July Email Subject Line Inspiration

July Email Roundup: Subject Line Inspiration

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There’s nothing like an effective, thoughtfully-worded subject line to make us beam with pride. An email’s inbox display is a mammoth to tackle, let alone the content that follows. We thought it fitting to get your creative juices flowing this month with some top-shelf subject line inspiration.

This element of email is small, but mighty. As many as 47% of email users say that an email’s subject line determines whether or not they’ll even open it.

Since teaming up with the subject line experts at Phrasee to learn subject line best practices, we’ve been on the lookout for some prime examples out in the inbox wild.

Start at the beginning or select any link below for subject line inspiration in that category.

Seeso Makes Funny Business of a Cancellation

SL: You pulled the plug. And we’re sad.

Obviously, it hurts a little when someone unsubscribes or cancels their account with your business. That’s why we love the approach Seeso took with their cancellation confirmation subject line, not taking themselves too seriously and adding a little levity to the matter.

Their subject line and email body capture their tongue-in-cheek tone flawlessly. At the same time, all of the necessary content is still there: confirmation that the former user’s account is closed, a request for feedback on why they left, a reconsideration CTA, followed by come-back-anytime messaging in the caboose.

Seeso's cancellation email example

A Tailored Welcome from Hawthorne

SL: Welcome to Your Tailored Bathroom

A best practice with subject lines is to give the subscriber an idea of what the email content is, while also giving them a reason to open the email in the first place.

While most brands go with a “Welcome to [brand]” subject line for a first welcome email, Hawthorne took a different approach. They lightly remind new subscribers who they are and what they do, while also piquing interest in the inbox to get you to open and see what a “tailored bathroom” even looks like.

Hawthorne's welcome email example

Asana Appeals to Productivity for Webinar Signups

SL: What if you could launch products 12x faster?

This webinar subject line from Asana was particularly impressive. Webinars aren’t the sexiest of things, which makes them a bit harder to drum up excitement for. Nonetheless, they’re also a great opportunity to give detailed walkthroughs of how to use your product or platform, so they are a great practice.

With that, people are protective of their time and probably receive a steady stream of webinar invites. How do you position yours as the one that’s worthwhile?

Instead of using the subject line to announce the webinar, Asana put the value proposition front and center. They tell subscribers exactly what information they’re going to get out of opening this email (aka: by signing up for the webinar), and they phrase it in a way that’s likely to hit a sweet spot with their business-minded user base.

Asana's webinar announcement email example

Brooklinen’s ‘Thank You’ is the Self-Awareness We Crave

SL: Not A Marketing Email.

We’ll be honest, our gut reaction to this subject line was, “is this sarcasm?” It’s not, but even if it was, we would still open it.

If this isn’t a marketing email from Brooklinen, then what is it? Turns out it’s a simple, genuine thank you note. There’s nothing wrong with sending your customers an extra expression of gratitude on occasion.

Brooklinen knows that you can never go wrong with a little self-awareness either. Subscribers already know they’re being sent marketing emails from their favorite brands. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your audience and catch them off guard from time to time to keep them engaged and excited for your emails.

Brooklinen's thank-you email example

Dollar Shave Club’s Smooth Service Announcement

SL: Forget something in your last box?

New product or service announcements are some of the highest-stakes emails a brand can send. It’s your first chance to unveil what you’ve been working on and get people excited about it.

Dollar Shave Club, a subscription-based shave and hygiene company, highlighted a customer pain point (forgetting to add a product before their auto-shipment) as a lead-in to their announcement of instant shipments.

Focusing on a customer pain point in the subject line can be risky, so it needs to be intentionally-worded. If done well, it can be the perfect segue into the product or service announcement that will make that pain point disappear.

Dollar Shave Club's new offering announcement

Privacy Gives Subscribers a Reason to Onboard

SL: Super powers when you shop online

We just really, really love it when brands in typically dry-toned industries add a little levity to their email marketing.

Instead of sounding like this email is coming from their legal department, Privacy lets it be known that they don’t take themselves too seriously. They understand there’s a human on the other side of this email, not a robot. This allows them to keep an approachable tone of voice and resonate more meaningfully with subscribers.

They also get bonus points for the line “Order from sketchy sites with confidence” in their email.

Privacy's onboarding email example

SL: Under-appreciated but important legalese awaits inside

Speaking of a legal department, every brand is bound to have to send out privacy updates at some point or another.

Has seeing “Updates to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service” ever gotten you excited? Ever? If yes, we’re pretty sure you’re either joking or you work in legal.

Just because your email is serious in nature doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your brand voice in the subject line for it. Simple’s approach is very honest, yet still optimistic in tone, spelling out what we’re all thinking when we see a privacy update email.

Simple's legal email example

FilterEasy Brews an Apology

SL: Oops: Someone Hadn’t Had Their Coffee Yet This Morning

We all make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes warrant an apology or  an “our bad” email. It happens, and the best thing you can do is keep it lighthearted for your audience. Whatever the reason for an apology email, it’s only as bad as you make it out to be in your communication (unless, you know, identities got stolen, then that’s pretty bad).

FilterEasy doesn’t break character for anything, not even an accidental deployment. The “oops” keeps the tone playful while they let you know, in an on-brand way, that they made a mistake.

Now, BRB while we reach out to FilterEasy so they can effectively check their email content and never have to send another apology email again. (Just kidding.)

FilterEasy's apology email example

Show Us Your Favorite Subject Lines

We know you have them. Spread the love and creativity and share your favorite subject lines with us in the comments below or on social. These can be ones from brands you subscribe to, or even top-performers from your own brand—we’re not picky.

Everyone here knows the importance of a killer subject line. Make sure you preview each one across clients and devices in Campaign Precheck so you can optimize it for maximum opens.

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Author: Melissa Berdine

Venturing from her DC and NYC roots, Melissa made the trek to Denver. With just her dog and a background of copywriting and editing, she joined Email on Acid as content manager. Melissa is known to friends as an avid cook and music festival enthusiast.

Author: Melissa Berdine

Venturing from her DC and NYC roots, Melissa made the trek to Denver. With just her dog and a background of copywriting and editing, she joined Email on Acid as content manager. Melissa is known to friends as an avid cook and music festival enthusiast.

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