20 Catchy & Clickable Subject Lines That’ll Intrigue Your List

Jenna Kutcher 

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March 4, 2021


Look, my friends: it’s no secret that I am kinda obsessed with email marketing. My email list is the #1 way I drive profits into my business and my favorite way to market! I genuinely think that it’s the bessssst way to connect with your audience and to make sales, and it’s an incredible tool for your business. But what about those darn email subject lines?!

Here’s the kicker—you gotta make sure people want to open your emails. I cannot tell you how many emails I get per day that I swipe right to my trash. I mean, I love a good email and all, but I have a lot that do *not* entice me to click open. I’d bet that you’re the same way, huh?

*everyone on a zillion promotional lists raises their hands*

But, I also want my list to click open on my emails. I throw my heart and soul into writing them, and I’m super proud of them! That’s why I’ve done a lot of research on email subject lines, a lot of testing, and a lot of trial and error. Today, we’re going to dive into the importance behind them AND I’m going to give you 20 (!!!) juicy ideas to use with your list.

What are email subject lines & why do they matter?

Well, it’s simple. Your email subject lines are the first teaser your subscribers get to your email, right? By the subject line, your subscriber has to make a decision. Are they going to open (and read and love) your email? Or are they going to drag it right to the trash? 99% of the time, your subject line is what drives that decision. There are a couple of methods we hit on over at Team JK to make sure our emails land.

First, we try to integrate a little SEO goodness. While I’m not about super keyword-rich subject lines (boring!), there is some serious value in making sure that your subject lines aren’t super obscure and vague. By optimizing our subject lines with clear language and a keyword or two, our emails are A) easier to search in inboxes and B) more likely to deliver successfully.

Next up, we take some suggestions from our audience.. because, of course! One of the best ways for us to come up with good email subject lines (and to direct our content as a whole) is to pay attention to our metrics. We like looking at what our audience is tending to engage with, from the language that resonates to the wording that doesn’t.

When all else fails, creativity wins. What are things you find funny, emotional, or impactful that would make YOU click? I mean, I’ve even been known to use predictive search on Google and Pinterest to see what comes up. Whatever works, right?

Plus, pro tip here: If you ever get stuck, just Google “National Enquirer” headlines and see what outlandish or fun spin you can put on them. I mean, no clickbait… but also, make them open it!

20 Juicy & Clickable Subject Lines That’ll Intrigue Your List

I’m all about formulas and templates over here… if they work. While some of our emails definitely come from a good ole’ stroke of creative genius, we also love making it a little easier by using subject line formulas we know work. Here are some subject line ideas that your list won’t be able to resist opening:

The “I Feel Ya, NAME”:

These are the subject lines that remind your audience that they’re not alone. From touching on their pain points to spurring some connection, these are a big go-to for me. After all, a huge part of email lists is that intimate greeting you can get from popping up in an inbox. These 5 are some of my go-to’s:

01. [Pain point]? Yep, same.

02. Anyone else feel like they’re just… [pain point adjective]?

03. I don’t know about you, but [pain point] is just hard.

04. I’ve been there with [pain point].

05. Feelin’ a little bit [pain point adjective] lately? Me, too.

The “I Wanna Make a Sale Without Sounding Like I Want to Make a Sale”:

These are the subject lines that get you conversions… without sounding icky. Business is business sometimes, and I get it! But we’ve all been there with the predatory subject lines, right? They’re a no-go over here, friend. These are 5 of my favorite ways to spur a sale without the bleh:

01. OPEN ME if you need a win.

02. I have some *free* [industry] tips in here for you.

03. Your business needs this.

04. [FREE (lead magnet)]: [Ask question about industry strategy]

05. It’s gametime, friend. You have [time] to [desired outcome].

The “Dear, Diary”:

These are the email subject lines that remind your audience that you’re a real person… and that you’re not afraid to talk about it. While I love a great marketing email, I also love sharing what goes on in my life. Plus, I promise you that your list will, too. Here are 5 of my favorite ways to show a little inbox vulnerability:

01. Today was [adjective].

02. This is pretty much what my journal has looked like lately.

03. [Feeling] + [item] = [adjective] Jenna.

04. Life lately has looked a lot like [memory].

05. [Parenting anecdote] (yes, seriously. Anything related to something hard in motherhood gets MAJOR opens for me.)

The “Made Ya Look”:

These are the emails that spur an open that you really need. Maybe these are the emails you use to tell your list about an offer, or maybe they’re where you share some super important news. Either way, sometimes you need a little (ethical) trickery, right? Here are 5 of my top choices:

01. I wasn’t going to share this with you, but… here I am.

02. Don’t show this to anyone…

03. The #1 thing I wish I [did/didn’t do].

04. Wait… what?!

05. You guys… there’s some really [adjective] news in here.

Well, this was fun! I hope that this post sparked some new ideas and injected creativity into you so that your emails not only land into the inboxes of your subscribers but also get opened up! Let’s make sure all of your effort gets consumed in the way you intend it to! Okay, my friends. Who’s feeling like they’re ready to send some killer emails? I know you are. Just remember: no one wants to open an email without a good email subject line. You’ve got this!

Still sleeping on starting your email list?

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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