The Ultimate Guide To Subject Lines For Ecommerce Brands

Imagine this. You and your team just spent hours crafting the most amazing email. From the compelling copy to the eye-catching design elements, this email ticks all the boxes for a successful campaign to your audience. You schedule the email and wait on the results.

*disappointment ensues*

The campaign flops completely, leaving you and your team scratching their heads wondering what the hell went wrong. You dive deeper into the metrics and find that your open rate was 4.5%. 

Your heart drops. All this time and effort went into creating this amazing campaign that was only opened by 4.5% of your entire email list. What a waste.

We see this happen time and time again with eCommerce brands complaining about open rates. So I am here to once and for all tackle the gatekeeper of email. The Subject Line.

Here are the 4 best practices for eCommerce email subject lines

1. Personalisation

Personalization has been proven time and time again to increase open rates, click rates, and conversions, yet many brands still don’t do this. This can be done very simply using merge tags, allowing you to create a highly personalized experience for the user. Here are some effective personalised subject lines that have worked for us.


  • (first name), check out our best-sellers
  • Can’t decide (first name)? Try our new (product name)
  • (first name), you don’t want to miss this…
  • Last chance (first name)

2. Provoke Curiosity

Nowadays, everyone’s inbox is flooded with emails from countless brands trying to get you to open their emails and pay attention. When I scroll through my inbox, the majority of the emails all blend into one when they have your stock standard subject lines. Occasionally I receive some curiosity-provoking subject lines that give me no choice but to click.


  • For your eyes only 👀
  • Shhh… Don’t tell anyone 
  • Word on the street…
  • Don’t open this email under any circumstances

Don’t forget to get creative and have fun with it.

3. Urgency and FOMO

Although we all understand to some extent how brands market to us and the psychology behind what they do, but sometimes it’s still hard to not listen to what they say. FOMO is the most effective when it comes to flash sales and big holiday events. Here are some of our best-performing urgency and FOMO subject lines.


  • Last sale of the entire year!
  • Cart expiring in 10…9…8…
  • Your 20% off code goes bye-bye at midnight
  • Are you really going to miss out?

4. Test Emojis 🔥

Adding emojis has shown to increase open rates, however, too many emojis can also result in an increase in spam rates. You have to really understand the audience you are targeting to determine your emoji subject line strategy. If your product is for older people, emojis may not work as effectively as they would for a younger audience. Also, the number of emojis used should never exceed two (we usually stick with the 1 to be safe).


  • Meet our best sellers 🔥
  • What our customers have to say about us ❤️
  • 24 Hours Only! 50% OFF STOREWIDE! 🤯

Ultimately, you have to get creative with your subject lines no matter which direction you go in. Copying other brands subject lines may work to some extent, but to really stand out from the crowd, you need to be more unique in your approach. 

Lastly, don’t forget to have fun with it. The aim of the subject line is to entice your audience to open your email, sometimes this can be executed in weird and wacky ways.

I hope you all received some value out of this. Go crush it!

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