10 Email Copywriting Subject Lines For You To Try

Email copywriting subject lines can be tricky to write. Here are 10 subject lines from my own emails that you are welcome to try. Keep in mind, though, that your audience is unique, and that the best way to find subject lines that work is by continuous testing and innovation. Keep what works, discard the rest.

That being said, here are the subject lines.

Quick question

“Only a minute of your time”. Very conversational and laidback, helps if the name in the Sender Line is a person, not the name of the brand.

Why it works:

Quick, laidback, non-salesy email.

How to (ideal outcome) WITHOUT (#1 fear/objection)

Pretty basic headline but oftentimes the easiest formulas work the best. Good for new prospects who recently joined your list or people who haven’t bought yet.

Why it works:

This is the classic self-benefit headline — you talk directly about a fear or problem your audience is looking to solve. The “WITHOUT” part is added to squash the “oh I’ve seen this, you need to [#1 fear/objection]” counterargument.


The most famous example of this was when Barack Obama used it in one of his many email campaigns. If you got an email from Barack saying “Hey”, would you open it…? You would.

Why it works:

Because it’s short and commands attention. Helps to have an authoritative Sender line, so not just your brand but maybe the name of your CEO instead.


This one’s pretty straight-forward. If you collect the first names of contacts, use this to your advantage. Try not to go overboard with it though – especially if you see some success using it.

Why it works:

The most beautiful word in the whole universe is our own name.

X reasons why you should never buy (product you’re selling)

Instead of writing the clichéd and pushy “You need to buy now, here’s why” -sales emails, flip the topic and talk about why they shouldn’t buy.

Now, obviously don’t say things like “our product actually sucks, our competitor’s is way better”. Instead, use this email to disqualify prospects who aren’t a fit for your product.

Why it works:

Everyone’s read and heard the pushy sales pitches but few have encountered a brand that actually pushes you away. By doing this you stand out (while qualifying your prospects and removing those you never wanted as customers anyway).

Why they are buying (product you’re selling)

“They” meaning other customers. Use this subject line to set up your standard social proof/testimonial email.

Why it works:

Nobody wants to be first, nobody wants to look stupid. Whenever we feel insecure about something, we look to and accept the actions of others as correct. If your email can convey that other customers decided to buy to solve the exact pain points the email recipient has, and that the pain point has actually been solved, it won’t take long before they’re browsing your site, credit card in hand.

Introducing the NEW (product)

New is better than old — at least in the eyes of the customer. Whenever possible, inject “new” into your headlines.

Why it works:

Because old is bad. New is good. If they’re already on your list, chances are they’ll be at least somewhat interested in your offers. And when you have something NEW that they’ve never seen before… well, “it only takes a second to check it out”.

Just a few hours left …

Classic urgency-based subject line. Plays on the psychological desire of not wanting to be left out.

Why it works:

If there’s no rush to buy, why should they do it now? Why not in an hour, tomorrow or in a week?

If there is a rush to buy (a REAL rush, not these fake urgency emails that are rising in popularity) they HAVE to stop what they’re doing and get the deal. Imagine how embarrassing it would be to buy in an hour, tomorrow, or in a week when they knew it was 20% off only a week ago…

I’ve made a huge mistake…

Gaining popularity in recent years because of how well they work.

Why it works:

The “damning admission” email. An admission that even this person is only flesh and bones, just like you, and makes mistakes, just like you.

For honesty’s sake, try to send this type of email only when you’ve actually messed up one way or another.

What keeps you up at night?

Not really a sales email but more a research one. Add a form to the email and ask users to either reply or fill out the form. This will give you hundreds to thousands of ideas for content and emails. Bonus points if you add this to your welcome sequence.

Why it works:

Conversational, expresses a genuine interest in your audience.

Mats Liljeström
Mats Liljeström

Email Copywriter & Marketer.

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