100+ Win-back Email Subject Lines to Improve Your Open Rate

win-back email subject lines

Use these win-back email subject lines to bring back shoppers for more sales.

Did you know that an engaging subject line can inspire 33% of your email recipients to check out the rest of the email? Most customers scan an email’s subject lines for a few seconds and end up opening only those emails whose subject lines grab their attention and stand out from the rest.

That’s why it’s essential to make subject lines a key element of your email marketing strategy to increase your email open rates.

A good subject line will catch the reader’s attention and make them want to read more of your message. The best-converting email subject lines are often the ones that evoke curiosity, make a promise, or create a sense of urgency. And when done right, good subject lines have the power to win back your inactive customers and entice them to come back to your store and make another purchase.

Here are some of the most effective, and eye-catching win-back email subject lines that we’ve wound up for you.

How to craft the perfect win-back email subject lines

Before crafting the perfect subject line(s) for your win-back email campaign, try to first figure out what message you want to convey to your inactive subscribers. Take your time to work this out and think out various scenarios:

  • Why have your subscribers stopped engaging with the brand?
  • Why should they come back to your brand?
  • How are you going to win them back and address their needs in the future?

Once you’ve worked out these factors, here are some subject lines must-haves to include while crafting your win-back email subject line:

  1. Less is more: Keep your subject line short and sweet. Remember that a lot more can be said in fewer words. Also, you want to avoid your subject line getting truncated.
  2. Personalization: A personalized subject line where you mention the reader’s name increases your email’s chances of getting opened.
  3. Avoid all caps: An all caps subject line makes you appear needy and comes off as if you’re yelling. While it’s ok to convey excitement, make sure that you don’t come off as spammy.
  4. Refrain from false promises: To make your subject line clickbait, avoid making promises that you won’t fulfill in the email. This is not only deceiving to the reader but also degrades your credibility and hurts your future email campaigns.
  5. A/B test your subject line: A/B testing is extremely important as it’ll reveal to you what subject line resonates the most with your subscribers.

100+ email subject lines we absolutely love

To help inspire your next win-back campaign, we’ve scoured our own inboxes as well as the internet and categorized a few of our favorite subject lines that have won us back.

The simple ‘we miss you’ email subject lines

These are generic win-back subject lines that work well with any kind of store. These subject lines have one key message at their core: ‘we miss you.

  • ThirdLove – We miss you
  • Bokksu – You’ve missed over 30 different snacks!
  • Ann Taylor – We Miss You (And You’re Missing Out)
  • Blue Apron – Come back to beef up dinner!
  • Costco – Checking in with you, <Name>
  • CBS – Let’s reconnect!
  • Asos – Don’t forget about me
  • Chanel – Because we miss you
  • Home Chef – We’ll be here when you’re hungry
  • Jane – The word is out. We miss you (a lot).
  • Le Tote – Checking in…
  • Le Tote – Let’s start over
  • LingQ – We Miss You! Come Back And Try LingQ Again
  • LOFT – We TOTALLY need to catch up
  • Office Depot – Don’t leave this message on the printer
  • Loot Crate – We miss you! Enjoy this exclusive offer just for you!
  • Lucky Vitamin – We miss you…*puppy eyes*
  • MistoBox – It’s been a while…
  • TOMS – Long time no see! Here’s a discount b/c we miss you.
  • West Elm – Because we miss you + you’ve GOT to see what’s new
  • ​​Sears – We’ve been looking for you
  • West Elm – We’ve missed you! Here’s 15% OFF EVERYTHING — even furniture!
  • Sephora – We still miss you. (And you still have 20% OFF!)
  • Charming Charlie – Where have you been? We’ve Really Missed You
  • Girlfriend – WE MISS YOU! Don’t Pass up This Unique Code Inside + Complimentary Shipping

Incentive-based win-back email subject lines

A good strategy that brands use to increase your email’s open rates and improve their win-back campaign’s performance is to highlight an incentive right in the subject line.

This incentive can be a special offer, a limited period discount, or a free gift. If you plan to include an incentive as part of your win-back campaign, you’ll want to mention it in your subject line too.

Here are some examples from brands that have done so:

  • Scholastic – Here’s 20% Off Just for You!
  • MunchPak – A lot has changed! NEW Special Offer Inside.
  • Levenger – We Miss You! 30% Off + Free Shipping.
  • GiftsForYouNow – Take 40% Off Your Entire Order – We Miss You
  • Crate and Barrel – Come back and get 15% off. 4 days only.
  • Backcountry – A coupon for you: 15% off one full-price item
  • Adorama – Hey, Here’s a Gift Because We Miss You!
  • Primary – Psst… $10 off your next order is waiting!
  • Moosejaw – Come back and get 10% off your next order.
  • Guinness – We miss you! Here is 20% off your next order on Us!
  • Fairytale Brownies – Exclusive 25% Off Sitewide – Because we miss you!
  • Allen Edmonds – We Miss You – Open for Exclusive Offer
  • GrubHub – Here’s a $10 Perk because we miss you!
  • ModCloth – We miss you… & here’s 20% off to prove it!
  • Not on the high street – Hello Stranger! How about 10% off?
  • GAP – You+Us, We miss that! Get 40% off (1 week only)
  • High Sierra – FINAL chance to unlock 20% off
  • Astley Clarke – 17% off for the next 2 days only
  • Girlfriend – We miss you. Here’s $20.
  • Misguided – Still into us? Grab 30% off
  • Boden – This is us, winning you back. Get 15% off
  • Joy – Just for you, Friend. $5 voucher
  • Soak and Sleep – FINAL CHANCE to save over 25% off
  • Steve Madden – Still Solemates? Get 25% off on next purchase
  • UberEats – “Take $20 off your order of $25 or more”
  • LAMODA – “Here’s that discount you wanted”

​​Win-back email subject lines with emojis

The best way to make your email subject line stand out in people’s overcrowded inboxes is to include an emoji. Emojis not only successfully break the monotony of an all-text subject line but also help to draw attention to your subject line, increasing your open rate. Moreover, using the right emojis can even help you to express emotions like urgency and sadness (in case of a ‘we miss you’ email) more effectively.

Here are some examples of brands employing emojis in their subject lines

  • Nordstrom – ✨ We miss you! ✨ We’re singling you out for this: 20% OFF expires TONIGHT
  • Carousel Designs – TODAY ONLY! 40% off site-wide!
  • Papyrus – Let’s rekindle the friendship
  • Zivame – Hey, we miss you! Like, a lot! So, here is a gift, just for you!
  • Shutterfly – Hot freebie alert! 15 free gifts, you pick 5.”
  • Dinnerly – Because breaking up is hard to do…
  • eCreamery Ice Cream – 2 Free Pints! Because We Miss You ❤️
  • FabFitFun – Say bye to $15 credit
  • Goodfood Market – Come Back & Enjoy 6 FREE Plates!
  • Bullymake – Rejoin TODAY! Get The Power Chewer Picnic Box!
  • Papyrus – Let’s rekindle the friendship
  • We miss you (Subway)
  • Winc – {NAME}, you don’t want to miss out on these bottles
  • Dream Cloud Sleep – We miss you, here’s our best offer to show it ( oh sheet!)
  • HelloFresh – Take a bite of 50% OFF to come back and feel amazing
  • Wholesale Halloween Costumes – Boo…… We Miss You!

Win-back email subject lines personalized to the customer

A great way for brands to build personalization into their win-back email subject lines is to include the customer’s name. Personalized subject lines have been shown to increase open rates by 17% and make them stand out in customers’ inboxes.

Here are some examples from brands who’ve nailed personalization into their email subject lines:

  • Chewy – WE MISS YOU, {NAME} > $15 Off Your Next Order
  • Dinnerly – Hey {NAME}! Our new menu is PERFECT for you!
  • Hulu – {NAME}, give us another chance. We’ll give you 2 weeks free!
  • m&m’s – Hey {NAME}, it’s M&M’S. We miss you. Take 30% off now!
  • Marriott International – We’ve missed you, {NAME}! Please come back!
  • Netflix – {NAME}, now is the perfect time to rejoin Netflix.
  • Off Broadway Shoes – {NAME}, We Miss You – See Inside for Special Offer
  • Shopbop – {NAME}…we miss you! Take 10% off now
  • Baxter Of California – We know it’s been a while, {NAME}. Come back now for 25% off.
  • Death Wish Coffee Company – {NAME}–We miss you. Here’s something you might like.
  • Dinnerly – Let’s stay together, {NAME}
  • LOFT – {NAME}, we miss you! Take $25 off (in stores and online)
  • Midwest Supplies – We Miss You {NAME} – Take 20% Off Your Entire Purchase!
  • Popcornopolis – {NAME}… Come back and SAVE 25%!
  • Udacity – {NAME}, we miss you! Here are special savings just for you.
  • Baxter Of California – We know it’s been a while, {NAME}. Come back now for 25% off.
  • Marley Spoon – {NAME}, we miss you!
  • Midwest Supplies – We Miss You {NAME} – Take 20% Off Your Entire Purchase!
  • Netflix – Happy Saturday, {NAME}! Time to come back to Netflix…

Win-back email subject lines posed as a question

Posing your subject line as a question is a great way to pique your subscriber’s curiosity and tempt them to open your email. If your email content is engaging, it will also help improve your click-through rates.

These are some examples of brands that used win-back email subject lines containing questions:

  • Theory – We Miss You—Have You Seen What’s New?
  • MistoBox – Missing your coffee choices?
  • JustBallGloves – Wanna have a catch? We miss you.
  • HelloFresh – Have you checked your mailbox?
  • Dollar Shave Club – Have you been seeing someone else?
  • SprezzaBox – Are you in?
  • Loot Crate – Continue? 3… 2… 1…
  • Hunting for George – Was It Something We Said?
  • Dollar Shave Club – Ready to get back together?
  • Sephora – Rough Day? Inject a bit of luxury into your everyday routine
  • Banana Republic – Final Hours! Do you wanna save 50%?
  • Misguided – Still into us? Grab 30% off.
  • Dollar Shave Club – Do you still have too many blades?

Funny win-back email subject lines

Humour is one of the best tools to amp up your email marketing game and get your email to stand out from a sea of emails people receive on a daily basis. Here are some brands using humorous subject lines to catch their audience’s attention:

  • Chubbies – Screw it, let’s just give everyone free stuff
  • RebelsMarket – C’mon, it’s Friday and You’re Killing Time Anyway
  • Missguided – Hey, We Need to Talk…
  • Modcloth – Witch, Please
  • Modcloth – Warning: Unattended items in your bag may be eaten by gnomes
  • Mack Weldon – “I’ll call you later.” “Don’t call me later, call me Dad.”
  • Dollar Shave Club – Are You a Genius? You Could Be.
  • Birchbox – We See Something Awesome in Your Future
  • Sephora – We’re bringing sets-y back
  • Smartwool – The underwear you didn’t know you needed.
  • Koala – Fall in love (without the risk).
  • Rudy’s – Don’t put this off like a software update

Win-back email subject lines tested by RetainIQ

At RetainIQ, we wound up a bunch of win-back email subject lines that won us over.

  • Gobble – Pasta-bilities in your tummy
  • Michaels-Stores – Hi! We miss you!
  • Freshly – Get $6.16 Dinners When You Come Back, Fam!
  • Sun Basket – ​​Ok we admit it, we miss you
  • Home Chef – Decisions, decisions! Come back to try them all and get $100 off
  • Bullymake – Rejoin TODAY! Get The Power Chewer Picnic Box!
  • Bokksu – ​​You’ve missed over 30 different snacks!
  • Marley Spoon – Brian, we miss you!
  • Edible arrangements – Come back and save 20%!
  • Winc – Step aside Prime Day, we’ve got something better
  • Pau Smith – We miss you – 10% off everything
  • Hello Fresh – Want dinner delivered next week?
  • Electric California – William look what’s inside!
  • Fab Fit Fun – Your freebie is waiting
  • Moosejaw – Come back and get 10% off your next order.
  • Scholastic – Here’s 20% Off Just for You!
  • Grubhub – Here’s a $10 Perk because we miss you!
  • Wholesale Haloween Costumes – Boo… We Miss You!
  • Office Depot – Don’t leave this message on the printer
  • LOFT – We TOTALLY need to catch up
  • Allen Edmonds – We Miss You – Open for Exclusive Offer
  • Theory – We Miss You—Have You Seen What’s New?
  • Netflix – Happy Saturday, MailCharts! Time to come back to Netflix…
  • Loot Crate – We miss you! Enjoy this exclusive offer just for you!
  • AARP – We miss you – Receive a Gift with AARP Membership
  • Dinnerly – Tasty + Cheap + Fast = Dinnerly!
  • ELEVEN by Venus – We miss you!
  • JustBallGloves – Wanna have a catch? We miss you.
  • Guinness – We miss you! Here is 20% off your next order on Us!
  • Zivame – Hey, we miss you! Like, a lot! So, here is a gift, just for you!
  • Backcountry – A coupon for you: 15% off one full-price item
  • Papyrus – Let’s rekindle the friendship
  • Dreamcloud – We miss you, here’s our best offer to show it ( oh sheet!)
  • Shop4 – ​​We Miss You! || Coupon Inside Just for You
  • Off Broadway Shoes – Nancy, We Miss You – See Inside for Special Offer
  • Levenger – We Miss You! 30% Off + Free Shipping.
  • Gifts For You Now – Take 40% Off Your Entire Order – We Miss You
  • Pacifica – OMG! 15% OFF Sitewide!
  • Popcornopoli – Matthew… Come back and SAVE 25%!
  • Primary – Psst… $10 off your next order is waiting!
  • Blue Apron – Join us again for sweater weather eats
  • Mistobox – Missing your coffee choices?
  • Hello Fresh – Have you checked your mailbox?
  • Munchpak – A lot has changed! NEW Special Offer Inside.
  • Winc – ✨ Labor Day savings start NOW! Take $26 off when you come back to Winc today. ✨
  • FabFitFun – Say bye to $15 credit
  • Hulu – Confirmed! You deserve this: So many new shows and movies
  • Boxy Charm – Customization is real, and it could be yours! Plus $120 a gift
  • eCreamery Icecream – 2 Free Pints! Because We Miss You ❤️
  • Ann Taylor – We Miss You (And You’re Missing Out)
  • Jane – The word is out. We miss you (a lot).
  • GoodFood Market – Come Back & Enjoy 6 FREE Plates!
  • Fairytale Brownies – Exclusive 25% Off Sitewide – Because we miss you!

Conclusion

A great subject line is the backbone of your win-back email campaign. Do it right and you’ll witness a sharp rise in your email’s open rate, which will finally pave the way for more engagement and conversions on your win-back emails.

The key to crafting a memorable subject line is to keep it engaging, simple, and on-brand.

Ensure that you appeal to the emotions and needs of your target audience, and most importantly, keep it light and fun by including emojis, puns, or references to pop culture.

Ready to set up your win-back emails?

Try these win-back email subject lines and custom flows from RetainIQ.

Want to learn more about win-back emails for ecommerce? Follow our blog here.

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