30 ideas for newsletter headlines and good practices for impactful email marketing

by Florina Coca Marketing

Have you ever thought that you can have the most beautiful and well optimized newsletter, but not bring results? Maybe you’ve been in this situation. Sometimes marketers work for days to create the perfect email marketing campaign, but do not pay enough attention to an essential ingredient: a newsletter headline that will get subscribers to open the email. 

Financesonline centralized some email marketing statistics and presented the following conclusions:

  • 69% of recipients of an email report it as spam based on the title; 
  • 64% of recipients decide whether to open an email only based on the title;
  • 33% open a newsletter if the headline is attractive;
  • there was a 27% increase in the opening rate of the emails after A/B testing of newsletter headlines.

We want to help you increase your email opening rate, so this article shows you ways to write good email topics for email marketing campaigns, creative ideas for newsletter headlines, strategies for using emojis and examples to inspire you. 

Email opening rate, an indication of problems with newsletter titles

We all want open rates as high as possible, but for various reasons, not all subscribers will open all incoming emails. Therefor, it is useful to refer to a general average and one per industry. Several sources show that 20% would be the average rate of opening emails in all industries. In the image below, you can see the average for different areas of activity. This average differs because each domain has a specific audience, more or less willing to read newsletters. 


Photo source: Hubspot

If you are below this average, you need to take action because something is not working, and the reason could be that you need email titles with a higher impact. And if you’re above average, bravo! Read the rest of the article because you might find interesting ideas to help you have even more effective email marketing campaigns

Don’t know the opening rate of your campaigns? Maybe it’s time to try the email marketing platform like NewsMAN.com, where you have access to performance reports for each email sent. 

What to avoid when writing a newsletter title

Let’s start with what you shouldn’t do when writing headlines for your email marketing campaigns. First of all, don’t make promises you cant’t keep, don’t write sensational headlines just to get attention, and don’t put headlines that have nothing to do with email content. The title must be attractive, but respect the rules of a correct and valuable communication.  

Second, avoid words or phrases that could cause algorithms to categorize you as spam. Here are some examples: free, urgent, sensational, buy now, offer, discounts, money, best price, profit, cryptocurrencies, secret, cheap, etc. These and other words are frequently used by those who send spam, so anyone who includes them in the subject of the email, no matter how well-intentioned, is at risk of being automatically considered spam. 

Third, do not use special characters, CAPS and do not overdo punctuation. Again, these issues can either lead you directly to spam or attract the attention of subscribers, but in a negative way. 

Let’s continue to focus on good practices for writing a newsletter headline.  

How to write successful email titles

Writing a newsletter topic is not something quick and easy, even if the result is just a few words. It’s a copywriting exercise for which you have to put some time aside. Here are some good practices:

  • Write a list of at least 5-10 email titles before choosing one. The more you write, the better your chances of finding a more successful version.
  • Focus on a benefit that the newsletter brings to the subscriber. 
  • Be clear and concise. Frame yourself in ten words (no more than 60-70 characters with spaces).
  • Introduce a sense of urgency for action.
  • Think about how you can make the reader curious.  
  • Ask a question to motivate the recipient to open the email and even interact with you through a reply. 
  • Customize the title with the subscriber’s location, if you have it in the database. Warning: personalization with the subscriber’s name does not always work in your favor. Choose instead to include the name in the body of the email. 
  • Use action words, such as “open”, “find out”, “discover”, “conquer”, etc. 

The subject of the email must summarize attractively its content, without trying too hard to sell. But is this always possible? 

If you are writing a headline for an eCommerce newsletter, for example, you will probably want to highlight the fact that you have an offer. How do you do this without selling or using words that can lead you to spam? Try to focus on the benefits of the campaign and get the subscriber to open the email, not buy – this is what you do directly in the newsletter.

In the next section, you will find more examples to inspire you. 

Examples of impactful newsletter headlines

The best newsletter headline will always be the one you test for your target audience. There are no perfect recipes, but there is inspiration. Below, you will find different types of email topics, which you can customize for your business and which you can test. 

Titles for an eCommerce email 

A successful eCommerce email is very important to highlight your offer, and the NewsMAN email marketing platform helps you with all the necessary steps, from choosing a newsletter template, to quick editing and A / B testing. Here are some newsletter headline ideas to help you in this process: 

  • The products you looked at 👀, now more accessible
  • This is not a campaign. It’s a celebration of femininity 💃🏻
  • Spend 50% less on Christmas presents 🎄
  • Stocks limited to the most 🌶️🌶️🌶️ dresses of the season
  • Too expensive school supplies? We have the solution

Email titles in the form of a question

The questions are great to arouse curiosity and make subscribers click. 

  • A help for tired mothers. Would you like to try it on?
  • Did you like the product you ordered? 
  • How much do you think you could save using [the product]?
  • Would you wear this fashion combination?
  • Do you know what jewel she would like for the holidays? 

Email headlines that arouse curiosity

Here we include some examples of newsletter topics with a vague form. We do not advise you to use this method very often, because it can be annoying to receive communications that are not concise. But you can successfully slip them into a sequence of emails

  • Finally, it’s here 🎉
  • Sssst, don’t tell anyone 🤫
  • The missing ingredient in your cosmetic kit
  • What color is the dress? 🤔
  • If you want to come, you are invited 

Persuasive email headlines

Use customer reviews and the data you have at your disposal to convince others to trust your brand. 

  • What customers say about our products.
  • [influencer name] wears [product] this winter
  • Bestsellers of Black Friday 🐈‍⬛
  • It is rumored to be the book of the year. What do you think? 
  • 77% of customers would buy it again  

Follow-up email headlines

There are many situations in which you should send a follow-up message: email for abandoned cart, for abandoned browsing, to request a review, to thank for an order, to remind of a discount campaign, etc. 

  • You forgot products in the cart. It could reach you tomorrow 🚀
  • Did you receive it? Tell us what you think.
  • Thanks for ordering! A 🎁 for you.
  • Haven’t decided yet? Let’s help you.
  • The Saint Nicholas Campaign ends in 2 hours ⏳ Hurry up! 

Email headlines for tourism

Convince your subscribers with newsletter topics that inspire them to go on the next trip. Don’t forget the pandemic context.  

  • Book today, cancel anytime ✈️
  • Top destinations for the summer of 2022 ⛱️
  • In which countries can I travel without restrictions?
  • Discover Romania. 10 places for a quiet New Year’s Eve
  • 5 lesser known things about Barcelona 🦎

Depending on the industry and the purpose of the campaign, you have a lot of options available. Use your imagination, create email marketing sequences and alternate the types of titles you use. 

Emoji in the newsletter title: yes or no? 

You have already noticed that I used emoji in some of the above examples. Opinions are divided on their effectiveness: some studies recommend them, others do not. Our recommendation is somewhere in the middle. 

Yes, you should use emoji in the email title, but only in moderation and when the context is right. The purpose of an emoji is to make the message more relaxed, playful and human. After all, in personal life, most of us use emojis all the time. So it makes sense to use it in email marketing as well. 

To help you choose, here are the most used emoticons of 2021, according to Brandwatch.

  1. Crying emoji 😭. Don’t be fooled. Although it is sometimes used in the literal sense, it is often related to a very comical situation.
  2. Emoji with tears of laughter 😂. It is not the favorite of generation Z, but it is still widely used in social media. 
  3. Stars ✨. Emoji often used to express joy and enthusiasm, but not only.
  4. Red heart ❤️. The universal sign of love and appreciation, it is no wonder that many brands use their heart to thank their fans. 
  5. Emoji with imploring eyes 🥺. This one has many uses, from showing care to expressing concern. 
  6. You roll with laughter 🤣. Emoji with a meaning similar to that of no. 2, with the nuance that many use it in funny situations.
  7. Fire 🔥. Used with messages that express achievements or success.   
  8. Smiling face with hearts instead of eyes 😍. Emoji that can express love, appreciation or admiration for a person, object or situation. 
  9. Smiling girl with hearts 🥰. Meaning similar to the previous one, with the nuance that this emoji rather expresses the feeling of feeling loved. 
  10. Hands clasped 🙏. This emoji is used to express gratitude, hope and gratitude or to ask for something. 

You have a very wide range of emojis to choose from. Test different emoticons and see if your audience reacts well to them or not. Attention: make sure that the emoji is displayed correctly in any email client. Send a test email to see if it appears the way you want it. 

For more best practices and ideas for submitting successful email marketing campaigns, create a free account on the NewsMan email marketing platform. In addition to hundreds of newsletter templates and easy-to-use features, we also help you avoid the spam folder with the advanced referral techniques we apply.

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