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How to Workshop Your Email Subject Lines [Free Template]

by Sarah-Leah Thompson, Director of Marketing and Operations

Photo by Ivan Samkov via Pexels

We all know that subject lines are important, but how many of us actually spend time crafting them?

Paige Slaughter over at Fruition Studio recommends drafting 25 potential subject lines before selecting one.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” I thought the same thing before I sat down and tried it for our newsletter.

Spend 5 Minutes Brainstorming

At first I was intimidated. I knew I wanted to focus the subject line on our blog, “The Top Email Marketing Takeaways from Chimposium 2021,” so I started by jotting down variations of that title. After getting a few ideas down, I was able to write faster and come up with new, interesting angles.

Within the span of 5 minutes I had 25 options, and 3 that were particularly effective. The best options were among the last ideas I wrote, which I certainly wouldn’t have thought of had I not sat down to brainstorm.

Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Top Email Marketing Tips from Chimposium 2021
  2. Chimposium 2021: Email Marketing Insights
  3. Email Marketing Insights from Chimposium 2021
  4. Top Tips from Mailchimp Experts
  5. Email Marketing Insights from Mailchimp Experts
  6. Email Marketing Insights to Elevate Your Strategy
  7. Chimposium 2021: What I Learned
  8. Email Marketing Tips from Mailchimp Experts
  9. Chimposium 2021: Expert Email Marketing Tips
  10. 10 Email Marketing Tips You Could Try Today
  11. Did You Know About These Email Marketing Insights?
  12. Did You Know About These Mailchimp Tips?
  13. Everything I learned from Chimposium 2021
  14. The Latest Expert Advice on Email Marketing
  15. Email Marketing, Graphic Design, and Social Media Insights
  16. 10 Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing
  17. 10 Email Marketing Tricks To Try Today
  18. Level-Up Your Email Marketing with These 10 Tips
  19. 10 Email Marketing Tips You May Not Know
  20. This week in Email Marketing: 10 Tips from Mailchimp Experts
  21. Are You Using These Email Marketing Tips?
  22. 10 Email Marketing Tips You Should Try Today
  23. What You Missed from Chimposium 2021
  24. 10 Email Marketing Tips to Improve Your Strategy
  25. Try Out These Email Marketing Tips Today

While many of the subject lines were similar, taking the time to massage the wording resulted in valuable nuance.

Categorize Your Subject Lines

When brainstorming potential subject lines, it’s helpful to think about different categories.

This is especially important when it comes to measuring the success of your chosen subject lines. If you’re testing random subject lines, you can look at the data all day but you’re not going to be able to glean any helpful information.

Using subject line categories provides important context when looking through your data. You’ll be able to ask questions like, “Do my users open Curiosity subject lines more than Scarcity subject lines?” Or maybe you’ll notice that Comparative subject lines are the most successful?

You can even A/B test your emails with different types of subject lines and see which version gets more opens.

For our newsletter, I ended up testing “10 Email Marketing Tips You Should Try Today,” versus “This Week in Email Marketing: 10 Tips from Mailchimp Experts.”

Free Subject Line Workshop Template

To make your life easier, we’ve put together a subject line workshop template that you can use for free!

It includes a 7-step guide to writing subject lines, space to brainstorm, 12 subject line categories + examples for inspiration, and more!

Get Your Free Template

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About Sarah-Leah Thompson

Sarah-Leah Thompson is the Director of Marketing and Operations at Digital Ink. Sarah-Leah manages Digital Ink's social media, and keeps everything on track. Digital Ink tells stories for forward-thinking businesses, mission-driven organizations, and marketing and technology agencies in need of a creative and digital partner.

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