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3 Email Subject Line Ideas to Delight Your Database

Over 205 billion emails are sent every single day. No, that’s not a typo — two hundred five billion. With that staggering number in mind, how can B2B marketers make sure our emails cut through the clutter?

Here’s the thing: 33% of people open emails based on subject line alone. The subject line is our email’s first impression on every busy business prospect, so we’ve got to make it count. That’s why the words you choose can make or break your email marketing. Let’s take a look at three categories of emails subject lines and how great marketers make them stand out.

1. The Personalized Promo

Have you tried personalizing your email subject lines using marketing automation? You can include the recipient’s name, company name, job title, location, or virtually any other data you have about them simply by using variable tags in the subject line.

But that’s not the only way to personalize your email subject lines. If your database is segmented by the products contacts have shown interest in, you can send personalized promo emails based on that information. For example, one list can receive a subject line that says “Looking for a deal on Widgets? You’ll want to open this!” while another gets a similar email promoting a deal on Whoozits. Just make sure to use the Recency and Frequency rule type in Pardot to ensure that contacts who are on multiple lists don’t receive a flood of emails.

Tip: Avoid spammy words in your promotional subject lines! Words and phrases like bargain, profits, and CLICK HERE! are likely to trigger the spam filter. Learn more in our Spam Words Reference list.


2. The Autoresponder

I’ve found that most autoresponder emails I receive when I download a piece of gated content stick to a standard “Thanks for Downloading ____” format. There’s nothing wrong with that — it does get the point across, after all — but I’m always pleasantly surprised by subject lines that mix it up a little bit.

For example, I recently downloaded some content from Simply Measured. The autoresponder’s subject line said, “Your Simply Measured guide is ready!” This is a bit more exciting and personal, and it creates a sense of urgency; my guide is ready to read! And it worked; I clicked the email right away instead of letting it get lost in the depths of my inbox.

3. The Content Roundup

I always look forward to MarketingProfs’ daily content roundup emails, in part because I know exactly when I’m getting when I open them. The subject lines plainly and succinctly list several of the topic in the email, and there’s always something included that I’m interested in learning more about. Here’s one of their recent subject lines:

Online Reputation | Not Everything Has ROI | Email Competitiveness | In-Demand Freelance Skills

There you have it. In just eleven words, the team at MarketingProfs has effectively captured the attention of readers interested in four distinct topics.

Tip: Keep your subject lines short. Subject lines with 6-10 words tend to have the highest open rates. (



In a sea of unread emails, it takes some work to get noticed. Fortunately, with some smart copywriting and the right technology, you’ve got the tools you need to delight your database — and your CMO!

If you liked the examples of successful email subject lines in this post, grab our new e-book, 7 Inspiring B2B Marketing Campaigns. It’s full of examples of incredible marketing campaigns and tips for replicating their success with your own team!

Click here to download 7 Inspiring B2B Marketing Campaigns