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Email Subject Lines That Work

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Email Subject Lines That Work – 5 Examples With High Open Rates

Most people know the importance of email marketing in online business.

Whether you own a digital marketing agency, an affiliate site, or a SaaS tool, you can benefit from connecting with your customers via email.

Businesses that put an effort into email marketing, and write amazing emails tend to make more sales.

But writing amazing emails alone won't get you very far if the subject line is boring. Most people will ignore it.

That's why in this article, we're going to take a look at the 5 best subject lines from my businesses in 2020. We'll also dig into why they did well, and what we can learn from them, so you can replicate and apply them to your own businesses.

Email Subject Lines That Work

Below, I've explained the top 5 subject lines that performed the best on general newsletters/broadcast emails sent to everyone on my list.

Keep in mind, these are general broadcast emails. This means they were sent to everyone on our list, so the message is less targeted.

The reason I say this is because they aren't going to get as high open rates as emails in segmented lists or automation sequences. And because the message isn't as targeted, it means that people are less likely to open it.

Still, these subject lines in particular did pretty well.

We'll also be covering these subject lines from top to bottom, just for a little bit of additional excitement. So, let's jump into them!

5. “[NEW RELEASE] 30% Off Content and More]”


  • Subject line: [NEW RELEASE] 30% Off Content and More]
  • Open rate: 25.69%
  • Date: 10/10/2020
  • Content: Legiit Weekly Roundup

Email subject lines that work: Example 1

Why it worked:

Our first example of email subject lines that work is a subject line that I used for the Legiit Roundup.

There are two reasons why this particular subject line performed well.

  1. The All Caps [NEW RELEASE]
  2. The discounted content

The all caps part works well for grabbing people's attention. This combined with the “NEW RELEASE” worked well, as people love new things. Everyone likes to be the first to try something, and that's exactly what this subject line gives them the option to do.

Secondly, people also love discounts, especially if it's content, which we'll also see more of later on.

4. “? Get Leads From Google maps (Live)”


  • Open rate: 26.69%
  • Date: 10/28/2020
  • Content: Livestream


Why it worked:

Everyone wants to generate more leads and sales. And, the Legiit community has a lot of agency owners that work with local businesses, so they love anything to do with Google maps.

Plus, everyone also loves “tricks” that most others don't know, as they want to gain a competitive advantage. I was also live streaming at the time which meant if people joined right then they could ask questions which may have also helped the open rate.

The dollar face emoji also likely helped grab people's attention.

I guess the key takeaway from this subject line is to show people tricks (or something similar) that will help them achieve what they want.

3.  “[Limited Time] $100 Off Content (4 Remaining) and more”


  • Open rate: 26.52%
  • Date: 10/17/2020
  • Content: Legiit Weekly Roundup

Why it worked:

Again, this was also for the Legiit weekly roundup.

It had the [Limited time] brackets at the front which of course creates Scarcity. The other (4 remaining brackets) do the same and also create FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Plus, the discount was quite hefty, and again, it's on content which people seem to love.

2. “45% OFF – Skyrocket Your GMB Rankings”


  • Open rate: 27.23%
  • Date: 7/31/2020
  • Content: Legiit Weekly Roundup

Best subject lines email marketing

Why it worked: 

Again, as mentioned earlier a lot of people in the Legiit community work with local businesses. So, anything that can skyrocket their GMB rankings, they'll be interested in. This combined with the 45% discount is a pretty decent incentive to go ahead and check it out.

I also think the word “skyrocket” is also a word that paints the picture of rapidly moving up, so that might have helped too.

And, it was also my birthday on the 31st of July. I'm not sure whether that made a difference, but it definitely made me happy.

1. “Bad News, Firstname?”


  • Open rate: 39.75%
  • Date: 9/4/2020
  • Content: Legiit Weekly Roundup

How to pick a subject line for emails

Why it worked: 

In the first spot of the email subject lines that work, we have a subject line that I caught some hate for, but it did perform extremely well.

Admittedly, I did steal this one from DigitalMarketer.

But the reason it worked so well was that it was fear-based and personalized. Plus, people just want to find out what the bad news is.

But as long as you don't overdo it, you can definitely use these clickbait-type subject lines or titles to generate more clicks. This one, in particular, generated lots of clicks and sales, so it's proof that it can work well.


Lastly, I just wanted to summarize the conclusions that we can take from these email subject lines that work.

All Caps work – All caps do work, but it's also something that you should use in limitation. Otherwise, your audience will start to get bored with it and probably think you're screaming at them all the time. The way you can use it effectively though is to grab their attention or highlight a specific part.

Discounts work (especially on content) – Everyone loves saving money, and nobody likes missing out on discounts. So, discounts can work extremely well. What we saw in my examples is that people love discounted content. So, if you have some type of content service, try offering discounts and see how that works out for you.

My list loves Google MapsAs I mentioned earlier, my list loves anything to do with Google maps. This is because in all of my businesses I often work closely with agency owners, and that's what a lot of the Legiit community is made up of. And, a lot of them have local business clients so that explains why they are interested in Google maps.

Fear/Clickbait in limited doses works well – As much as people hate it, Fear & Clickbait work. However, the key is to use it in limited doses. Otherwise, it loses its power, as people just know that it's clickbait.

I hope you have enjoyed this article on subject lines that work and that you have found some value in it.

If you want more tips like this around online business and digital marketing, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter here.

Also, if you haven't yet, make sure to also join the SuperstarSEO Facebook group, in case you ever have any questions.

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About Chris M. Walker

Chris has been active in the Information Technology industry for over a decade. In 2013 he began working in Search Engine Optimization and internet marketing. He has a proven track record of helping businesses reach their full potential with a combination of SEO, PPC Advertising, Social Media and Reputation Management, Custom Mobile App Development. Turning his clients businesses into Superstars.


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