Writing good subject lines for newsletters is a crucial aspect of being a successful online marketer. It is the equivalent of being able to show off good communication skills in real life. 

The primary function of a subject line is to grab people’s attention to get them to open your emails. And as you know, there is no point in sending emails that do not get opened. 

In this article, we will get into some specifics and tips on how to come up with the best subject lines for newsletters.

These tips are a fundamental part of all our email marketing campaigns and have helped us to pull in tens of thousands of dollars in sales month after month. They also work great for affiliate offers and the promotion of our own products.

But before we get started, let us first understand why creating a good newsletter subject line is so vital for the success of any email marketing campaign.

The Importance of Newsletter Subject Lines

The success of your newsletters pretty much depends on the subject lines you choose. And it plays two very important roles:

  • To get people to open your emails and;
  • Ensure your emails get delivered to the inbox.

Getting People to Open Your Emails

improve email open rates

The subject line is the first thing recipients see when they open their inbox, so it has to spark enough interest to get them to open your email.

Think of it as an advertisement for your newsletter. If it sounds interesting, then people will open your email to read it. On the other hand, if it doesn’t say anything intriguing, then they probably won’t bother opening your newsletter at all.

Keep in mind – you only have a few seconds to “hook” your newsletter recipients. If you fail to do so, they might never bother reading the contents of your email, and that would be the end of your campaign.

Getting Your Emails Delivered To The Inbox

If your emails fail to get delivered to your recipients’ inboxes, chances are, they may never get opened. 

Emails in spam, junk, and promotional folders are less often checked and likely to be dismissed as irrelevant. 

You can ensure that your emails do not end up in these folders by crafting subject lines that are not spammy or promotional in nature.

This will help to avoid spam filters and also prevent readers from moving your content to these folders themselves. 

Here are some tips on how to write impactful subject lines for newsletters that people will actually open.

Creating Good Subject Lines For Newsletters

There isn’t one specific formula you can use to develop good subject lines for newsletters. There are, however, some general guidelines you can follow.

As a rule of thumb, you want to set yourself apart from your competitors with an intriguing subject line. It should compel people to open your email as soon as they see it.

But that can be easier said than done. Some people have a natural talent for creating great subject lines, while others need some help. For those who need a little bit of direction, we’ve put together 14 tips that will surely come in handy:

Incentivize Your Newsletter Subject Lines

Incentives are motivators. They can get people to take action that they otherwise wouldn’t. In this case, when used in your subject lines for newsletters, incentives can help improve your open rates. 

The key to making this work is to ensure that your incentive is actually something your subscribers desire. Great incentives could be discounts, coupons, free training, case studies, and even a free upgrade. 

Ensure your incentive is relevant to your niche and easy to claim. Here is how these tips are used in the real world:

incentivized emails

Add Urgency To Your Newsletter Subject Lines

If your readers do not open your emails the first time of asking, it’s likely that they never will. The less urgent a situation, the less likely it is that people will take action. 

That’s because they think “I have more time, I’ll just do it later.” But when you add in a bit of urgency, it instantly triggers a fear of missing out reaction, FOMO.

People hate the idea of missing out. This applies to every aspect of life and business. 

But, the only way this will work is if there is a real threat of missing out and the contents of your newsletter is actually something your readers want. 

Using fake urgency tactics will only ruin your credibility in the long run. 

Also, it doesn’t matter how urgent your emails are, if subscribers don’t find them relevant, they will never click to open them. 

So, with this in mind, here are some real-world samples to guide you:

urgency subject lines

Make Your Newsletter Subject Lines Catchy

Creating catchy subject lines for newsletters requires a lot of effort and creativity. It also requires you to know your niche well. You need to think like your ideal customer and imagine what kind of language they would use.

For example, if you sell a list-building course, the subject line could be something like: “The money is in the list, or is it?

If you are selling supplements, then the subject line could be something like: “The latest weight-loss solution that doesn’t involve going to the gym!

Another good way to create catchy subject lines for newsletters is to look at advertisements. Think of commercial slogans or product names and see if they would make good subject lines for newsletters.

You can also use puns and metaphors to create catchy subject lines for newsletters.

For example: “brace yourself… winter is coming!” would be a catchy subject line for a winter sports store’s newsletter, while “We’re not in Kansas anymore” would be a catchy subject line for a travel blog.

Add A Touch of Personalization

Sending personalized emails is another great way to get more engagement from customers. Experts in this field claim that adding a touch of personalization to an email can increase open rates by around 19%. Not bad, right?

The best way to personalize an email is by using the person’s first name. So, for example, instead of sending an email with a generic “Thanks for signing up!” you could be more specific and write something like this: “Thanks for signing up John.

Here are a few personalized emails from my inbox:

personalized newsletter subject lines

You can also make your subject lines for email newsletters more personal by including your recipients’ interests. 

Doing so will require you to have a good understanding of who your subscribers are. It’s also a good idea to collect as many personal details from your leads with your opt-in pages

Another way to create personalized subject lines for email newsletters is by using the recipient’s location. If you know where your customers are from, you can use that information to craft a better subject line.

For example, send out an email that says, “Please read this if you’re from California!”

Remember, customers love when companies take the time to personalize their emails or any other form of communication! So take advantage of that, and you’ll see the results soon enough.

Make Your Newsletter Subject Lines Informative

Now onto something a bit more advanced. Since you’re already using personalized emails, why not include relevant information in your subject lines too?

For instance, instead of the generic “Newsletter” or “New product,” make it informative. 

Something like “Hey, John! 7 lead gen products we added this month!” would work perfectly. It’s simple and gets the message across.

Another excellent example of a subject line that would be informative is: “Want to see how much money you saved last year?”  

It’s simple, straightforward, and definitely something that would interest your reader. Plus, it has just enough personalization and curiosity built in.

It may take a little bit more time to craft these types of subject lines, but it’s worth it in the end because your customers will be able to tell at a glance what the email is about and be more likely to open it.

Keep em’ Short And Concise

It is essential to consider the length of your newsletter subject lines. In general, your email subject line should be less than 50 characters.

If you keep your email subject lines short and simple, you will have more room to be creative because you won’t have to cram in as much information.

The length of newsletter subject lines can also help with readability. If you make them too long, they may look ridiculous, and people may be turned off by the odd-looking email. 

Brief newsletter subject lines look better and are more likely to be read. It’s worth inspecting these samples:

Limit Punctuation and Capitalization

Avoid using lots of punctuation when writing your best subject lines for newsletters. If you put too much punctuation in one line, the email client will cut off the end part. In addition, it will make the subject line look like nonsense and is likely to be disregarded by your customer.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. But it would help if you kept punctuation in your best email newsletter subject lines to a minimum, so they don’t take up too much space.

I would also suggest that you limit capitalization – the number of times you capitalize words. Even the best subject lines for newsletters won’t get you far if you use too many capitalized words. 

If you use too many capitalized words too frequently, people will eventually start ignoring your all-caps emails. And you will miss out on opportunities to engage with them. 

However, the main reason why you shouldn’t be using all caps is this one: 


And finally, excessive punctuation and capitalization could trigger spam filters. If this happens, your email may be marked as spam and never get seen.

Avoid Using Spammy Words

The best subject lines for newsletters do not include spammy and salesy words. 

These include FREE, SALE, DISCOUNT, and LIMITED!

Most people associate these words with spammy content and rush to hit the spam button before moving on to the following email in their inbox.

Your newsletters may even be blocked from your recipient’s inbox by spam filters.

Instead, use words like “exclusive” and “special offer” whenever possible. 

These words suggest that the content is something of value, even if it isn’t 100% free.

Use Brackets to Highlight Unique Content

This tactic is becoming more and more popular in digital marketing circles. 

By adding brackets to our newsletter subject lines, we can engage readers by highlighting important words. For example:

adding brackets to subject lines

This is a very simple yet effective attention-grabbing method that works really well to boost your open rates.

Exclude The Word “Newsletter” From the Subject Lines

Subject lines including the word “newsletter” do not perform well. They tend to have lower open rates and even higher bounce rates than those that do not contain this word.

Research conducted by HubSpot has found that people are more likely to open an email excluding the word “newsletter”. Subject lines without the word “newsletter” got 33% more people to open the email. 

These emails also registered 29% lower bounce rates.

So it’s best not to use it in any subject line for an email newsletter. 

Include Icons In Your Subject Lines For Newsletters

Icons can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. Including an emoji in your subject line can help improve open rates. Moreover, an icon can convey what you’re emailing about without the need for words.

That said, you can’t use emojis everywhere. You should use them when the receiver may not have time to read your entire email. Using an icon instead of text saves both the sender and receiver time and energy. It conveys the same message in fewer characters.

Here are some examples:

subject lines with emojis

Including emojis and icons in your newsletter subject lines also puts a smile on people’s faces. And that is very important at the end of the day. Right?

Include Numbers in Your Newsletter Subject Lines

Apparently, including numbers in your newsletter subject lines increases click-through rates. A study by the Baymard Institute found that subject lines containing numbers had a 40% higher click-through rate than those without. 

The number can represent a price (50% off), countdown (30 hours left), or amount (5 days only). It can also be used in your subject line to show the age of the content (4 years old).

However, don’t get carried away and put a number in every subject line you write – that’s just annoying. You need to have a good balance of numerical and non-numerical subject lines to be successful.

Try to keep it simple as shown here:

subject lines with numbers

Ask Questions 

People like to form their own opinions and come up with their own answers rather than be told what to think and feel. That is why you should consider using questions in your subject line. Research has shown that adding questions to subject lines for newsletters increases click-through rates by 13%.

For example, you could ask:

  • Tired of buying product after product?
  • What are you afraid of Sarah?
  • How much did you make this month?

Ask, and you shall receive!

Advanced Tip: Use A/B Split Testing

Creating engaging subject lines can be difficult if you’re not sure what works best. Luckily, there’s an easy way to find out!  You can use A/B split testing to figure out the best subject lines for your newsletters. 

But what is A/B testing and how can it help you improve your fortunes?

What is A/B Testing and How Does It Work? 

A/B split testing is an online marketing method that displays two versions of a webpage next to each other. By using this method, you will be able to determine which one performs better.

One-half of the audience will see a “control,” representing your best guess at what will work best. 

The other half will see a different version, called your “treatment.” By comparing how each group performs on the page, you will be able to tell which option works best.

You can use this same idea to test subject lines for your newsletter. Create two different subject lines for your newsletter. 

Then send out both emails to see which one performs best. From there, you’ll have a better idea of what your subscribers are most likely to respond to.

Using An Autoresponder to Split Test

Autoresponders are essential tools in email marketing. They allow you to create stunning emails and automated sequences to engage with your subscribers. 

Also, autoresponders help immensely with deliverability rates and branding. 

It is essential that your autoresponder is affordable and rich in features such as split testing. One such autoresponder is Mailvio

Mailvio's split-testing feature

Mailvio allows you to easily create content and split-test your subject lines in just a few clicks. Then it provides you with real-time statistics so you can readily know what’s working.

For a better look at how Mailvio and other autoresponders can improve your email marketing performance, click here

Bonus Content: Our 7 Best Subject Lines For Newsletters

Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. Here’s a list of 7 of our best subject lines for newsletters that you can use as inspiration for creating your own.

1. The Lifetime deal ends soon – don’t miss it!

2. What Do Clubhouse & Joe Rogan Have In Common?

3. [GIFT] My Unreleased Tracking App – Yours Free (No Strings Attached)

4. [Closing Soon] Claim your [Product Name] bonus today.

5. [FIRSTNAME] I have never done this before…

6. Breath-taking client closing technology creates “Video Proposals”

7. Reopened for a limited time!


In conclusion, crafting good subject lines for newsletters can be tricky. But the tips shared today will definitely help you get better open rates. 

Following these same principles has enabled us to earn thousands of dollars every week. And that includes affiliate promos and sales of our own products. 

On top of that, split testing with Mailvio has given us a clear picture of exactly what works and what doesn’t. 

In addition to these tips, be sure to keep the contents of your email congruent with your subject lines.

So go out now and employ these strategies in your next subject lines for newsletters you write. 

And please leave a comment below once you start getting better results. 

Cheers to your coming success.


Steven is the co-founder of Mailvio and oversees the operations and technical strategy and implementations. Steven has been an online entrepreneur since he was 14 years old and has been running SaaS companies for the last 10 years.

1 Comment

  1. […] you are writing subject lines for newsletters, for instance, think about how your message would sound to a potential customer. Ask yourself the […]

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