Resources Hub » Blog » The Email Minute 16: Which Subject Line Formulas Can Get You Clicks?

Getting subscribers to open emails and click through is difficult for a marketer. Wouldn’t it be easier if there were simple subject line formulas you could use, both to write your emails and get more attention in the inbox? Well, it turns out there are.

In this Email Minute, Shane Phair lists subject line formulas you can use to increase email opens and clicks.


How many of your emails are getting opened?

According to a recent Campaign Monitor research study, the answer should be about 15% – 20%, depending on your industry. If you’re not getting the open rates you desire, your subject line could be the culprit.

Writing clickable subject lines can be a daunting task, but subject line formulas can help.

Hi, I’m Shane Phair, Chief Marketing Officer here at Campaign Monitor, and this is The Email Minute.

Today we’ll talk about subject line formulas that get more opens.

Let’s start with the “Scarcity” formula.

The scarcity subject line formula or the urgent subject line formula

As you know from one of our last videos, urgent emails get clicks.

To write this kind of email, highlight limited-time offers. The scarcity factor will entice subscribers to learn more.

Highlight limited time offers with the urgent subject line formula or scarcity subject line formulas.

You can also hook users with the “How-To” email.

The How-to subject line formula

How-To subject lines promise to deliver information people want.

Use how-to subject line formulas to get email opens and email clicks. Promise information everyone wants. Here is an example of the how-to subject line formula: "How to get 500 new Instagram followers today."

These are great subject lines for publishers, educators, and anyone selling content and services.

The final subject line formula we’ll discuss is the “Curiosity Gap.”

the curiosity gap formula

The curiosity gap is why we see movies or read clickbait. When you hook your audience a little, they usually want the whole story.

The last of our subject line formula examples is the Curiosity Gap subject line. Here is an example: "I ate only vegetables for a month and this is what happened."

Whatever formula you use, make sure your content delivers value. If you promise something and don’t deliver, you could lose subscriber trust and engagement.

On the next Email Minute, we’ll go over email design tips.

Have a question you’d like covered on The Email Minute? Tweet at me@ShanePhair, or post a comment on our blog.

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This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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