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The best flash sale email subject lines to draw readers in

Reading Time: 10 minutes

A well-executed flash sale has lots of benefits.

Research shows that the scarcity factor in flash sales stimulates impulse buying among consumers. They also promote shopping enjoyment.

But unless you capture the attention of your target customers and get them to open your flash sale email, you won’t really enjoy these benefits.

And this starts with getting your flash sale subject lines right.

We’ll show you what goes into creating the best flash sale subject lines and give you 20 examples of the best subject lines and emails to inspire you.

How to write the best flash sale email subject lines

The subject line is the first thing a recipient sees when they receive an email. Whether they open the email or not really depends on whether a subject line catches their attention.

The best flash sale subject lines have the following features.

1. They create a sense of urgency

Creating urgency is an effective method to promote the offer in your email and compel your customers to take action.

By setting timeframes and using the right words in your flash sale subject lines, you play on your readers’ fear of missing out (FOMO), which can boost sales.

You can create a sense of urgency using words and phrases like:

  • Sale starts [soon/today/now]
  • Limited time offer
  • Don’t miss this
  • Now
  • Fast
  • Save today
  • Act now

In fact, Omnisend’s post-Black Friday research showed that “Sale starts…” and “Last chance” had the highest effect on open rates:

2. They provide value

Mentioning the value you’re providing in your flash sale email subject lines motivates your subscribers to open the email.

The allusion to something free or discounted brought directly into their inbox will make them more inclined to open the related email.

What value will they gain from opening your email? A discount? Free shipping? Mention these in your flash sale email subject lines.

3. They make use of emojis

Make use of emojis in flash sale subject lines to:

  • Draw attention to your emails in a crowded inbox.
  • Actively engage more customers
  • Create a mood using a single character
  • Make an emotional connection with subscribers

Pro tip: Use emojis to emphasize something in a positive context.

4. They provide the flash sale details

Telling subscribers what’s in the email can increase your open rates and clicks. Use your flash sale subject lines to tell them the products or categories in the flash sale.

Assuming you’re targeting subscribers based on their buying behavior, they’re likely to find something they’re interested in.

Pro tip: Don’t give them too much information. Provide limited (but adequate) information that generates curiosity to open an email and find out more.

5. They evoke curiosity

Get your subscribers curious about the content in your email by providing open-ended details in your flash sale subject lines.

Tease them with a question or promise something interesting that compels them to read the email.

Make it funny. Flash sale subject lines that make subscribers laugh make them curious to see what’s inside.

You could also say something unusual, such as a cliffhanger that tempts readers to open the email.

Related content:

👉 Flash Sales: How to do them right
👉 How to use emojis in subject lines
👉 515 high-converting subject lines

Flash sale subject lines: examples

Here are 20 examples of some of the best flash sale subject lines to get better opens, clicks and sales:

  1. FLASH SALE | 30% Off Starts NOW
  2. Rarer than a hairless cat.
  3. ⚡️ Flash Sale ⚡️ 40% OFF Engravable Jewelry
  4. Flash Sale Ends Tonight - $400 Off Select Bicycles!
  5. You’ve been selected (early access!)
  6. Psst. Here's a 20% off coupon. Expires soon.
  7. 🥕 ⏰ Flash Sale: Ice Fil Tech Tights, $75
  8. Foam + springs = our favorite things!
  9. 🤫Shh… Mystery Discount INSIDE
  10. Take your sneakers up a notch | 30% off FLASH SALE
  11. 🤤 Big Flavor Flash Sale! Two for Tuesday is back!
  12. FLASH SALE 🛍 Perfect Gifts for Father's Day! 🛍
  13. FREE COOLER BAG
  14. We've got a little secret to getting endless healthy recipes.
  15. Friends & Family sale + email exclusive offer inside!
  16. STARTS NOW 50-75% OFF EVERYTHING!
  17. FLASH Sale inside
  18. Quick! 20% off until 10 pm tonight
  19. Up to 25% off on Select Categories Sale Ends Sunday
  20. 🤑 NOVEMBER 🤑CLEARANCE 🤑

Click through each to get deeper insights into what makes these subject lines great, or continue reading below.

1. FLASH SALE | 30% Off Starts NOW

Brand: Fanatics.com

Why this flash sales email subject line is good:

  • It goes straight into the most important details—what the email is about and the benefits subscribers will get by opening it.
  • It creates urgency by mentioning when the sale starts and the size of the discounts to further attract the subscribers.
  • It’s less than 40 characters, which keeps it from getting cut short in the subscribers’ inbox.

Here’s how the email looks:

2. Rarer than a hairless cat.

Preview text: A one day flash sale!

Brand: Meow Meow Tweet

What makes this flash sale subject line good:

  • It’s surprising and intriguing, which is likely to make it different from other emails subscribers may have in their inboxes. While the subject line doesn't explicitly state that it's a flash sale email, the preview text clears up any confusion.
  • The tone of the subject line reflects the brand’s playful personality
  • It’s not something people expect from a sales email. Such a subject line is bound to get your subscribers curious enough to open your email.

Here’s the complete email:

Want to learn how to make cool email designs?

👉 Email design templates for inspiration [+best practices]

3. ⚡️ Flash Sale ⚡️ 40% OFF Engravable Jewelry

Brand: Pura Vida Bracelets

Why this email subject line for flash sales is good:

  • The emojis call attention to the purpose of the email and make it stand out in the inbox.
  • Subscribers don’t need to open the email to know what it’s about. The subject line makes the specific discounted product category clear.
  • It clearly mentions the generous discount the brand is offering.

Here’s the complete flash sales email:

More tips on selling:

👉 How to run a sales event
👉 How to cross-sell in online retail
👉 How to sell more without increasing your ad costs

4. Flash Sale Ends Tonight - $400 Off Select Bicycles!

Brand: Priority Bicycles 

What makes this flash sale subject line good:

  • It’s clear on the valuable opportunity the flash sale presents—saving a whopping $400.
  • The subject line mentions the product on offer and the preview text gets even more specific on the product category.
  • It creates a sense of urgency by mentioning that the flash sale ends that night. This triggers the fear of missing out (FOMO).

Here’s the complete flash sales email:

5. You’ve been selected (early access!)

Brand: HelloFresh

Why this flash sale email subject line is good:

  • The subject line uses ‘you’ve’ to speak directly to the reader and adding a personal touch.
  • It makes use of brackets to emphasize important information without using caps. Caps can come across as shouting and should be avoided.
  • It makes recipients feel like they’re among the first people to know about the offer, which makes them feel special.

Here’s how the flash sale email looks:

6. Psst. Here's a 20% off coupon. Expires soon.

Brand: Redbubble 

What makes this flash sale subject line good:

  • The choice of words, such as “Psst” and the contraction “here’s'' makes it conversational. It gives it a friendly vibe and a human touch.
  • It creates urgency and that triggers the fear of missing out.
  • It’s hard to pass up a good deal. The mention of the 20% coupon boosts open rates.

How the flash sale email looks:

Related:

👉 How to make a discount pricing strategy
👉 The best Christmas email subject lines for your holiday campaigns
👉 19 Valentine’s Day Email Subject Lines with Awesome Newsletter Examples

7. 🥕 ⏰ Flash Sale: Ice Fil Tech Tights, $75

Brand: Kerrits

Why this is one of the best flash sale subject lines:

  • It’s a straightforward subject line that provides relevant details about the offer upfront.
  • The use of emojis turns the subject line into a visual treat that captures the attention of recipients.
  • It states the exact price the item in the flash sale is going for, which gathers more attention than a vague offer would.

How the email looks:

8. Foam + springs = our favorite things! 

Brand: Leesa

Why this is one of the best flash sale subject lines:

  • It’s intriguing. The subject line presents a mystery and compels the readers to open the email to satisfy their curiosity.
  • With 37 characters, it’s brief and effective at grabbing the attention of subscribers who scan their inboxes before opening their emails.
  • It hints at the product that’s on offer without being obvious, which inspires a higher open rate.

How the flash sale email looks:

9. 🤫Shh... Mystery Discount INSIDE

Preview text: Flash Mystery Sale🔥

Brand: Cupshe

What makes this one of the best flash sale subject lines:

  • It sets clear expectations. Subscribers know what they’ll get if they open the email.
  • It’s mysterious, which hooks readers and sparks their interest. The same mystery is reflected in the body of the email.
  • A cheeky emoji at the start of the subject line adds context to the subject line.

How the email looks:

10. Take your sneakers up a notch | 30% off FLASH SALE

Brand: TOMS

What makes this flash sale subject line good:

  • It starts with an action verb that tells subscribers exactly what you want them to do and triggers a response.
  • It promises the subscribers a better experience. And when this improved experience comes at a discount, you can be sure of high engagement.
  • The subject line answers the question “what’s in it for me”—30% off sneakers.

How the email looks:

11. 🤤 Big Flavor Flash Sale! Two for Tuesday is back!

Brand: Man Crates 

Why this is one of the best flash sale subject lines:

  • An excellent choice of emoji to evoke emotion and create excitement around the flash sale.
  • The language is conversational and casual, which gives it some personality.
  • It hints at the content of the email but doesn’t give it all away. They’ll still need to open the email to know which product is on offer and how much the discount is.

How the email looks:

12. FLASH SALE 🛍 Perfect Gifts for Father's Day! 🛍

Brand: Valerie confections 

What makes this one of the best flash sale subject lines:

  • Emojis make it more expressive and grab subscribers’ attention.
  • It’s front-loaded with the most important information in caps—a flash sale.
  • The subject line communicates the value of the email clearly—a flash sale on gifts fit for Father’s day.

Here’s how the actual email looks:

13. FREE COOLER BAG

Brand: Chubbies Shorts

What makes this flash sale subject line good:

  • It’s direct. Busy subscribers don’t have to go through a block of text to know what the email is about.
  • In one word—free—the benefit of opening the email becomes apparent to the readers. And once they open the email, another pleasant surprise of a 50% discount awaits them.
  • With only 3 words and 15 characters, the entire subject line is fully visible in subscribers’ inboxes. It’s in caps so it doesn’t go unnoticed.

How the flash sale email looks:

14.  We've got a little secret to getting endless healthy recipes.

Brand: Sunbasket

Why this email subject line for flash sales is good:

  • It’s intriguing. The mention of a “secret” creates a mystery that attracts more opens.
  • The value of “endless healthy benefits” is tailored for its target customers, which is people seeking healthy food.
  • It’s conversational. It speaks directly to subscribers, which inspires action.

How the actual email looks:

15. Friends & Family sale + email exclusive offer inside!

Brand: Vistaprint

Why this is one of the best flash sale subject lines:

  • The use of the words “email exclusive” makes the recipients feel special, which drives more engagement.
  • It promises immense benefits from opening the email—a friends and family sale plus an email exclusive offer—attracting more opens.
  • It communicates the value while still evoking curiosity.

How the email looked like:

16. STARTS NOW 50-75% OFF EVERYTHING!

Brand: Aeropostale

What makes this flash sale subject line good:

  • The mention of a crazy discount of up to 75% on everything is bound to draw engagement as recipients would want to learn more.
  • Beginning with the words “STARTS NOW” creates a sense of urgency.
  • It goes straight to the point while still communicating the value to the subscribers.

How the email looks:

17. FLASH Sale inside

Brand: No Days Wasted

What makes this flash sale subject line good:

  • With only 3 words, it’s easy to spot in the inbox.
  • The word “FLASH” is capitalized to bring attention to the value inside.
  • Simply telling the recipients what’s inside encourages them to look.

Here’s what the email looks like:

18. Quick! 20% off until 10 pm tonight

Brand: Liz Earle Beauty

What makes this flash sale subject line good:

  • The value the subscriber will get from opening the email is clear.
  • The clear deadline creates a sense of urgency and increases engagement.
  • The use of the word “quick” further encourages readers to take quick action.

How the email looks:

19.  Up to 25% off on Select Categories Sale Ends Sunday

Brand: BannerBuzz

What makes this flash sale subject line good:

  • It’s informative. The recipient knows how much discount they’ll be getting, on what, and when it ends.
  • Making it known that the flash sale has an expiry date prompts action from the recipient.
  • The words “Select Categories” mentions the value without giving it all away. The recipient will want to know what categories are on offer.

Here’s the flash sale email:

20. 🤑 NOVEMBER 🤑CLEARANCE 🤑

Brand: Wayfair.com

What makes this flash sale subject line good:

  • Three emojis and two words in caps is a unique subject line that stands out in the inbox visually.
  • Emojis with dollar signs creates excitement around the big saving customers will be making, which increases engagement.
  • The word clearance communicates the value of the email.

How the email looks:

Next steps

You already put a lot of effort into organizing your flash sales. Don’t allow ineffective flash sale email subject lines to make them a flop.

Ensure your flash sale subject lines are unique enough to capture the recipients’ eyes and make them eager to know more.

Check out these other useful guides to create powerful email subject lines.

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Bernard Meyer
Article by
Bernard Meyer

Bernard is the Director of Content at Omnisend, with a passion for good research, helping ecommerce businesses with their marketing automation needs, and beating absolutely everyone in Mario Kart 64.


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