Our Best Newsletter Subject Lines (Measured By Open Rate!)

by Josh Barney

Newsletters have become a fundamental part of a content marketer’s armoury.

In a digital world where people are increasingly dependent on personalised content (that is delivered directly to their inbox) the newsletter is thriving like never before.

However, despite the newsletter doing so well, it faces stiff competition for attention in our subscriber’s inboxes.

And (as I’m sure you already know) the best way to grab attention and give your newsletter email the best chance of success is to attach it to a powerful subject line.

If you’re short on subject line ides for your newsletter, are suffering from low open rates, or are using a generic subject line like ‘April Newsletter’, this is the place to be.

In this article I’m going to share the subject lines that are attached to our most opened emails and explain why they worked so well.

Newsletter Email Subject Lines

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If somebody subscribed to your newsletter, it’s because they genuinely want to hear from you again, so it’s your obligation to stand out in a crowded inbox.

I know that there are many businesses out there who would suggest using a simple dated or numbered email subject line, but in my opinion, that doesn’t do enough to promote your newsletter.

Give your newsletter email the best chance of engaging your subscribers by using a compelling subject line! 📩📄🧲Click To Tweet

A newsletter should be created with some sort of value (or take-away) in mind for your audience. This might come in the form of educational content, entertainment or news.

And if that newsletter has been created with your subscriber’s best interest in mind, you’d be doing them a disservice if you didn’t do everything in your power to share it with them.

This is why it’s so important for you to attach a powerful subject line to your newsletter email broadcasts.

BTW: Create a content strategy that targets your ideal customers, and write newsletters with their needs in mind!

The Einstein Marketer Newsletter

At present, the Einstein Marketer email list generates approximately 2,000 new subscribers every month.

These people sign up to our list to receive free eBooks (aka lead magnets), subscribe specifically for our newsletter or to keep up-to-date with what we’re doing.

We send out a weekly newsletter to everyone (that is subscribed to it!) to educate, entertain and keep our list engaged, promote our own content and help increase our brand recognition (and recall).

Providing your email list with regular valuable emails (like newsletters) will keep your open rates high. This will pay off when you send out marketing emails. 📈📢💡Click To Tweet

I personally write these newsletters, and always try to maintain their consistency in quality and theme.

engaged email list

As you’ll see (when we get to the subject lines in just a minute) this includes sharing our top performing content, the occasional topical piece of news and any other information that we think will benefit (and interest) our subscribers.

If you’re able to draw in content from different sources (like this), you’ll be able to come up with much more interesting and engaging email subject lines for your newsletter.


Cool, let’s get into our best newsletter subject lines (measured by open rate).

The Best Newsletter Subject Lines

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These are our 30-best performing newsletter email subject lines, measured by open rate (in the last 18 months).

They are not ranked in order of open rate, as our list has grown A LOT in the past year.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Donald Trump is in London

This newsletter was written when the American President visited the UK. We mentioned this in our email copy and used this topical piece of news to capture attention.

The (Most) Complete Guide

I’ve always used (brackets) a little excessively. But when I entered marketing, I noticed how big of an impact they had on my target market’s attention. Use them sparingly in your subject lines to increase your open rates. BTW: You can still check out the Complete Guide to FB Ads! 

76.4% of businesses said

This newsletter was sent out after we’d run our own independent research on social media marketing. Our list is largely built up of business owners and marketers, so the word ‘businesses’ speaks directly to them. The use of an odd looking number also helps this subject line.

FB or Insta, what’s more important?

Questions always do well, especially when the question is a little odd, open ended, and creates intrigue. This one includes two massive brands that are instantly recognisable.

Gone in a puff of smoke!!!

This subject line uses a fast-moving statement and intrigue to entice the reader into checking out the newsletter email.

11 Free Marketing Tools

The word ‘free’ has a massive impact on our psyche. We relate this term with zero risk, and as such, it also grabs attention. If you’re going to use it, only do so where it’s relevant.

It’s FINALLY Here!

The use of capitalisation makes an emotional and story-suggesting word stand out in this subject line. ‘Finally’ makes this subject line feel like there’s a journey, wait or something deeper at work.

48 Million People Living in The Dark

This is one of my favourites. It’s attached to a piece of topical news that I used in the opening paragraph of this newsletter. This subject line creates intrigue, interest, uses a large number and isn’t something that you’ll see every day.

The Strangest Month of the Year?

I sent this newsletter out in January, which I consider to be the weirdest month of the year. If you wanted to know why, you would’ve had to open this email. This subject line could be used as a statement or question, I went for a question in this case, asking subscribers whether they agree with my statement.

Am I Timing This Right?

I actually received a few emails back after sending this one out from people who really liked the subject line. This subject line is basically asking for an immediate response, especially with the use of the word ‘timing’.

You need to know about this Instagram… 

This Instagram…what? The beauty of this subject line is that it’s asking a recipient to open it, in order to discover the end of the sentence. This tactic is a bit cheeky (hence why I don’t use it often) but it can be very powerful when you have something valuable to share. BTW: The email was about Instagram Strategies that Reach More People With Posts!

FB engagement down by 400%? No problem!

This subject line tells a very short story and makes a promise. Subscribers opened this newsletter expecting to discover how we rescued our FB engagement rate, and they did. 

How much would I have to pay you? 

The immediate response when seeing this newsletter subject line is ‘pay me for what?’ This curiosity and intrigue driving question helped us drive a higher than average open rate.

A (very, very, very) late Easter

I sent this newsletter out having forgot to say ‘Happy Easter’ in my previous two. It uses (brackets), the word very 3x and tagged onto the heavily used seasonal wish, when everybody else had stopped using it.

The world is going bonkers…still

This is a statement subject line that drives intrigue and creates interest in the newsletter’s content.

Do you REALLY buy products?

This newsletter email subject line highlights another example of capitalisation. It also asks an interesting question that most marketers have a different opinion on. If you have a subject/topic that splits opinion in your niche, try it to help increase open rate.

28,000kgs of Strawberries

This is another unique and interesting subject line. It uses the power of a large number to capture attention and then create curiosity. BTW: This statement reveals the amount of strawberries that are eaten at Wimbledon every year.


Sometimes all you need is one word. In the case of this subject line I used a ‘?’ to make it sound like an offer. Traffic is a highly valuable commodity to our target audience, and this is why this had such a big impact.

It’s been too long since…

 Although this isn’t the most original or unique newsletter subject line, it still had a powerful effect on our subscriber’s open rate. You might also notice that this sentence doesn’t finish, driving people to open the email to find out more (this is known as ‘opening a loop’ or the Zeigarnik Effect).

38 Degrees Couldn’t Stop Us

I used this subject line when the UK had a crazy heatwave, and as most of our subscribers are based in the same country, it was relatable.

Wanna play a game?

Horror fans will get the reference of this subject line, although this wasn’t what I was aiming for. This calls out my audience and asks them directly if they want to play a game. It’s pretty generic sounding, but still very effective.

More than 2,143 Social Shares

I tallied up our social share count from 7 days and used this as our newsletter’s subject line. This uses social proof to influence our subscribers, shows trust, authority and for some, an aspirational (and achievable) social number. The use of an odd number also helps capture attention.

FREE eBook for Everyone!

I sent this newsletter out to our subscribers when I’d created a new eBook and wanted feedback. This performed exceptionally well, helped our audience and gave our open rates a boost in the weeks following. Remember to always give your subscribers as much value as possible. And notice the capitalisation of ‘FREE’ to grab attention.

Are You Coming?

This newsletter subject line sounds like an invite to somebody who knows what I’m talking about. And to somebody who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, this creates intrigue as they wonder ‘where?’.

From ZERO to (30+) Social Media HEROES

This one uses rhyme, capitalisation, brackets, the keyword ‘social media’ and numbers to stand out in today’s busy inboxes. This newsletter had a couple of extra dollops of value, so I threw a little more behind it!

Another Award?

It’s important that you keep your subscribers up-to-date with what’s going on at your brand. This newsletter thanked our subscribers for their support as they helped us win another award, and left them hanging on for the results of our award nomination.

MAXIMISE Your FB Ad Budget 

This subject line is super-relevant to our target audience, as well as being one of Einstein Marketer’s key specialisms. It uses capitalisation (on a very cool word) and uses a well-known brand to help recognition. BTW: You can still find out how to Maximise Your FB Ad Budget!

Join 500 Million Others

This newsletter subject line uses social proof and the implication of FOMO to drive email opens. FOMO is a rarely used tactic in newsletter subject lines, but on the odd occasion, it can help cause a spike in you open rates. Again, you’ll see that there is a high number involved and an invitation (by using the word ‘join’).

Could Einstein Marketer Win Their Ryder Cup?

This question creates intrigue, uses story principles and leaves subscribers wanting to find out more. It uses our brand name (which is a technique that should be used sparingly) as well as a well-known sports competition to create curiosity.

1,000s of HOT Leads

This newsletter subject line uses a high number, an audience specific desirable (more leads) and capitalisation to capture attention. Find out how to generate more hot leads!


As you can see, these newsletter subject lines are diverse and cover a range of different content ideas, benefits, topical news elements and inside (brand) stories.

In my experience, a varied and versatile collection of subject lines will always generate more opens in the long-run than a generic title like ‘March Newsletter’.

The more time and effort you put into something, the more an audience can see that you care.

Use a variety of our subject line desirables to build your own highly-engaged newsletter subscriber list.

Want more? Check out one of our most popular articles: 

Josh is the Founder of We Imagine Media, an award-winning content marketer, best selling author and creator of the www.joshbarney.blog. He creates and strategises content, sharing the most successful tactics with his lovely audience. He hates writing in the third person, follow him on the social links so he can get back to writing as himself.

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