, with intrigue in the form of the mysterious top 20 omg. This subject line also uses gratitude for the reader by leading off with a thank you.

2. my morning routine MUSTS

Category: Teaching
Performance: Opened 145% more than average.
Analysis: Our second best performing subject line is a teaching subject line which tells us what the most important parts of the sender’s morning routine are. The use of the word MUSTS in all capital letters adds urgency.

3. Cyber Monday goes Old School! Starts Now

Category: Opportunity
Performance: Opened 104% more than average
Analysis: This subject line uses an opportunity subject line to let the reader know that their Cyber Monday sale is starting. This subject line also uses the term “oldschool” to create some intrigue and play off of the idea that things used to be better “back in the day.”

4. Download my Audiobook, no charge!

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 104% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line tells the reader exactly WIIFM, a free audiobook! It’s interesting that “No charge!” performed better than “Free.”

5. your Facebook ads?

Category: Intrigue.
Performance: Opened 99% more than average.
Analysis: This is a great example of a subject line that uses intrigue perfectly. What is it about your Facebook ads? If you’re someone running Facebook ads you’re opening that email.

6. the PLANNER! good news, bad news

Category: Announcement
Performance: Opened 98% more than average.
Analysis: This is a good example of an announcement. By letting the reader know that there is good news and bad news, they are intrigued as well.

7. "It’s an honor to be your husband"

Category: Intrigue
Performance: Opened 90% more than average.
Analysis: This is another great use of intrigue. Using quotes makes the intrigue stronger as it makes you wonder who the speaker is and who they are talking about.

8. No time for Yoga?

Category: Question
Performance: Opened 87% more than average.
Analysis: This is a pretty straight forward question that addresses one of the most common problems people have with exercise.

9. What's up with Google?

Category: Question
Performance: Opened 84% more than average.
Analysis: This is a nice combination of a question subject line, intrigue and using a big company. Everyone knows Google, so if you get this email you’re going to want to know what’s going on.

10. it's heeerrrre, and I'm in tears!

Category: Announcement
Performance: Opened 78% more than average.
Analysis: This is a good combination of an announcement with intrigue. As for the spelling and punctuation, it makes the subject line seems more personal and less corporate. This subject line seems more like an email you’d receive from a friend than a company.

11. SNEAK PEEK: My new book!

Category: Announcement
Performance: Opened 78% more than average.
Analysis: This announcement subject line uses the words sneak peek to make the email seem more exclusive.

12. $1 for 2018, continues!

Category: Opportunity
Performance: Opened 77% more than average.
Analysis: This opportunity subject line, also uses a dash of announcement by letting the reader know that the $ 1 opportunity is still available.

13. let's PRIORITIZE

Category: Teaching
Performance: Opened 76% more than average.
Analysis: This teaching subject line uses capitalization in an interesting way. By not capitalizing the first word of the subject line it looks more personal and also will stand out among a sea of emails with capitalized first letters.

14. GRATITUDE (and Giveaway!)

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 75% more than average.
Analysis: This WIIFM subject line has a very clever double WIIFM. First, there is the word gratitude. While it might be an email teaching gratitude it’s more likely that the reader will assume the sender is expressing their gratitude and giving something away to boot!

15. How To Take More INITIATIVE

Category: Teaching
Performance: Opened 73% more than average.
Analysis: This teaching subject line uses capitalization to place the emphasis on the word Initiative. A great way to show more initiative right away? Opening the email.

16. last call, from my house

Category: Intrigue
Performance: Opened 68% more than average.
Analysis: This is a really intriguing subject line. It conjures up images of horror movies where the call is coming from inside the house. There’s also scarcity in this line as this will be the final call.

17. can I help you share your message?

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 67% more than average.
Analysis: This was a tough one to classify. Technically there is a question in the subject line, but the fact that the phrase can I help you appears first makes it a WIIFM line. Asking if you can help your audience is a great way to get them to open emails.

18. Get Ready For DEDICATE!

Category: Announcement.
Performance: Opened 62% more than average.
Analysis: This is a great simple announcement subject line.

19. they did it!

Category: Intrigue
Performance: Opened 51% more than average.
Analysis: Another intriguing subject line. Who are they? What did they do? We are all curious about what other people are doing. Especially if they might be doing better than us.

20. Last Chance + NEW LESSONS

Category: Scarcity
Performance: Opened 39% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line combines scarcity, with teaching and an opportunity.

21. The Very Best English Speakers do this

Category: Teaching.
Performance: Opened 39% more than average.
Analysis: This teaching subject line uses social proof by promising to teach you what the very best English speakers are doing.

22. What is your Energy Level to Practice English?

Category: Question.
Performance: Opened 37% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line is a simple question about a common problem students have.

23. the PLANNER! it's here!

Category: Announcement.
Performance: Opened 36% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line combines an announcement with an opportunity. Again note the use of lower case letters for the beginning of the subject line.

24. Level Up your English with this:

Category: Teaching.
Performance: Opened 35% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line combines teaching with an opportunity. There’s also intrigue in the subject line as you’re not sure what is going to help you level up.

25. NEWSLETTER #6 🛎🛎📩

Category: Announcement.
Performance: Opened 32% more than average.
Analysis: This is the first use of emojis in our top 50 performing subject lines which suggests that emojis don’t actually make people more likely to open your emails.

26. This is the path to English fluency!

Category: Teaching.
Performance: Opened 30% more than average.
Analysis: This is a teaching subject line which also introduces a goal, fluency.

27. 4 New Video Lessons

Category: Teaching
Performance: Opened 29% more than average.
Analysis: This is a teaching subject line that uses an announcement.

28. Announcement from Chad - 

Category: Announcement.
Performance: Opened 28% more than average.
Analysis: This announcement subject line uses the name of the sender to make it more personal.

29. First Looks: Student Update

Category: Announcement.
Performance: Opened 27% more than average.
Analysis: This announcement subject line creates intrigue with the words first looks.

30. Beware of the Teachers' Lounge! Here's Why

Category: Intrigue.
Performance: Opened 26% more than average.
Analysis: This is a great use of intrigue. What’s wrong with the teacher’s lounge? What do you need to know?

31. fantastic!

Category: Intrigue.
Performance: Opened 25% more than average.
Analysis: This is the highest ranking single word subject line in the top 50.

32. 7 Weekly KEY Practice Focuses For ALL Guitar Players (Giveaway)

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 24% more than average.
Analysis: This WIIFM subject line uses the number 7 which is psychologically interesting and mixes in teaching and opportunity.

33. How To Become a Fingerstyle Guitarist (PLUS GIVEAWAY)

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 24% more than average.
Analysis: Here is another WIIFM line that uses teaching as well as a giveaway. 

34. Do You Really Want Our Time Together To End?

Category: Question
Performance: Opened 23% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line combines a question with scarcity.

 

35. Transformation Week starts NOW!

Category: Announcement.
Performance: Opened 23% more than average.
Analysis: This short subject line packs a lot into just a few words.

36. Special Giveaway - Best Giveaway Yet! (Plus Live Webcast)

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 22% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line triples up on the WIIFM. You get our best giveaway yet. And you get a free webinar. That’s a lot of value.

37. Redeem ASAP: 50% off Teaching the Teachers 

Category: Opportunity
Performance: Opened 22% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line uses urgency while also giving you the opportunity to get a new product.

38. Calling all Coaches! 15 spots left!

Category: Opportunity
Performance: Opened 21% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line makes it clear it’s speaking directly to coaches and offering them an opportunity. The use of “15 spots left” adds scarcity. 

39. Studio Giveaway! Thank You! (500K Guitar Giveaway)

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 21% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line triples up on value. A giveaway. Thank you. And another bigger giveaway.

40. grateful for you today

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 20% more than average.
Analysis: This is a very simple subject line where the author is expressing his/her gratitude for the reader.

41. Last Day Transformation Week!

Category: Scarcity.
Performance: Opened 20% more than average.
Analysis: This scarcity headline is just the 2nd example of scarcity being the main category on the entire list. This suggests that scarcity is a less effective tactic than previously thought. This subject line also has elements of announcement and opportunity.

42. Day 6 (of 7!): Transformation Week - closing Monday!

Category: Announcement.
Performance: Opened 20% more than average.
Analysis: This headline is announcing the second to last day of transformation week. There is a bit of scarcity in the subject line as well.

43. Guitar GIVEAWAY Plus Live Webcast (BONUS PDF and Videos)

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 19% more than average.
Analysis: Another subject line in the guitar giveaway series. This subject line offers 4 different pieces of value( Guitar giveaway, live webcast, pdf, and videos) and performed worse than the two previous subject lines in the series which used just 3.

44. Free, Free And MORE Free!

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 19% more than average.
Analysis: This is a really simple WIIFM subject line promising free stuff. This subject line performed worse than the no charge line earlier suggesting that the market has grown more sophisticated to the use of free in subject lines.

45. Grab Your FULL Access Membership For 30 DAYS!

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 19% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line performed the worst of the guitar series. Possibly because it does not explicitly state what the reader gets in this system.

46. Less than 24 hrs left to buy

Category: Opportunity.
Performance: Opened 19% more than average.
Analysis: This subject line could be an opportunity or scarcity. It was included with the opportunity subject lines because of the word buy.

47. Thank you! TW complete!

Category: Announcement.
Performance: Opened 18% more than average.
Analysis: This is the 3rd time gratitude has been used in a subject line. This time the subject line thanks the reader first and then announces something newsworthy.

48. HERE'S THE FIXED WEEK 4 MEAL PLAN 😊

Category: Announcement.
Performance: Opened 18% more than average.
Analysis: There are a few interesting things going on here. First other than the 1-word subject line “NEWSLETTER” which ranked 25th this is the only fully capitalized subject line. And it ranked 48th. This shows us that fully capitalized subject lines are no longer very effective. This subject line also gives us just the 2nd appearance of an emoji on our list.

49. We Are Now Live! Join the Live Webcast (Monthly Live Webcast)

Category: Teaching.
Performance: Opened 17% more than average.
Analysis: This teaching subject line is the only example of a subject line inviting a reader to join a live event in the top 50. Live video is a trendy subject but the data suggests that it’s not a significant boost as an email subject line.

50. HERE'S WEEK 4 OF YOUR MEAL PLAN 😊

Category: WIIFM
Performance: Opened 17% more than average.
Analysis: It’s interesting that adding the word “your” and rearranging the subject line from # 48 caused a 1% drop in open rate. Traditional wisdom is that you/your is the most important word in copywriting. This is the 3rd and final use of emojis on the list.

 

10 Takeaways From The Data:

1. Announcements and WIIFM subject lines made up 50% of the top 50 subject lines, making them the two most popular categories.


2. Despite the proliferation of emoji use in text messaging only 3 of the top 50 subject lines used emojis.

3. The word “free” doesn’t appear until the 44th subject line. Subject lines that use words like “no charge” and “giveaway” are outperforming those that use the word “free” by a wide margin.

4. There were only a few numbered list style subject lines on the entire list. While the numbered lists did include the top-performing subject line it suggests that readers are growing tired of list style subject lines.

5. More and more subject lines are experimenting with using lower case letters for the first word of the subject line. 4 of the top 10 performing subject lines used lower case letters for the first word of the subject line.

6. Only one of the top 50 performing subject lines invited the reader to a live event. While live video might be huge on social media, it looks like email is not a major driver as of now.

7. Gratitude for the reader was used in 3 of the top 50 performing subject lines.

8. Questions and scarcity no longer work as well as they once did. Both questions and scarcity have long been taught as email subject line tactics, but they finished last and second to last among our categories. The market has become more sophisticated and asking a question or putting a deadline on something no longer work as well as they once did.

9. In the guitar series, you saw that 3 giveaways in the subject line works better than 4 or 1.


10. Combining 1-3 of these categories creates the best subject lines.

Conclusion:

Your email subject lines matter.

We analyzed hundreds of thousands of email subject lines to bring you these insights, there’s no doubt that these 50 headlines are the best performing headlines for 2019 and beyond.

These email subject lines will work for you in 2019 and beyond!

Here’s what to do now.

Don’t get overwhelmed!

You don’t have to immediately implement all 10 of the takeaways from this article or copy each of the headlines word for word.

Instead, go through the 50 subject lines and 10 takeaways and see what fits your business.

Look for the EASIEST ideas for you to use in your business and then start implementing one of those ideas at a time until you’ve used them all.

Once you’ve done that you can move on to the next category or takeaway until you have tested them all.

No matter where your online business is, creating better email subjects lines will lead to more people reading your emails, more fans, and more sales.

Starting using the takeaways and proven headlines in this article to make a great first impression today!

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