Quirky Email Subject Lines Guaranteed to Get your Brand Noticed

Quirky Email Subject Lines Guaranteed to Get your Brand Noticed

Looking for a way to boost your email open rates? To help you come up with some fresh new ideas to get your customers clicking, we’ve put together a list of intriguing subject lines that you may find more effective than your usual suspects. As over 47% of all email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone, and (even more worryingly) questionable subject lines are 68% of the reason your email may end up in a spam folder, you should make sure that your subject line game is as strong as it gets.

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We’ve broken our quick guide to irresistible subject lines down into categories to help you find the perfect headline to fit your niche- happy reading!

1. Fear of Missing Out

Psychological studies suggest that it’s almost impossible for people to resist the fear of missing out (FOMO). What is FOMO? It’s as simple as not wanting to miss an offer, especially if you know that it’s because other people are getting there before you. Adding urgency (a limited-time offer) or scarcity (hint at a limited supply) to your email subject lines is the perfect way to tempt your audience into opening your email. In ranking order, the top keywords are: Urgent, Breaking, Important and Alert.


  1. First come first serve: free holiday to the Bahamas prize draw!
  2. Your subscription is just days away from expiring…
  3. URGENT! Our sale ends at midnight tonight!
  4. Coming April 1st, ONE NIGHT ONLY: 75% Off!
  5. Just two places left on our all-inclusive retreat…
  6. Buy one get one free, only while stocks last
  7. Don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime!
  8. Exclusive new range, online only
  9. Bid again on your item- the auction is almost over!
  10. LIMITED EDITION: Only 50 copies in existence!

What is it Good for?

FOMO is particularly good for letting customers know about sales. A sale is naturally something that you don’t want to miss, because you’d be a fool to pay full price for something that you could have got for half the price a week ago! You can build up that sense of ‘buying while the iron is hot’ with FOMO subject lines.

2. Witty Subject Lines

Have you ever read a subject line that made you laugh and then didn’t at least take a peek at the email? A sharp sense of humour can work wonders for your open rates. A humorous, and especially an original subject line may take a little more time and creativity to create, but you’ll soon see how far a little bit of humour gets you. Keep it as relevant as you can to what you offer, whether you’re marketing to attract people to your E-Commerce site or to a real world store.

  1. Who says JavaScript can’t be sexy!?
  2. Are we committed to amazing value, or are we just insane? Click here to find out…
  3. You’d be an idiot to read this email (try a little reverse psychology!)
  4. Okay, maybe JavaScript isn’t sexy. But is it still useful?
  5. Orange is the new banana! (for a smoothie affiliate marketing blog!)
What is it Good for?

Now, we’ll be the first to admit that these examples aren’t the most hilarious you’ll ever see. But the point isn’t to channel your inner Oscar Wilde, because ultimately, if we could, we’d be in comedy and not marketing. The point is to be original, because originality always shines through, and will either earn some laughs or at least some groans!

3. Subject Lines for Trailblazers

If the majority of your readership are deal-savvy fashionistas the chances are that they’re not going to want to miss out on the chance to get the latest trends at the lower prices. Even if there is no present need for the product you are promoting, this doesn’t mean there won’t be interest!

  1. Meet your new favourite handbag.
  2. Get ahead of the curve, and ahead of the new season: shop summer now!
  3. Spring trends that haven’t hit the shops yet? It’s true- see here!
  4. Shop the lines your friends haven’t heard about yet…
  5. Exclusive priority access to our members!
What is it Good for?

Again, this plays into the idea of fear of missing out; but this is the other side of the coin. This is the pleasure of exclusivity, and finding the deals that nobody else did. In a way, it’s a sense of superiority and super-coolness. You can tap into that even if your brand isn’t particularly ‘premium’ or luxury.

4. Subject Lines for the Time-Savvy

Never underestimate how lazy (or ‘busy’) your subscribers can be! Just kidding. In the hard and fast present, give your subscribers an easier way to achieve their goals, offer shortcuts or useful resources that helps them save time and money. Everyone can relate to trying to save time, whether it’s to spend with loved ones and friends or just for some alone time. So it’s a great way to grab people’s attention!

  1. Save time in your bedtime routine with our healthcare range!
  2. Make cooking a doddle with this brand new blender
  3. Enjoy time spent with your family again by buying our patented Smartphone Lok-Box!
  4. DIY has never been so easy…
  5. Kick back, unwind and destress with our amazing new XYZ!
What is it Good for?

There are two directions you can take this point. Either you can promise to save time and make life easier, or you can promise to help people relax and forget their worries. Either way, you’re solving a ‘pain point’ for them and making their life better one step at a time.

5. ‘Retargeting’ Subject Lines

When potential customers fail to complete an action in the sales funnel, especially something like abandoning their cart, use subject lines to tempt your customer back into the sales process. You can do this by overcoming common objections, offering something to sweeten the deal or putting a time limit on the offer.

  1. We’re not giving up on you [insert name]!
  2. Forgotten something? Or couldn’t find exactly what you were looking for?
  3. Hey! The price of items in your cart has dropped!
  4. Here’s 20% off your current cart, on us.
  5. Did you miss out on our new products?
What is it Good for?

You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to figure out that reminding people to finish their shop is a money spinner!

6. Personalised Subject Lines

Last up, we have personalised subject lines. They’re exactly what they sound like: subject lines that use customer data to make a good impression. They’re proven to boost open rates by up to 30% in email campaigns, and this method is effective across all industries, so it’s the perfect way to make your campaigns that extra bit more effective.

  1. Hey [NAME], check out these hand-picked deals… Just for you!
  2. Happy Birthday [Name] – Surprise inside!
  3. If their browsing history on your site suggests they’ve just had a baby: Congratulations [NAME!]
What is it Good for?

Personalisation- well- it personalises the experience of interacting with a brand. Ultimately, you want to be their friend. Treat your customers right, and they’ll keep coming back!

So there you have it. Of course, these are only six different suggestions. There are far more to learn, especially if you dive deep into the apsychology of buyer behaviour. But start small: start with your subject lines and go from there!