Our AI tool can contextualize queries from Taylor Swift, self-publishing, Yeezy’s, and succulents — then spit out seductive email subject lines that would’ve taken a skilled copywriter hours to craft. This isn’t some templated system that doesn’t understand your industry’s lingo. We use the GPT-3 protocol developed by OpenAI (co-founded by Elon Musk) to scrape the internet and predict human-like word formulations to produce crazy good copy. If you’re still on the fence about using the tool (which is ludicrous — this is a free tool!) and want to know how to write high-converting subject lines, below, we’ve got you covered. We even share 15 subject line templates you can steal today. Why are email subject lines important? First impressions are everything. In the dating world, how people present themselves determines whether you swipe left or right. For email marketers, the subject line is the first thing a reader will see in their inbox. How much does this matter? According to OptinMonster: 47% of recipients decide to open an email based on the subject line, and 69% of email recipients report email spam based solely on the subject line. Even if someone doesn’t open the email, your subject line still influences your audience’s perception of your brand. Email agency Adestra analyzed over 3 billion emails, 300 keywords, and 4 industries. Here’s what they found: “Whether or not your email gets opened, people see your subject line. What this means is that a subject line builds your brand in your customer’s inbox. Even if it doesn’t get opened, it creates a psychological association between your subject line and your brand. Over time, it creates a cognitive association between the language you use and the perception your customers have about you.” So if it’s influencing open rates, avoiding spam, or building your brand, mastering your email subject lines is one of the most impactful things you can do as a business. What types of email subject lines get opened? To know which subject lines get the opened the most, you first need to understand the curiosity gap. As renowned Conversion Copywriter Joanna Wiebe describes it: "The curiosity gap, also known as the information gap, is the space between what we know and what we want or even need to know." Prospects want to fill the information gap. They’re itching to know. Not knowing everything is compelling to people. Uncertainty garners attention, and it’s why the news has such high ratings. Our job as marketers is to delay access to the curiosity gap to get users to take action. In this case, email subject lines. Andrea Pearson, Author of Killer Subject Lines, got a 60% open rate using this subject line: I try not to get religious in my emails… You wonder if Andrea is about to get religious in her email. If so, what has happened to cause her to share something she wouldn’t usually share with her readers? We better read the email to find out. Bang! There’s the curiosity gap. What types of email subject lines are prohibited by the CAN-SPAM Act? Starting with what types of subject lines are prohibited will save you time and headaches down the line. The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets rules for commercial emails, whether it’s one or many recipients. The Act states that you cannot use deceptive subject lines. Meaning the subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message. Not only is this a law, but it’s also best practice for building a positive relationship with your prospects. Nobody likes click bate, and it’s a quick way to lose trust. It’s also worth noting that you should avoid using question marks and exclamation points in the same subject line. For example: “Want to reach more listeners? Check this guide now!” This combination tends to have an increased chance of being flagged in spam before your reader has had a chance to see your message. How to write email subject lines that get opened using psychological tactics Humans are generally responsive to a handful of tried and true psychological tactics. Below are five prompts to integrate into your subject lines. 1. Start your subject lines with action verbs In 2015, Microsoft released a study suggesting that human attention spans had dropped below 8 seconds. Down from 12 seconds in 2000 — making us more scattered than your average goldfish. Tell readers what you want in your subject line by placing the most important words first. Get your free coupon now Join our beta group Try my simple cookie recipe Get, join, try—are action verbs. They take the guessing work out of what your prospect needs to do. If you want more ideas, check out this action verbs resource list with hundreds of examples to include in your email subject lines. 2. Indicate if you need readers to respond An extension of using action verbs is to ask readers how you want them to respond. Help needed on our new feature Add your voice We want to hear from you Make your request clear so users can quickly process what’s required. 3. Use emojis Emojis in email subject lines are rare, so they stand out in inboxes — capturing users’ eyes. However, using emojis in copywriting is a polarising topic with varying degrees of success. Be sure to A/B test your emails with 1 variant with an emoji another variant without one — to see how your readers respond. Avoid overusing emojis. For instance, don’t put “Do you love dogs?”, then replace the word “dogs” with an emoji of a dog. Your subject line still needs to stand on its own. Emojis are merely used to add stimulation to your message to grab attention. 4. Match your subject line tone with the theme of your brand What’s the personality of your brand? Are you direct and to the point? Keep your subject lines straightforward. Radically transparent? Be vulnerable. Fun and upbeat? Add enthusiasm or emojis (see the previous point). Unapologetically curse in your copy? Drop a sh*t bomb in there. Yes, your main objective is to get folks to open your emails. But you also want to build your brand. And a consistent voice and tone will ultimately lead to developing community and increased conversions. 5. Add personalization Personalization is where you use a recipient’s name in a subject line. Video for Sarah Re: more customers for Sarah The idea is that users are more inclined to engage with emails where their name is referenced. A study conducted by Experian found that personalized emails have a 29% higher open rate. However, marketers, especially large corporations, have overused this tactic, and users naturally become numb to these emails. Perhaps even seen as impersonal and even annoying. Experiment with personalization and at least use it sparingly with your audience to preserve its magic. For its Million Dollar Year program, Dow Janes, a financial education company for women, A/B tested a subject line with personalization to get its members to open the email and share their wins. The 2nd subject line generated a 42% increase in opens, leveraging personalization and curiosity. Imagine if you receive an email like with this subject line — you’d most likely open it to find out what you did to deserve the congratulations. 6. Why “weird words” in your email subject lines can help you snag eyeballs Unusual words can turn average statements into interesting ones. What’s more compelling? Walk on down to 12 Smith St this weekend Stroll on down to 12 Smith St this weekend The second statement uses a more imaginative verb that creates an entirely different vibe. Let’s look at another example: Why my first business failed Why my first business was a disaster Another trick is to replace common words like “simple” or “easy” with something more specific or descriptive. Which one grabs your attention more? 10 Simple Contract Templates 10 Done-For-You Contract Templates Find unusual ways to say ordinary things, and you’ll grab more attention in your email subject lines. Just be sure that your readers are likely to understand your kooky wording. See what we did there? ;) How long should an email subject line be? Desktop email clients see about 60 characters, while mobile clients see 20-25 characters. According to 99firms, 85% of users use smartphones to access email. So aim to keep your subject lines 6-8 words or under 50 characters to account for smaller screens. As an aside, Gmail and Apple Mail make up 62% of the mobile email client market share. When testing the ideal length, see what your subject lines look like in these apps. What not to include in your email subject line The odd bad copywriting tactic can work for some. But more likely, these practices will deter your audience. Below are 3 things to avoid putting in your email subject lines. Filler words - words like “Hi,” “Hello,” and “Nice to meet you” don’t describe what’s in your email — so users are likely to disregard it. Based on the previous point about subject line character length — save your word budget for more impactful phrases. Shocking statements - it’s tempting to be dramatic and make controversial click-baity proclamations that get your readers’ hearts pumping. Sure, you’ll get more people opening your messages, but they’ll be disappointed if you don’t deliver on your claims — creating brand detractors. Charity-related words - MailChimp studied 24 billion delivered emails and found that requests for donations in the subject line are largely ignored. Avoid using words like “donate,” “fundraiser,” “raffle.” If you’re a charity organization, using the words like “help” or “helping” has a slightly better impact on open rates. Why should I use a subject line generator? Advertising legend David Ogilvy famously rewrote an automobile headline 104 times to come up with this: "At 60 miles an hour, the only thing you hear in the new Rolls Royce is the ticking of the dashboard clock …" Jimmy Donaldson, the mastermind behind the fastest growing YouTube channel, MrBeast, will not publish a video until he’s happy with his title and thumbnail. The highest-performing marketers spend an inordinate amount of time crafting copy that gets a response. And if we’re honest with ourselves, email subject lines are usually an afterthought. Even despite investing time into the email content, product offering, sales funnel, and landing pages. The best marketers spend hours writing and testing subject lines. But for everyone else, this practice isn’t feasible. A good email subject line generator can save you hours in your marketing budget while boosting your results. Our subject line generator uses AI and machine learning to leverage all of the human psychology tactics covered in this guide. Simply type in your query, and voila, you have fresh high-converting copy ideas ready to insert in your subject line. Can I generate subject lines for free? There are free email subject line generators on the market. However, most of them rely on rotating templated phrases, which is restrictive. More specifically, they’re trying to fit your query into pre-written templates. Encharge’s subject line generator is 100% free and uses GPT-3 protocol, a comprehensive database of predictive AI, to create infinite combinations that tap into human psychology. Should I use a cold email subject line generator? The subject line for marketing emails is equally important for cold emails. So you absolutely can use our AI subject line generator to create engaging email subject lines for your cold emails to increase your opens and replies. However, note that marketing automation tools like Encharge do not allow the sending of cold emails. What if you want to write your own email subject lines? If you prefer to write your own email subject lines, we’ve created s list of proven templates to help. A few things to remember when crafting your subject lines: Get your ideas across quickly and effectively Grab readers attention by finding the curiosity gap Let’s get into the examples. 15 email subject line templates you can use today 1. Here’s your For example: Here’s your free report No-nonsense subject lines are powerful, especially when dealing with orders or new signups. Tips Keep your message simple and direct Describe precisely what your recipient is receiving A/B test more descriptive variations of the deliverable. For example: “Here’s your free property market report” This method doesn’t play much on the information gap, but it’s effective nevertheless. 2. For example: Read Subject lines using a single word are compelling as your eye is instantly drawn to them, and they stand out when every other subject line in your inbox is lengthy. Tips Don’t overuse the single-word subject line, as your readers will start to catch on, and it won’t feel as unique. “Sorry” works well, especially if you’ve made a mistake in a previous email. It’s often better to go with a one-worder when apologizing to your readers. It’s difficult to describe something in one word, so this template naturally plats on the curiosity gap. Other examples include “Stop,” “Crap,” “Tomorrow.” 3. How to Example: How to ask for a raise in your next review People love self-help content, and the classic how-to subject line promises a solution to a problem. Tips This template works best when making the problem as specific as possible. Deliver the solution in your email message. This formula’s effectiveness depends on how much your audience wants a solution to the problem you’re presenting. 4. only Example: 3 days only The fear of missing out creates urgency and is a massive motivator. It’s human nature not to miss out on opportunities, especially if that means saving money. Tips When employing scarcity, be truthful with your deadlines. If you say the sale ends tomorrow, then it should end tomorrow. Following through on your commitments will only increase the motivation for your customers to pull the trigger next time. Be mindful not to use this technique too many times in a row. Otherwise, it starts to look like reminders that can be off-putting to your prospects. A bit of ambiguity goes a long way with the scarcity technique as it plays on your audience’s curiosity, enticing them to open your email. 5. Why trumps Example: Why content marketing trumps advertising We all have to make difficult choices. Should you rent or buy a property? Is powerlifting better than high-intensity interval training? This subject line template promises to help the user make a decision. Tips This method works best when you aim to bust a myth in your comparison. For example, option A may appear to be the obvious answer, but you make a case for option B. Find the hottest debates in your industry, then drop this subject line to provide a definitive answer. Not only will you get more opens, but you’ll also build your brand authority. As this template plays on busting myths or unexpected comparisons, it again taps into the readers’ knowledge gap — increasing curiosity. 6. Example: Is blogging dead? It’s no secret that questions work well in copywriting. But do you know what’s even better? A biting question that keeps your readers up at night. Tips Choose a question that’s top-of-mind for your prospects. Find emerging industry trends that create uncertainty for your audience, and help them navigate the change. Always deliver the answer to the question; otherwise, it’s just clickbait. Naturally, this template plays on your readers’ information gap—so it’s a good move to have in your bag. 7. Ways to Example: 10 ways to entertain your nephew over FaceTime Listicles, while overdone (thanks, BuzzFeed!), are still effective. Lists provide clarity and order in our minds, and they always will. Tips Like the how-to template, try to make your subject line as specific as possible unless your brand is more generic. For added interest, include adjectives directly after your number. For example: “10 Sneaky ways”, 10 Legitimate ways”, 10 Creative ways”. Even if your audience is familiar with the topics in your subject line, they may still be intrigued to see if there’s something on your list that they haven’t thought of before. 8. Why Example: Why “good” content needs to die People want to know “why” as much as they want to know “how.” For instance, children always want to know why things are the way they are. Why do people get sick? Why do I have to go to school? Adults are just as curious. It just depends on how it’s framed. Tips “Why” statements are bland if the answer is obvious. Include compelling or borderline controversial facts to pique the interest of your audience. State what your reader thinks is the status quo and challenge it. For example, “Why working from home is killing your productivity.” Back up your statement with credible facts and solutions. Challenging what is considered best practice creates tension for your audience, persuading them to open your email. 9. The of Example: The Beyonce of Sales Calls We all aspire to be great — and look at uber-successful people to draw inspiration in our fields. This subject line leverages the name of someone famous in a category that wouldn’t be associated with this person or brand. Tips Pick someone universally known with a high approval rating, e.g., Michael Jordan, Apple, Oprah, etc. Choose a person who’s completely unrelated to your topic to create an exciting contrast. Having your readers imagine how said famous person would approach your industry is intriguing and clickable. 10. The secret to Example: The secret to getting a promotion Everyone wants, no, needs to know the secret to success. So spill the beans and give your prospects what they want. Tips Add interesting adjectives to spice up your copy. For example: “The surprisingly simple secret to being an amazing mother.” In your promise, try to share advice that’s either a) something you’ve personally tested and seen results, b) a little unconventional or c) inside knowledge that you’ve acquired. Use this subject line formula sparingly as it quickly becomes icky and off-putting. 11. Do you make these mistakes? Example: Do you make these hiring mistakes? Nobody wants to make mistakes and will do what they can to avoid them. Depending on how interested your reader is in your topic, this subject line will be sure to grab their attention. Tips You can test question vs. statement for this template, e.g., “Do you make these hiring mistakes? vs. “Don’t make these hiring mistakes.” Play around with the order. For instance: “Do you make these mistakes when recruiting talent?” As mistakes are evident in any niche, this subject line template is incredibly versatile. 12. What type of are you? Example: What type of real estate agent are you? People love classifying and comparing themselves to others. It gives them a moment of clarity, and it’s why personality tests and horoscopes are so popular. Tip: This subject line works beautifully if paired with a quiz where users can more accurately categorize themselves. But even if you don’t run quizzes, you can provide different personas to match the topic. The desire to learn more about ourselves is strong, so it’s worth finding creative ways to try this subject line. 13. How got in Example: How Bill Martin sold 13,587 books in 30 days This email subject line works wonderfully when showcasing customer case studies to your subscribers. Tip: Split test different formats of the timeframe, e.g., 30 days vs. 4 weeks vs. 1 month, to see which one resonates the most. Case studies are magical marketing materials for middle to bottom of the funnel messaging. We all want the blueprint of how others get the results we desire. This subject line presents an enticing knowledge gap — pulling readers to open your email. 14. The future of Example: The future of the dairy industry Bold predictions pique interest and position your brand as a forward-thinking industry leader. Tips A/B test question vs. statement, e.g., What’s the future of Instagram marketing? Vs. The future of Instagram marketing. Another prediction subject line template is: “How will change in . Keep this headline in your back pocket for when you near the end of a calendar year. This subject line is particularly relevant as technology has fast-tracked the development of just about every industry, and users want to know what to expect. 15. Read this before Example: Read this before running your next workshop This subject line is the equivalent of a parent, friend, or boss giving you advice about something important you’re about to do. Tips Ensure your action is something your subscriber desperately wants to do well (that’s related to your niche, of course). Another headline template is: “What you need to know about .” Think: will the reader miss out by not following the advice in the email? What’s brilliant about this headline is that you can tie it directly into your email automation and predict exactly when your prospects will need this information, increasing your conversion rates. Further Reading 6 Killer Tips to Craft Compelling and Clickable Email Subject Lines 8 SaaS Copywriting Techniques to Boost Your Conversion Rates Damaging Words to Delete from Your Emails in 2022 Is Marketing Automation Going to Replace Humans in 2022? 5 Ways AI Will Impact the Future of Sales and Marketing Automation Machine Learning and Marketing Automation – Will ML Transform Your Business? Top 7 Marketing Automation Trends in 2022 According to 103 Experts How to Use AI In Your Lead Generation Efforts Go beyond the email subject line generator – generate impactful emails Encharge is the only marketing automation platform with built-in AI-powered copy generating capabilities. Our Magic Writer feature can help you come up with dozens of subject line ideas in a click. But that's not all. The Magic Writer can generate whole emails for you, write unique outlines for your emails, and even rewrite existing subject lines. Want to take it out for a spin? Sign up for a 14-day free trial today.