In general, the most effective subject lines are straightforward and predispose openers to click through and convert. But creativity does have its place.
You may not have a fantastic deal to tout. You might be using creative language to differentiate your non-promotional messages from sales-oriented ones. You may be newsjacking. You might be tapping into the voice of your customers. Or humor, wit, and pop culture references may fit your brand image.
Whatever your reason, creativity in less than half the length of a tweet can give your emails the edge — especially when your subject line is backed up with great email content.
To get your creative juices flowing, here are our picks for 100 of the most inspiring subject lines since 2006 — along with some notable trends and events through the years that have affected subject lines.