New Year Email Subject Lines

To think of the big picture, the subject line is essentially a salesperson getting you in the door but, in this case, opening the email to convince you to spend money on something you initially did not plan to do. Subject lines are essential because, in this fast-paced environment, inboxes are bombarded with many emails that will pull the recipient's or customer's attention, so the subject line must catch their eye. Often people don't even open the emails unless there is something they are looking forward to or that caught their attention. With this being said in the flash of holiday sales and bombarding of the inbox it is crucial that subject lines are made to stand out. Instead, they look at the subject line for a split second and decide if it is enticing enough to interact with. With the holiday season of New Year's, it is a great time to get a little catchy with your subject line and not the day-to-day basics. The creativity to express a little bit of the company's personality can be done through the subject line, which will often catch a reader's attention.

History of the Holiday

To glimpse into why we celebrate New Years the way we do we can walk through some history, dating back to Julius Caesar. It is important to note that the New Year we celebrate today was only decided because of Julius. 

Julius Caesar decided with mathematicians and astronomers when he introduced the Julian calendar, which resembles the modern Gregorian calendar used throughout other countries today. As part of the new calendar, Caesar made it start on the first day of the New Year, which is Jan 1st. He did this partially to honor the Roman god of beginnings, Janus. Janus could look back into the past as well as forward into the future. The Romans would celebrate by exchanging gifts, decorating their homes, and through raucous celebrations. 

Customs are different worldwide, but a common custom in English Speaking countries is to watch fireworks and sing songs to welcome the new year. Ancient Babylonians were the first to practice making new year's resolutions; they made promises to earn the gods' favor and to start the New Year off with a good heart. 

In the United States, the Iconic event is watching the ball drop in New York City's Times Square when the clock strikes midnight. This tradition is observed around the world and has taken place since 1907. This tradition has spread across the world and now other countries anticipate the ball dropping as well. All of these countries may celebrate a tad differently, but it is important to note that they celebrate a holiday worldwide. Creating emails that can grab the attention of individuals during this chaotic time of celebrating and excitement around the New Year can allow your brand to stand out if the correct subject line is used instantly.  

Remember the Basics

Before diving into New Year subject lines, it is essential to remember the basic do's and don'ts of subject lines. Often referred to as the tagline, subject lines are not to tell you everything but to say to you just enough to make you click on the email instead of the delete button. Attempting to catch your attention for more than a couple of seconds. Subject lines are in a way a salesperson, they want to get you in the store but in this case they want to catch your attention with an email.


  • Only write part of the email in the subject line - this must be emphasized more; it is one of the most commonly misunderstood email practices. Subject lines are meant to be kept short and sweet because they entice you to read more which you will find in the email. It is also essential to remember that if the subject line is short, it is also mobile device friendly; approximately 50% of people open their emails on their phones.
  • Do not send click bait - Nobody wants clickbait in their inbox, not even your customers. Trying to entice somebody through the subject line is great until it is perceived as clickbait because it will end up in the delete folder, as well as leave a bad taste of your brand in the recipient's mouth.
  • Refrain from making the few words you have pointless - This is important because the subject line should be straight and to the point. Refrain from dilly dally around the idea of what the email is trying to portray. This can often be seen as a wasted opportunity and a waste of characters because, as mentioned before, email subject lines are meant to be something other than a novel.

Best Practices:

  • Keep it brief - The subject line should be short and to the point, quickly grabbing the recipient's attention. A great subject line is estimated at 50 characters; it has been proven that 50 characters have about a 12% increase in open rates as opposed to anything longer than that.
  • Grab their interest! - you want your brand's subject line to be exciting and unique. You do not want to blend into the flooded inbox of emails; the goal is to stand out and make a difference in a person's day. Do your best to stay away from cliche sayings as well as overuse of specific words. These two factors will both play a role in incentivizing your recipients.
  • Make it intriguing - The subject line must convince the recipient that whatever is being contained in the email will benefit them for the greater good.
  • Create Trust - Trustworthiness is the heart of a brand, information contained in your email should be an expanded version of what was in the subject line. Make sure that the subject line doesn't contain grammatical or spelling errors to ensure the brand keeps its image intact. 

Holiday Subject Lines

There are few studies where holiday insights have been made about the subject line specifically. With this being said, 5 of the most popular words used in successful subject lines are; "Off," "Sale," " New," "Christmas," and "free." All of these are great words to grasp a recipient's attention. And looking at discount offers specifically, the top five are "5%", "20%", "25%", "50%", and "30$". A popular trend in subject lines that generated great open rates from the previous years are subject lines that contain emojis, make an apparent offer, is concise and to the point, and offer delivery before a specific date.


Emojis have just skyrocketed the subject line interaction. As emojis are getting more popular in subject lines, they have only increased the number of interactions by approximately 18%. They add a pop of color and fun to catch the customer's attention and make it stand out from the crowd. Here are five great reasons why your brand identity should consider incorporating emojis:

  • Emojis help you stand out in a flooded inbox!
  • Emojis Increase Open rates
  • They attach emotion to your email
  • The safe space in the subject line
  • A/B testing with Emojis is very cheap

For visual reference, the top emojis from this previous holiday season is: 🎁🎄🎅🏻💰

Make New Years Email Pop like Champagne Corks

  • Create FOMO - Don't allow people to 'save it for later, as it will escape their mind, and they will never purchase it. Create a sense of urgency, and push your customers to add to the cart. 
  • Ask rhetorical Questions - A fun way to engage with your audience is to ask a question they can find the answer to in your email. Engaging with them and catching their attention creatively will help the email stand out. 
  • Tips and Tricks - These go a long way during the holiday season, and often, the holiday season gets overwhelming, so when tips and tricks are provided to make it easier, it is appreciated. It shows recipients that you value their experience and are trying to help. 
  • Include Numbers - numbers are often the key to success in subject lines. There are a couple of reasons that numbers are seen as valid:
    • They are going to catch the attention of recipients.
    • They are specific, letting the recipient know there is a deal or discount inside.
    • Numbers are eye-catching - often, all it takes is a sale to get a customer to engage; including numbers in the subject line may entice that individual to make a purchase.


Let's evaluate these subject lines in action!

New Year's Eve subject lines:

  • Got no New Year plans? We've got you covered! - Voyages SNCF
    • This is a great job! They ask a rhetorical question that engages the audience. And then provide a solution when the email is interacted with. 
  • 20 + fuss-free ways to feed your guests on New Year's Eve - Food52
    • Tips and Tricks! Helping make the recipient's life easier by offering alternative methods or things learned over the years. Either way, they are showing customers that they care!
  • Get it for New Year's Eve - Free Overnight Shipping! - Alex Bittar
    • Adding an incentive is an excellent idea. Overnight shipping is quite pricey; including it with the purchase and getting the item before the big celebration can make a huge difference. 
  • Only three days until New Year's Eve… Ready the confetti! - Express
    • This is a fun way to incorporate a countdown. Mentioning that there are only a few more days of the year is a version of FOMO, so recipients act quickly. 
  • Ring in the new year in a new city - HomeAway
    • Create excitement about the holiday. This particular subject line could touch somebody who has just moved or visiting, allowing them to feel at home. 

New Year's Day subject lines: Emails sent out on New Year's Day are a welcome to the New Year or a sale to kick off the new year! Both are great times to capitalize. 

  • Happy New Year + Save Up to 55% OFF! - Godiva
    • Godiva does a great job here of offering a deal that is quite large, 55%!? That's awesome, but they are also saying Happy New Year, which adds that personal touch. 
  • Cheers to a Beautiful New Year! - Estee Lauder
    • Cheers to the New Year is a charming way of ensuring that it is clear to the customer that we are bringing the new year together!
  • First day of the New Year. Last day of free shipping - Blair
    • Blair is charming, adding this little first day and last day! Wishing everybody a Happy New Year is great, but when it is taken and matched by saying "Last Day of Free Shipping," it's a cute gift with an expiration date creating FOMO and sparking urgency in recipients.
  • Here's to Another Trip around the sun - VonZipper
    • This is a classic! Another trip around the sun from a sunglass company is a charming play on words because their product protects your eyes from the sun. So this is an excellent opportunity to endorse their product but keep it light-hearted.
  • What's in store for the New Year? - Elio Motors
    • I am throwing in a rhetorical question! This was mentioned earlier, but to re-emphasize, this is a fun way to entice the audience into clicking on the email to see what is in store for the upcoming year. 

In Conclusion

As discovered Throughout this post, subject lines play an essential role in catching your audience's attention. The subject line must talk for itself to introduce a deal or wish your recipients a happy New Year. It's a small glimpse of what the email offers but enticing enough to encourage interaction. There are many best practices to make sure are Incorporated when deciding what your subject line will be, these were discussed above, but they are always great to refer back to ensure that you are on the correct path. Within-subject lines, it is essential that they do not consist of spelling or grammatical errors. Using software that allows you to check the emails before they are sent out, such as mailsoftly, is a great way to ensure there are no mistakes. Check it out today!

Check our other blogs, too: How To Start An Email For The New Year, New Year Email Ideas and Examples & How To Write A New Year Email