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Subject Lines… What’s catchy, what’s not?

With Christmas only 22 days away, I repeat 22 DAYS AWAY, we are all now being bombarded with ads everywhere promoting all the hottest gifts of

2014 and sales that are hard to pass up. Anytime you turn on the TV or radio you hear your favorite holiday tunes with store names sneakily added into the lyrics, and some of the songs are so catchy you might even find yourself singing along. Another place that we get bombarded with advertisements is in our email. While I hate receiving annoying emails just as much as the next person, I do find it interesting to see what techniques retailers are using to set their email apart from the rest of the hundreds of emails in our inboxes. Here’s a few of the email subject lines that caught my attention, this Black Friday/Cyber Monday, enough to open up the email and see what their message had to say .

  1. Beyond the Rack – “10 Best Trending Gifts…”
  2. Sephora – “We’ve Got a Surprise For You”
  3. Crate & Barrel – “2 Very Merry Offers”
  4. Redbox – Text Now For a Surprise Deal”
  5. Zappos – “How To Look Holiday Fabulous with Michael Kors”
  6. Victoria’s Secret – “OMG Free PINK Socks With a PINK Purchase – Starts Tomorrow!”

I believe that these specific subject lines caught my attention for two reasons:


I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely a fan of using Google and looking up basically anything I need to know. I can recall hundreds of times that I’ve started out a Google search with “How to…” as well as something like “Best gifts for…” While I can usually find some kind of directions for what I need help with or a list of good gifts, it’s pretty nifty when companies do all the hard work for you and send it out to you. “10 Best Trending Gifts…” and “How To Look Holiday Fabulous with Michael Kors” caught my attention because they were both things that seemed like they would be helpful information for me to read. Yes, at the end of the day they are just advertisements, but at least I felt like I was learning something and gaining new knowledge about hot gift ideas and fashion.

Special Pricing and Free Stuff

How many times have you been at a store checking out and the cashier says to you, “if you want to spend this much more, you will get a free tote bag with your purchase or a percentage off your entire purchase.” I think we can all say we are guilty of then rummaging around the store looking for an item that is exactly that amount in order to get that free item. Getting free stuff or a discount on our purchase makes us feeling like we are getting more bang for our buck. These emails caught my eye because I was either intrigued about the free item they were giving away or I wanted to know more about the special pricing and deals they had to offer me.

I also noticed that I never opened an email that said something like, “40% Off Today Only!” While I did sometimes read the title, I had no need to actually open the email if all the information was in the subject line. Also, with so many companies sending out this exact same subject line, all of those email titles just started to run together.

While it may seem like you are running out of days to shop for all your gifts, marketers still have plenty of time to send you emails about sales, special pricing and freebies. Do you notice a trend in the emails that you open? If so, I want to know what it is!

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