5 Examples of Time-Sensitive Email Subject Lines

We can’t discuss email marketing without discussing email subject lines. They are a critical component of a campaign’s success or failure. (And some would argue they’re the most critical component.) Below, I’ll be getting into examples of time-sensitive email subject lines.

But first, here’s some helpful info: One of the best people you can follow when it comes to email subject lines (and email marketing in general) is Jay Schwedelson. Here’s a link to his famous “Scoop” newsletter. (You can access back copies as well.) And you can try his free subject line rating tool.

I highly recommend the tool since it will give you a score, show you where you get dinged, and offer other variations to consider.

When it comes to email subject line best practices, the big ones you have to keep in mind are length and tone.

For length, the rule of thumb as I’m writing this now in 2023 is to aim for fewer than 60 characters and no more than eight or nine words.

For tone . . . I wish I could tell you there’s one winning formula. There isn’t. Action-oriented words and verbs tend to work. Clever copy can work, even with businesses you might not expect. But straightforward can work as well. Both b2b and b2c audiences have gotten used to emojis. (Remember, in both cases, a human is receiving your emails, so this isn’t a surprise.) But where you place the emoji can matter. Putting them at the beginning of your subject line rather than the end can have a positive impact.

For now, though, let’s discuss time-sensitive email subject lines.

If something is truly time-sensitive, you’ll want to make sure you’re being super clear. Experiment with words like . . .

  • Hurry
  • Time’s running out
  • Last chance
  • Don’t miss out
  • Final call

Emojis to experiment with include:

  • Hourglass emoji
  • Clock emoji
  • Wide eyes
  • Worried face/surprised face

You get the idea. And I’m riffing here. When you sit down to write email subject lines, you begin like you would any other piece of content. Who’s the audience? What do you want them to do (besides open the email)? Why should they open this email? What’s in it for them? Why should they care? Why does this matter? WHAT’S THE MEANING OF LIFE?

And then encapsulate all of that in fewer than 60 characters.

Fun challenge, right?

Let’s turn it over to me on Zoom below, where I’ll share my screen so I can .  . . 

  • Review five time-sensitive email subject lines plucked straight from my inbox
  • Show you how to use SubjectLine.com
  • Use SubjectLine.com to audit a couple of my subject email lines for a client

Make sure you check out my other blog post on five examples of “We miss you” email subject lines.

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That’s me—I’m the Copy Bitch. I have over 20 years of experience as a freelance copywriter and love sharing what I’ve learned. Reach out with a question or leave a question in the comments on one of my YouTube videos.