Using Humor, Curiosity, And Urgency In Your Email Subject Lines To Boost Engagement


Email subject lines can make or break your email marketing campaign. They are the first thing your readers see, and if the subject line doesn’t capture their attention, it’s likely that they won’t even bother opening your email. 

There are, however, a few types of subject lines that are proven to boost engagement rates: humorous, curious, and urgent.

Using Humor – We all love to laugh, and if you can make your audience laugh with your email subject line, you’re sure to get their attention. Humorous subject lines work particularly well for brands with a playful or casual tone of voice. 

One example of a humorous subject line that worked well for a marketing campaign for a travel company was “Pack your bags, we’re going on an adventure!” This subject line not only created a sense of excitement but it also made the audience smile. 

Another example is “We’re throwing a party and you’re invited!” This subject line creates a feeling of exclusivity and fun, which can be a powerful motivator for readers to open the email.

Using Curiosity – Another effective way to improve your email engagement rates is by using curiosity in your subject lines. People are naturally curious, and if your subject line piques their interest and leaves them wanting more, they’ll click through to your email. 

An example of a curious subject line that worked well for a health and wellness company was “The secret to better sleep – in only 30 seconds.” This subject line creates a sense of urgency while also giving the reader a clear benefit for opening the email. 

Another example is “The one trick every dog owner needs to know.” This subject line creates curiosity and entices readers to open the email to discover what the trick is.

Using Urgency – Finally, using urgency in your email subject lines can be a very effective way to increase engagement rates. When people feel like they need to act quickly, they’re more likely to open your email to see what it’s all about. 

An example of an urgent subject line that worked well for a clothing retailer was “Limited time offer: 50% off all summer clothes.” This subject line creates a sense of urgency by letting the reader know that the offer is only available for a limited time. 

Another example is “Don’t miss out on our biggest sale of the year!” This subject line creates a sense of urgency while also enticing the reader with the promise of significant savings.

How To Make Your Email Subject Lines Funny And Effective

The key to getting your emails noticed is to create subject lines that are both attention-grabbing and effective. And what better way to do that than to inject some humor into your subject lines?

1. Know Your Audience

The first step in creating humorous subject lines is to understand your audience. What kinds of jokes or puns would resonate with them? What kind of humor would make them laugh? Are they more likely to respond to witty one-liners or clever wordplay? Once you’ve got a good sense of your target audience’s tastes and preferences, you can start incorporating humor into your subject lines.

2. Use Wordplay

Wordplay is a great way to inject some humor into your subject lines. Puns, in particular, can be very effective because they play on words and often take people by surprise. 

For example, you could use a pun to tie your subject line to the content of your email, such as “You butter believe it: Our new product is spread-tacular!” Just be careful not to overdo it, as too many puns can become tiresome.

3. Be Timely

Another way to make your email subject lines funny and effective is to tie them to current events or pop culture references. For example, you might reference a recent news story or a popular movie or TV show. 

This can make your subject lines feel more relevant and help them stand out in your audience’s crowded inbox. However, be careful not to be too specific or too niche, as not all of your subscribers may be familiar with the reference.

4. Make a Bold Claim

Sometimes, the best way to get people to open your emails is to make a bold claim or promise in your subject line. This can pique their curiosity and encourage them to click through to your content. 

For example, you might use a subject line like “This one trick will 10x your productivity.” Just be sure that you can back up your claim with valuable and engaging content in your email.

5. Keep it Short and Sweet

Finally, remember that brevity is the soul of wit. Your subject lines should be short, punchy, and to the point. Ideally, they should be no more than 50 characters or so, as longer subject lines can get cut off in some email clients. Aim for clarity and simplicity, and avoid cramming too many ideas or messages into your subject lines.

Using Urgency To Create A Sense Of Scarcity And Boost Engagement

Creating a sense of scarcity is the basis of urgency marketing, and it can be leveraged in creative ways to maximize engagement and increase conversions.

1. Understanding scarcity

Before we dive into how to use scarcity, let’s define what we mean by this term. Scarcity refers to the limited availability of a product or service, or a time-limited offer. People are inherently motivated by the fear of missing out, so when there is a limited quantity or limited time to act, people are more likely to take action. This concept can be applied to a range of different marketing tactics, from discounts and free gifts to limited-time offers.

2. Creating urgency

Creating urgency is all about framing your message around scarcity. There are a few classic tactics that work well here. Firstly, you can limit the availability of your products or services, such as through a flash sale or a limited-time offer. Secondly, you can use language that emphasizes the urgency of the offer, such as “hurry, limited stock available” or “offer ends soon”. Finally, incorporating a countdown timer into your website or emails can also motivate customers to act before time runs out.

3. Setting clear deadlines

One of the key aspects of urgency marketing is setting clear deadlines. If there is no deadline, there is no sense of urgency. This could involve setting specific dates or times for your promotions to start and end, or using language like “while supplies last” or “limited time only.” When setting deadlines, keep in mind that these should be reasonable and achievable based on your resources and inventory.

4. Leveraging social proof

Another way to build a sense of urgency is to leverage social proof. When people see that others are buying a product or taking advantage of an offer, this creates a sense of FOMO and motivates them to act as well. Incorporating social proof into your urgency marketing can be as simple as highlighting your reviews or showing customer engagement on social media.

5. Personalization

Finally, it’s essential to make your urgency marketing feel personal and relevant to each prospect. Personalization can be as simple as using a customer’s name in emails or tailoring promotional messages to their interests and preferences. By creating targeted messages and offers that feel like they were designed just for them, prospects are more likely to feel a personal sense of urgency to act.

How To Use Puns And Wordplay To Make Your Email Subject Lines More Memorable

One great way to make your email subject lines more memorable and attention-grabbing is by using puns and wordplay.

1. Choose a Relevant Pun – A relevant pun is a great way to make your email subject line more memorable without coming across as cheesy. The best way to choose a relevant pun is to find a play on words that connect with your email’s topic or theme. For example, if you’re sending an email about a special promotion, you could use a pun like “Don’t miss out on a ‘priceless’ opportunity.”

2. Incorporate Humor – Another great way to use puns and wordplay is to incorporate humor. Laughter goes a long way in making something memorable, so anything funny is much appreciated. Make sure to keep it light and not over do it, or else you risk it feeling like a gimmick. A good example of this approach would be, “Cat got your tongue? Let us help you ‘purr-sue’ your dream promotion!”

3. Be Creative and Fresh – When it comes to puns and wordplay, the key is to be creative and think outside the box. This involves coming up with fresh ideas that are new, interesting and haven’t been said a million times before. It requires a bit of brainstorming, but the end result is definitely worth it. For instance, if your email is about a new dog food brand, you could use a pun on how the food will leave the dog’s taste buds ‘begging for more.’

4. Keep it Short and Simple – It is important to remember that while using puns and wordplay can be effective, you don’t want to overcomplicate things. The best email subject lines are usually short and simple, which means you may want to spend a bit of time crafting a concise and memorable pun or play on words. In that same spirit, try not to mix your pun with words or phrases that don’t necessarily fit to the context you’re trying to convey.

5. Test and Re-test – Finally, even when you think you’ve found a great pun or play on words, make sure to test and re-test your email subject line. What may seem clever in your head, may not always work as well when you send it out into the world. That way, you always have a backup plan in case your main subject line doesn’t land as you intended.

Finding The Right Tone For Your Email Subject Lines

Finding the right tone for your email subject lines is an important aspect of creating effective communication with your colleagues, clients, and customers. 

1. Know your audience: The tone of your email subject line should depend on who you’re writing to. Understanding your audience is the key to finding the right tone. If you’re writing to a group of professionals, for example, you might want to use a formal tone that includes titles and full names. Alternatively, if you’re writing to a group of friends, you might want to use a more casual tone with a friendly greeting.

2. Use clear language: Using clear and concise language can help your email subject lines stand out. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may not be immediately understood by your reader. Instead, stick to simple and direct language that clearly expresses the intent of your message.

3. Match the tone to the message: The tone of your email subject line should match the type of message you’re sending. For example, a subject line that is humorous or playful might not be appropriate for a serious message. Similarly, a subject line that is overly formal might not be necessary for a casual message. Match the tone of your subject line to the level of formality required by your message.

4. Use a call to action: Including a call to action in your email subject line can help encourage your reader to take action. Using phrases like “Join us” or “RSVP today” can help create a sense of urgency and encourage the recipient to take action.

The Role of Emojis: Using Emoticons To Add Personality And Humor To Your Email Subject Lines

You may have noticed a pattern in your inbox lately – more and more emails are using emoticons in their subject lines. While some might dismiss this as a passing trend, the use of emojis in email subject lines can actually have a positive impact on open rates and engagement.

1. The Science Behind Emojis and Emotions

Emojis were first introduced in the late 1990s, but it wasn’t until the rise of smartphones that their use exploded. Today, emojis are used to convey emotions, ideas, and reactions in a visual way. According to a study by Adobe, 58% of respondents said they are more likely to open an email if it includes an emoji in the subject line. This is because the use of emojis triggers emotions and creates a connection between the sender and recipient.

2. Using Emojis to Enhance Your Brand Voice

Emojis can also help to enhance your brand’s voice and personality. By using emojis that match your company’s tone and messaging, you can increase the chances of your email being opened and read. For example, a sports apparel company might use a sweat drop or running shoe emoji in their subject line, while a tech company might use a computer or smartphone emoji to convey a message about new products or features.

3. Adding Humor to Your Subject Lines

Humor is a powerful tool in marketing, and emojis can be a great way to inject some fun into your email subject lines. Using playful emojis like the laughing face or wink can help to create a friendly, approachable tone that resonates with your audience. However, it’s important to make sure that the humor is appropriate and aligned with your brand’s values and messaging.

4. Best Practices for Using Emojis in Email Subject Lines

While the use of emojis can have a positive impact on open rates, there are some best practices to keep in mind. For example, don’t overuse emojis – one or two per subject line is usually sufficient. It’s also important to test your subject lines to see how they perform with and without emojis, and to make sure they display properly on different devices.

5. Examples of Effective Emoji Use in Email Subject Lines

To give you some inspiration for your own email subject lines, here are some examples of brands that are using emojis effectively:

– Domino’s Pizza: 🍕 Enjoy free delivery on all orders today!

– Nike: 👟 There’s never been a better time to shop our new arrivals.

– Grammarly: ✍️ You’re one step closer to better writing.

The Importance Of A/B Testing: How To Find The Most Effective Email Subject Lines for Your Audience

The performance of your email marketing campaigns depends on various factors, including how well you understand your email audience and the type of content you are sending.

1. What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing is a technique that allows marketers to compare two versions of an email campaign or landing page and determine which one performs better. By testing multiple variations of a design or copy, you can discover what works best for your audience and optimize your campaigns for better results. 

In email marketing, A/B testing is commonly used to test subject lines, email content, call-to-actions, and other elements that influence the performance of a campaign.

2. Why is A/B Testing Important for Email Subject Lines?

The subject line is the first thing your audience sees when they receive an email from you, and it has a significant impact on whether your email gets opened, deleted, or even marked as spam. 

A poorly written or uninteresting subject line can result in low open rates and decreased engagement. Therefore, A/B testing is important for email subject lines because it allows you to test and optimize different variations to find the best one for your audience.

3. How to A/B Test Email Subject Lines?

To get started with A/B testing your email subject lines, you need to identify a hypothesis, define your goals, and create two different subject lines that you want to test. Send both versions to a small sample of your email list and measure the open rates for each email. 

Once you have determined which email subject line performs better, send the winning version to the rest of your email list. It is important to test only one variable to maximize the accuracy of your tests and get the most accurate results.

4. Best Practices for A/B Testing Email Subject Lines

To get the best results, there are some best practices that you should consider when A/B testing your email subject lines. These include keeping the subject lines short, using personalization, creating a sense of urgency, being clear, avoiding click-bait tactics, and testing during different times of the day or week. 

By following these best practices, you can increase your chances of getting higher open rates and engagement from your email campaigns.

How To Use Arousal Curiosity To Create Attention-Grabbing Email Subject Lines

It’s crucial to write an attention-grabbing subject line that makes your recipient curious and interested in clicking it to read further. 

Arousal curiosity is a psychological technique that prompts the recipient to feel curious and eager for more information. Therefore, it’s a powerful technique that can make your email stand out from the rest. 

The arousal curiosity subject line works by piquing the recipient’s curiosity, which leads them to click the email to satisfy their curiosity. Consider using provocative, open-ended, or teasing phrases that will make your readers feel curious about what’s inside the email.

To make the best use of arousal curiosity, avoid using clickbait subject lines that mislead your recipients. Instead, create subject lines that genuinely reflect the content of your email. Use positive, provocative words that instill curiosity and excitement into the minds of your readers when they see your emails.

Another effective method is to use personalized subject lines. Personalized subject lines have proven to increase email open rates. Using the recipient’s name is an excellent way of making them feel special and acknowledged. Furthermore, when you include their name, you make the email sound like it’s written specifically for them, thus increasing the likelihood of the recipient clicking through to read more.

To create a compelling subject line, it’s essential to use numbers, statistics and data in your email subject line. People love numbers; it makes them trust the content more. For example, “5 Reasons to Try Our Product Today” or “90% of People Recommend Our Services.” Quotes and testimonials are also helpful in providing credibility and garnering trust.

Lastly, timing plays a crucial role in email subject lines. To create an engaging subject line, it’s essential to understand your audience and their behavior. Consider creating a sense of urgency by using phrases like “Don’t Miss Out.” Including time-sensitive information like “Limited Time Offer” can prompt your readers to open your emails to take action before the offer ends. Experiment with different days and times to discover the best response rates for your audience.

The Art of the Tease: How to Use Incomplete Information to Intrigue Your Email Subscribers

Many businesses struggle to get their subscribers to open their emails, let alone read them. One way to overcome this hurdle is by using the art of the tease. Incomplete information stimulates the reader’s curiosity and compels them to open the email to fulfill their need for closure.

1. Create a Compelling Subject Line

The subject line is the first thing your subscribers will see, and it’s the most critical element in getting them to open your email. To create a compelling subject line, incorporate incomplete information. 

For example, instead of writing “The Secret to Effective Email Marketing,” write “The One Email Marketing Tactic That Increased Our Sales by 200%.” This subject line sparks the subscriber’s curiosity and compels them to open the email to learn about the tactic that led to such impressive results.

2. Use a Cliffhanger

A cliffhanger is a tactic that creates suspense by withholding critical information at the end of a sentence or paragraph. This technique is often used in movies and TV shows to keep viewers hooked, and it can be applied to email marketing as well. 

For instance, if you sell beauty products, you could write, “Discover the secret to flawless skin in 3 easy steps, but first, let’s talk about the one thing you’re doing wrong.” The incomplete information about the one thing the subscriber is doing wrong creates suspense, and they will want to keep reading to find out what it is.

3. Create a Sense of Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency is another effective way to use the art of the tease. For example, if you’re running a limited-time promotion, you could write, “Last chance to get 50% off on our best-selling products.” This incomplete information creates a sense of urgency and compels the subscriber to take immediate action.

4. Use Visuals

Images and videos are powerful tools that can help you create a compelling email that intrigues the subscriber. Using visuals in your email can help you convey incomplete information more effectively. For example, if you’re launching a new product, you could include an image of the product with a caption that says, “Coming soon.” This incomplete information creates suspense and compels the subscriber to stay tuned for the official launch.

5. Deliver on Your Promise

Once you’ve successfully intrigued your subscriber with the art of the tease, it’s essential to deliver on your promise. If you promised them a secret or a tip, make sure you provide it in the email. If you fail to deliver on your promise, your subscribers will lose trust in you, and they’ll be less likely to open your emails in the future.


Crafting the perfect email subject line can take a bit of trial and error, but it’s worth it when you see your open rate soar. It’s important to remember that humor is subjective, however; make sure your message aligns with the brand image you want to project. 

Curiosity can be effective on its own, but when coupled with urgency, it’s easy to inspire an even stronger response from your readers. 

Wordplay can be creative and attention-grabbing, helping you stand out from the legions of other emails clogging up inboxes. Beyond clever wording, though, finding the right tone for each subject line is key to success – make sure it resonates with your target reader. 

With practice and diligence, you’ll soon be writing email subject lines that people can’t resist opening.


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Wasim Jabbar

Hi, I'm Wasim - a startup founder and proud dad of two sons. With 15 years of experience building startups, I'd like to share my secret to achieving business success - quality marketing leads. Signup today to gain access to over 52 million leads worldwide.

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