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Subject Line Secrets: Advanced Tips and Surprising Test Results

In the vast realm of email marketing, the subject line stands as the gateway to capturing your audience’s attention. Crafting subject lines that captivate, intrigue, and entice recipients to open your emails is an art form that can significantly impact your campaign’s success. To aid you in crafting subject lines that drive response, we’ve curated a collection of best practices, advanced tips, and surprising test results (that bear considerable significance).


By incorporating the recipient’s name or referencing their recent activity, you create a sense of familiarity and relevance. Leverage the power of data and segmentation to tailor your subject lines to specific audience groups, maximizing their impact and driving response. For example:

John, 20% off your next purchase—just for you!

Come back for more!

Loving your new?! You will love these too…

Urgency & Exclusivity

Tap into the human psyche and evoke a sense of urgency and exclusivity within your subject lines. Highlighting scarcity or emphasizing time-sensitive opportunities compels readers to open your emails promptly, ensuring a higher response rate. For example:

Uh-oh, 6 hours left on this Daily Deal

Offer ends at midnight.

Selling fast – better catch it!

Advanced Tip The Irresistible Hook

Humans are naturally curious creatures. By leveraging this innate trait, you can craft subject lines that pique recipients’ interest and entice them to open your emails. Spark their curiosity with intriguing statements, teasers, or questions that leave them yearning for answers or solutions. For example:

Unlock the secret to skyrocketing your productivity…

Are you seeing this?

Everyone’s talking about these.  

Advanced Tip Embrace Variety and Freshness ✨and Optimize

While consistency is important in establishing brand identity, it’s equally vital to avoid falling into a pattern of predictability. Don’t limit yourself to a single formula or approach. Just because a particular subject line worked once doesn’t mean it will work every time. Keep your audience engaged and intrigued by experimenting with different subject line strategies. For example:

(1) Just For You – An Exclusive Offer Awaits

Shhh… A Secret Surprise Just for You!

Same Best-Seller, New HUES *adds to cart*

Test, Analyze, and Optimize

To truly unlock the potential of your subject lines, it’s crucial to embrace a culture of testing. Don’t rely solely on assumptions or guesswork—let the data guide your decision-making process. Test different variations of your subject lines to identify what resonates best with your audience. Experiment with different wording, length, tone, and use of emojis to see what drives higher open rates and engagement.

Utilize tools like to assess the effectiveness of your subject lines. This platform provides valuable insights and feedback on the strength of your subject lines, offering recommendations on how to improve them. By analyzing the performance of your subject lines, you can make data-driven decisions and continually refine your approach.

Surprising Test Results

In a recent email subject line test for Stirrings comparing “No Discount” and “Discount” messaging, the results were unexpected. The attention-grabbing tone of subject lines without discounts outperformed those that included discounts.

Here are the subject line variations that were tested:

A: ☀️ Get ready for summer with sitewide savings!

B: ☀️ Get ready for summer with 20% OFF sitewide!



A: It’s ALL on SALE.

B: It’s ALL 20% OFF.

A: ⚡️ 1 day left to get LOWEST prices of the season!

B: ⚡️ 1 day left to take 20% OFF everything!

Over the course of four testing days, version A (subject line without discount) generated 38% more revenue than version B (subject line with discount). This difference resulted from 37% more orders and a slightly higher average order value (AOV) in the non-discount version. Additionally, the subject line without discount generated a 34% higher eCPM (effective cost per mille) than the subject line with discount.

In terms of engagement, the subject line without discount generated 36% more clicks and a 32% higher click rate compared to the subject line with discount. Although the subject line without discount had a conversion rate that was less than 1% higher than the subject line with discount.

Despite the initial surprise, these results are statistically significant. The tone and sentiment of the subject lines without discounts are more attention-grabbing. And then, given that these enthusiastic subject lines lead to a nice discount, users are accepting of the 20% offer.

Mastering the art of crafting subject lines that drive response is essential in today’s competitive email marketing landscape. Follow these strategies, and you’ll be well on your way to unlocking higher open rates, engagement, and ultimately, greater success in your email marketing campaigns.


XO, Alchemy Worx

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