Writing Win-Back Subject Lines That Actually Re-Engage Your Subscribers

Writing Win-Back Subject Lines That Actually Re-Engage Your Subscribers
14 May, 2022 • ... • 885 views
Aida Kubatova
by Aida Kubatova

Some of the best email marketing comes from using win-back emails. These campaigns are designed to enable you to close sales that weren’t successful the first time around —  win-back emails are important for any good customer retention strategy. In this article, we will talk about how you can write effective win-back subject lines, and take a look at the best win-back email subject lines that work.

Why win-back subject lines matter

Win-back email marketing campaigns are an amazing way to reestablish contact with past customers and remind them of your products and services. After all, if there is a segment of people that have already purchased from you in the past, they already have some familiarity with your brand. They also might know what you offer and what it’s like to work with you. That’s why win-back email marketing campaigns are so effective. Research shows that 45% of subscribers who receive a win-back email will go on to open future emails from your brand. And having the perfect subject line is one of the most important things.

So here we’ve got some great ideas that you could use in your next email campaign:

Best win-back email subject lines ideas (with examples)

A successful campaign can win back your past customers. The good news is that there are dozens of ways to write an effective win-back email subject line. All you have to do is use the proven strategies and creative ideas to create the perfect win-back subject line. And here are some great ideas for you:

“We miss you”

From: Google

Subject: We miss you on Google Maps

Miss you email by Google
Source: Really Good Emails

When you send your customers “we miss you” types of emails, you remind them about your brand and let them know that they are important, loved, and needed. Google used an effective “We miss you” subject line and readers who received this email are more likely to consider giving the app another chance. So make sure you remind your old customers about your brand using this email marketing strategy.

Here are some more examples with the “We miss you” subject line:

  • We Miss You! Come back & Save 30%
  • We Miss You! $10 OFF
  • We miss you – Receive a Gift with AARP Membership
  • We Miss You ❤
  • UK £10 Off. Because We Miss You 😊

Subject lines with emojis

From: Trim

Subject: ✂️ Find out how much you could save on Bills with Trim

Emoji email by Trim
Source: Really Good Emails

Trim here uses emojis in an email’s subject line because it can make their email marketing campaigns more engaging, convert at higher rates, and boost email performance. Research showed that the companies that use emojis in their campaigns have a 56% increase in their unique open rates. Email subject lines are now more fun and expressive because of emojis. It’s a perfect way to connect with your customers and get their attention to your email.

So here we’ve got awesome examples of win-back subject lines with emojis:

  • Pack your bags ✈️ We invite you to travel the world through languages this September
  • Come on back – we made dinner easier! 😋
  • 🍑 sara dietschy x moment 🍑
  • 24 hrs left 🎁 (to use your discount)
  • 👀 Watch us hand wash cashmere (5 steps)!

“Special offer inside”

From: Momento

Subject: Something special is waiting for you

Special offer email by Moment
Source: ​​Really Good Emails

For a win-back campaign Momento didn’t want to leave anything to chance and used an eye-catching “Special Offer Inside” subject line in this example. This is why it’s essential to not only include a special offer in your subject line but also to make sure and mention it in the body of the email. In addition, there will be no chance of your customers missing it before they decide whether or not they want to open and engage with your offer.

See more examples below:

  • BOGO FREE LIVI starts right now. GET MOVING!
  • Final Hours: Free Shipping + Up to 20% Off Our Favorite Items
  • Join us for a FREE Virtual Draft Preview
  • $20 Coupon | Limited-Time Offer, friend
  • It’s Our Treat 🎁 25% OFF Sitewide for Mother’s Day

Personalized subject lines

From: Framer

Subject: You’re almost there, Smiles Davis!

Personalized email by Framer
Source: Really Good Emails

Framer here has put the customer’s first and last name in the subject line. If your subject line is personalized it makes readers feel like they’re the only person in the world that gets that message. And people love to feel important. As Dale Carnegie once said, there’s no sweeter sound to a person than his own name. During a study, marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from emails with personalized subject lines. This can be a great start to increasing engagement, click-throughs, and conversions by your subscribers.

Check out these personalized subject lines:

  • Hey Smiles Davis, did you forget something?
  • 💌 Smiles Davis’ 2021 Year In Review is here
  • Smiles Davis how are you treating yours on International Dog Day?
  • Today it’s all about you, Smiles Davis!
  • 🎉 Smiles Davis, something new

Subject lines including a question

From: Felix Gray

Subject: Still have FSA dollars?

Felix Gray special offer email
Source: Really Good Emails

When your email subject line includes a question, like this one from the Felix Gray campaign, your customers feel involved and want to hear what you have to say and read on. The subject matter needs to apply to their lives. The brand does more than just sell glasses to its customers. Felix Gray also offers Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) to turn readers’ attention to more vital and needful things. A related question will get your readers curious, wanting to learn more about the subject. Especially if they can benefit from it.

See more examples and get inspired:

  • Still have FSA dollars?
  • Smiles Davis, getting back into Venmo? Here’s a refresher.
  • Moving on?
  • Do you still want to hear from us?
  • Ready to get back together?

5 tips to crafting a great subject line to re-engage the readers

  1. Use the brand name

It’s always neat to add your brand’s name in the subject line. Because even very successful companies tend not to use their company name in the subject line. And they are missing out a lot as this raises your brand awareness and brings more engagement. Make sure you try this strategy as these brands did:

  • Hubspot: Hubspot Ultimate Email Marketing Guide is ready for reading!
  • Miro: 👀 Get the most out of Miro
  • Flodesk: Flodesk University is LIVE!
  • Envira: Your Envira account is on hold!
  • Zapier: Reminder: Save 30% on Zapier in 2021
  1. Personalize as much as possible

Email marketing and personalization, name a more memorable duo. But in 2022, personalized emails call for a lot more than just ‘Hey [NAME],’. If you have access to information about your subscriber, you can use this to make your subject line better and catch your readers’ attention. It’s important not to go overboard here, but adding even the simplest touch such as their name can build trust and rapport. You know what your customers bought, you know how long ago they bought it, and probably you have some idea of other products that might speak to them, too. So use that knowledge to your advantage! Since personalized subject lines have proven to be more effective, check out these personalized subject lines:

  • Cole Haan: You’re going to love these
  • Trustpilot: 16 people have read your review!
  • Framer: A look back at our journey together
  • Twitch: 👋Smiles Davis, your 2020 Twitch recap is here.🎉
  1. Include a special offer

If you’re trying to sell more with email, then you can’t go wrong with using promotional subject lines. They are one of the most profitable email hacks, even more so than sales emails. Promo subject lines are like mini ads for your products that people open. The messages usually contain a bold and actionable offer. This is because they add value to your email while also boosting deliverability and click-through rates. See how these brands included offers in their subject lines:

  • DesignModo: 🎉Happy Independence Day!🎉 Special Offer 50% OFF! Create a website now…
  • Barnes & Noble: Limited Time Special Offer
  • Postmates: Your $8 Off Awaits 🤑
  • Bellro: Exclusive first access.
  1. Remember about the character limit

This might be a no-brainer, but subject lines also have a character limit. This is especially important if you don’t want your email cut off when it’s opened using a web-based reader like Gmail or Yahoo. According to a study, 41 characters (7 words) is perfect for email subject line length. You might be able to get away with a more in-depth subject line as it’s going to be written smaller, thus the character limit will be affected.

  1. A/B test your subject lines

A/B testing your subject lines is the next step you should take after having a solid understanding of how to write powerful emails that generate high open rates. The theory is simple: send the same email to two different audiences and see which one has a greater response rate. A/B testing is easier to carry out for transactional emails, but it can be applied to any other email campaign. It is a simple concept, but the benefits are huge.


The truth is, not all win-back email subject lines are created equal. Win-back campaigns can be highly effective but they require a particular set of tactics and skills to ensure that you not only win back your customers but also increase your revenue. We here at Selzy believe that it is very important to use a nicely written subject line for the email, so here are the main things you should do:

  • Personalize your subject lines. It’s more effective as people are more likely to open your emails.
  • Include an offer in your subject lines. It adds value to your email, leading to a bigger open rate.
  • Catch your customers’ attention by adding relatable things like emojis or personal questions, getting them to want to read the email itself.
14 May, 2022
Article by
Aida Kubatova
Aida Kubatova is a content writer and digital marketing manager. She’s experienced in writing marketing articles for B2B SaaS blogs, newsletters, landing pages, case studies, and interviews. Every day, she creates useful content to help marketers around the world learn more about the latest news and trends. Aida also helps small startups to grow their audience using the power of community marketing and influencers.
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