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102 email subject lines that work

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Did you know that people receive an average of 121 emails each day? But it’s not enough to send just any email to your customers. Your goal is to create email subject lines that work.
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Did you know that people receive an average of 121 emails each day? From brand marketers to co-workers, there is no shortage of people competing for attention in your customers’ inboxes.

The reality is your customers live busy lifestyles. They don’t have the time (or desire) to read every single email. That’s why they glance at the subject line to decide if an email is worth opening.

The good news is email continues to be a powerful marketing channel for companies in the home service industry. Here’s why:

But it’s not enough to send just any email to your customers. Your goal is to create email subject lines that work.

Why your emails need good subject lines

Think about how you manage your email account. When you open your email and you’re staring at dozens of messages, how do you decide which ones to read?

If you’re like most people, the first thing you do is scan the subject lines for a few seconds. You read the emails with subject lines that grab your attention and leave the rest unopened.

When it comes to opening emails, your customers are just like you. They are attracted to subject lines that stand out from the rest. That’s why it’s essential to make subject lines a part of your marketing strategy to increase your email open rates. 

Customers open emails for a variety of reasons. A common reason is the fear of missing out (FOMO). Email subscribers don’t want to miss any important details from promotional emails, like a coupon or discount.

So, it benefits your company to write email subject lines that work. Good email subject lines help deliver your company’s marketing message to your email newsletter list and grow your customer base.

Email subject lines: What you shouldn’t do

When it comes to email marketing, there are guidelines that you must follow. If not, your email campaign won’t be effective.

While it’s true that your primary goal should be to stand out, you also don’t want to annoy your email recipients. Follow the rules below.

1. Don’t use spammy subject lines. Email providers, such as Google and Yahoo, are serious when it comes to cracking down on spam emails. Spammy content is junk email that adds no value to the reader. Common red flags for email spam include:

  • One-word subject lines
  • Spelling errors
  • Re: (subject lines that aren’t replies)
  • Multiple exclamation points

2. Don’t use all caps. Messages written in all caps are unnecessary. These email subject lines have a low response rate. In many instances, the recipient will report your email as spam.

3. Don’t write long email subject lines. Many people read their emails using mobile devices. As a result, there isn’t a lot of space for lengthy email subject lines. You should aim to write about 50 characters.

What you should do for higher open rates

Could your company benefit from higher open rates? If your email marketing subject lines aren’t effective, here are some ways you can boost your email open rates.

1. Use emoji symbols. Emojis provide an emotional connection with your customers. They set the tone for your email. According to a report, 56% of companies boosted their email open rates using emojis.

2. Create a sense of urgency. If you want your readers to take immediate action, give them a reason. You can promote limited-time deals, highlight the scarcity of your products, or include an expiration date in the subject line.

3. Add personalization. Try adding the recipient’s first name to the email subject line. You also can use the subject line to ask questions that are specific to each reader and the particular email campaigns. Be sure to highlight your customers’ interests.

4. Write catchy email subject lines. Catchy email subject lines arouse the recipient’s curiosity without being spammy. They increase open rates because readers want to learn more about what you have to offer. 

5. Enhance readability for mobile devices. Seventy-five percent of email recipients use their mobile devices to check their email accounts. So, write short email subject lines and get straight to the point.

6. Provide an opportunity to unsubscribe. Regardless of the quality of your emails, some recipients may not want to receive them. You should provide a clear way for them to opt-out of unwanted emails. After they have opted out, respect their requests and stop sending emails to them.

Advice for the best email subject line

We asked email marketing experts to share examples of subject lines that worked well for them and why they think those subject lines worked. Here’s what they think:

Patrick King, Imagine:

Unless it’s a ridiculously good offer, you should probably lead with suspense. Curiosity is a power trigger for impulse, and it can often be enough to illicit that elusive click. You can build suspense through asking a question that you know your audience cares about personally (“How often should you really replace air filters?”, or by beginning a statement that’s answered within (“The most common cause of dust in your home is…”). 

Just make sure that their effort is worth it in the email. You can only be deceptive to your audience once, but with valuable content within the email, they’ll open again and again.

Adam Peterson, CEO of VipeCloud:

I have had success with subject lines across the four types: promotional, holiday, asking a question, and pain points. Note, the subject is only part of the battle. Who the email is sent to matters just as much. 

The two best types of promotional emails have been related to CyberMonday and price increases, both working the best with folks already in the funnel. Promotional email subjects seem to work best when the discount amount is in the subject and the email is sent at least 10 days before the deadline, and again the day of or the day before. 

The single best holiday email to send is a genuine email around Thanksgiving. Saying thanks to your customers without asking for anything in return can be a wonderful way to create customer conversations (which leads to increased renewals / up sells / cross sells).

I’m not a huge fan of the “can you point me in the right direction?” question subject made popular by Aaron Ross, if for no other reason than it’s overused. We have found better success by combining a particular pain point with a question. For example, “Is [well known Competitor Name] always the right choice for [product category]?”

Dmitry Chervonyi, CMO of Belkins

1. {firstname}, your {offer} is ready

2. {firstname}, are you ok?

3. New product/service for {firstname}

Ena Mandic Milic, Lemlist:

  • Use a spam detection service such as Lemlist to make sure your emails are not marked as spam. 
  • Use custom variables such as {name}, {company}, and some type of ice breaker such as including a whole custom sentence. 
  • Less words  and more personalization

Brendan Hufford, SEO Director of Clique Studios:

One of the most important subject lines we’ve started to use is around the exact pain points of our ideal customer/client.  During specific times of the year, pain points vary based on a lot of factors, so emailing around those times and addressing what they’re already experiencing in their life has left them with a feeling that we really understand them (because we do).  

Siva Devaki, Co-Founder of Mass Mailer

  • Personalization matters
  • Use an email validator tool
  • Check to see if your domain has been blacklisted by the prospect – this will automatically disqualify your email
  • Use dedicated IP addresses
  • Do not send emails to catch all emails – unless you have a personal relationship with this customer/person

Joshua Chin, CEO of Chronos:

“No Subject” is a great one. It generally triggers curiosity regardless of who your audience is. This variant had twice the open rate of our control variant.

“Thank you for your order” was also a great promotional subject line used for April’s Fool. It’s a little cheeky but smart tactic to get a lot of attention in a short period of time.

I would like to add a word of caution here – use these “tactics” sparingly. It’s funny to do it once or twice, but it will become counter-productive if it becomes a core strategy to gather attention.

Joi Brooks, Freelance Email Marketing Campaign Manager of Email and Coffee:

Delivery drives the campaign, so you may have the most brilliant subject line in the world, but your campaign goes into some obscure tab or spam, and there you have it. It is all about the brand, best email practices, trust, valuable content, and a voice consistent subject line.

Chris Onyett, Co-Owner of Roketto:

One area we consistently see success with for our clients is exclusive early invite subject lines e.g. “shop the sale before anyone else”. To be successful with email, you need to create high value in staying connected – early invites exclusive to just your loyal subscribers is a great way to accomplish this.

Nikola Baldikov, Digital Marketing Manager of Brosix:

“{firstname}, we need your help to reach our goal.” – This type of personalized subject line always grab my attention, particularly when there’s an appeal for help to them. If it’s from a website I know and trust I’ll be likely to open it. 

“Here’s a special offer for being a loyal customer” – This type of subject line uses effective casual language and also helps people feel good. Everyone likes to think of themselves as loyal, and getting a reward for it is all the better. 

“{firstname}, there’s only 24 hours left for great savings.” – This type of subject line is both personalized and also creates a sense of urgency. People don’t like missing out on things, so this type of appeal is great for grabbing attention.

Robbie Kohli, Founder Director of Deep Focus:

A few subject lines that worked for us in the past:

  • Late Winter Fishing Stir Crazy (Specials from Fishermens Heaven)
  • This Veterans Day Pick Late Fall Lures at Special Discount
  • A Mother’s Day Fishing Message ALL Men Need to Read
  • Did you see this! – hope I catch you this time
  • Thank God that’s over

Amir Chitayat, Partner of OpenMoves:

% or $ off sale subject lines seem to work best for our eCommerce clients. People want to save money on their purchases. Questions that pique curiosity work best for our non-eCommerce customers. These kinds of subject lines make people wonder and want to read more.

Liz Willits, Senior Content Marketing Strategist of AWeber:

You can boost your open rates by saying something unexpected or surprising in your email subject line. For example, we sent an email with the subject line “RIP 💀 The email blast is dead.” Since AWeber is an email marketing platform, this is a surprising statement for us to make. This subject line earned one of the highest open rates ever for our weekly newsletter — 57% above average.

Kevin George, Head of Marketing of Uplers:

We have experimented with almost every category of subject lines there is and we try to match the subject line with the purpose of the email. A few types of subject lines that have worked well for us are curiosity-generating, triggering pain areas, and personalization. 

1) Subject line: Falling short of reaching your business goals? Open rate: 41.68% This worked for us since it was targeted at marketers pointing to one of their pain areas. 

2) Subject line: {{ personalization_token(“contact.firstname”, “Friend”) }}, an egg-xtra from the Monks Open rate: 51.5% This was an interactive game email created for Easter. The subject line was personalized and generated curiosity through wordplay.

Ready to increase the open rates for your email marketing campaigns? Below are examples of effective email subject lines for home service companies.

The best examples of email subject lines

Welcome email subject lines

When people subscribe to your email list, you should send an automated email that welcomes them. A welcome email lets them know what they can expect from your company.

1. How does Plumbers On-Call work?

2. Welcome to Plumbers On-Call

3. We are Plumbers On-Call. Let’s stay connected.

4. You’re part of the Plumbers On-Call family now

5. You’re a Plumbers On-Call subscriber. Now what?

6. Get started with Plumbers On-Call

7. You’re in! Welcome to Plumbers On-Call.

8. Hurray! You joined the Plumber On-Call team.

9. Learn more about Plumbers On-Call.

10. We are glad you said yes to Plumbers On-Call.

Promotional email subject lines

Customers enjoy deals and specials. If your company is having a promotion, be sure to let your subscribers know about it.

1. Get 10% off your next electrical service

2. Check out our August service specials

3. Introducing our new Customer Program

4. Book a new service & earn reward points

5. Get a complimentary gift when you buy a new service

6. Flash sale alert on all services!

7. HVAC maintenance plans – 30% off

8. Select maintenance services – 25% off!

9. Get a maintenance plan with your heater installation

10. Our winter service savings plan is here

11. Hey [customer], we offer financing on all services!

Holiday & Seasonal email subject lines

Holiday and seasonal events provide a good reason to contact your subscribers. So, create emails that spread the holiday spirit into your marketing strategy.

1. Black Friday Sale on all services

2. Feel merry with 10% off your next service

3. Save 30% on select services before the New Year

4. We’re thankful for you. Enjoy 15% off your next service.

5. Jingle bells! Save 25% on kitchen remodeling.

6. 5 holiday gifts for the homeowner who has everything

7. Happy holidays! Unwrap your savings on your new heater.

8. Get cozy this winter with a new heater

9. Summer is near. Schedule your AC maintenance service.

10. You’ll fall in love with February’s service specials.

Email subject lines to follow-up after a service 

Following up with your customers shows them that you don’t take them for granted. It’s an essential part of the customer service process. Take a look at these effective subject lines for follow-up emails.

1. Next steps after your service appointment

2. New details about your maintenance agreement

3. Nice speaking with you about installation services

4. Let’s take another look at your service agreement

5. AC service appointment at 12:00 p.m.

6. Great talking with you today

7. Still in the market for new maintenance services?

8. Ready to install your new dishwasher?

9. More about our electrical services

10. One thing I forgot to mention…

Fear-of-Missing-Out (FOMO) email subject lines

The internet gives people the opportunity to stay updated on the latest happenings. As a result, many people fear missing out on opportunities. Use these subject line examples to create emails that your recipients can’t resist opening.

1. Your air conditioner warranty is expiring soon

2. You’re missing out on our September deals

3. One day left to extend your HVAC warranty

4. Join our service club before it’s too late

5. We only have 3 service club memberships left

6. This could be your final opportunity to save

7. Don’t miss this great deal on electrical wiring!

8. Exclusive on select heating services

9. Are you taking advantage of our service specials?

10. Your service plan ends soon

11. Pay for a new AC installation for as low as $100 a month!

Personal email subject lines

Personalized emails make readers feel special. Personalization includes using their names in emails or referring to a previous service that you provided. It should be relatable and quickly catch their attention.

1. John, check out our new services

2. Happy Birthday, John! See what we got you.

3. It’s your birthday, John! Time to celebrate with an offer.

4. Take a look at our September specials, John

5. Thanks for buying your new dryer with us, John

6. Celebrate with a complimentary service appointment

7. Hello John. Have you extended your warranty yet?

8. Is your air conditioner ready for the summer, John?

9. When was the last time you serviced your heater, John?

10. Enjoy this complimentary service as a birthday gift

Funny email subject lines

After a stressful day, there aren’t many people who won’t enjoy a good laugh. Create funny email subject lines to boost your open rates.

1. Still, losing socks in the dryer?

2. Savings that make us proud (Unlike our cousin, Joe)

3. Are icicles forming in your home?

4. There are no service coupons in this email

5. We really don’t expect you to open this email

6. Is your heater broke? We have extra blankets.

7. Your dog is going to love this!

8. What’s the weather like in Fiji?

9. We know what your AC did last summer

10. Hot or cold? Pick one.

Email subject lines that ask a question

When people see questions in an email subject line, they pause to think about an answer. It piques their interest in your email. 

1. Does your water heater need to be replaced?

2. Is your air conditioner ready for the summer heat?

3. Have you joined our customer loyalty program?

4. How’s your new air conditioner working?

5. Do you need plumbing services?

6. Have you prepared your pipes for the winter?

7. Are you looking for a certified electrician?

8. Have you scheduled your heating service yet?

9. Want to save 25% on your heating bills?

10. Is your furnace at least 10 years old?

Email subject lines with paint points

One of the best ways to connect with your customers is by understanding what keeps them up at night. Take time to discover your customers’ pain points and offer solutions to their specific problems in your emails.

1. Install your heater without breaking the bank

2. Get more cabinet space with these easy ideas

3. Stop wasting money with an inefficient heater

4. Your heating problems are now solved!

5. How to survive cold winter nights

6. How to stay comfortable in the summer heat

7. Learn how to save hundreds of dollars in repair costs

8. Tired of wasting money on high heating bills?

9. Finally, the best solutions for frozen pipes

10. How to find an affordable electrician

Curious email subject lines

Humans are innately curious creatures. We have a desire to explore the unknown and learn something new. So, spark your subscribers’ curiosity with these intriguing email subject lines. 

1. You shouldn’t open this email

2. Check out our new HVAC units

3. Meet the newest plumber on our team

4. A surprise service discount for you!

5. Take a virtual tour of our new facility

6. Is your heater making these noises?

7. Does the inside of your AC look like this?

8. Here’s the most efficient heater in the world

9. Guess what’s in this email?

10. We really shouldn’t tell you this but…

Email Marketing Strategies

Now that you know how to create email subject lines that work, there are other email marketing strategies you can take advantage of too. After all, creating a subject line is only part of a good email marketing strategy. Check out these strategies below to improve your overall email performance.

1. Consistently track your company’s email open and click-through rates. If you aren’t tracking your emails, you aren’t aware of what happens after you send them. By tracking these metrics, you can make informed decisions. 

Tracking your emails can answer a few questions. How many recipients opened your emails? What links were clicked? What are your conversion rates?

2. Use automation software. As a home service business owner, it’s likely that you don’t have time to send marketing emails all day. With marketing automation software, you can save time and money. Look for these features when selecting an email marketing tool:

  • Segmentation
  • Personalization
  • Integrations and apps
  • A/B testing
  • Sign-up forms
  • User-friendly templates

3. Conduct A/B testing. Running an A/B test allows you to compare two subject lines to see which one performs better in your email marketing campaigns.

Start by creating the first email subject line. Next, create another subject line for the same email. You can either tweak the first subject line or create an entirely different subject line.

After that, segment your list into two different groups of recipients. Send an email with the first subject line to one group and then send an email with the second subject line to the second group. 

Finally, collect and analyze the data to determine which email subject line provides the best open rates. You may have to repeat this process several times.

4. Create email sequences with follow-up emails.

Contrary to popular belief, it can take multiple attempts to get a response from your recipients. Be patient because email marketing is an ongoing process.

Consider creating a series of emails for each marketing campaign. Send emails to your recipients at pre-set intervals. For example, on Day 1, send the initial email. On Day 3, send a follow-up email. On Day 7, send another follow-up email.

Each email sequence serves a different purpose. It’s important to use a sequence that fits the relationship stage with your customers. The nurture sequence tells your email subscribers about your company. The engagement sequence builds relationships with subscribers, and the conversion sequence asks your subscribers to take action.

5. Include social media details in your emails. Social media buttons provide customers with the opportunity to learn more about your company. Email marketing offers an effective way for you to share your company’s Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook accounts.

Create great email subject lines yourself

The subject line is the most important part of email marketing. So, take the time to create email subject lines that work. With practice, you can write email subject lines that will boost your open rates. For service businesses, it is extremely important to follow up with customers after a service. If you are a home service business that wants to streamline your marketing efforts, check out Housecall Pro’s automated marketing software: the easy tool to drive repeat customers with email marketing and postcard marketing automation.

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