Flash Sale Subject Lines: 10 Proven Examples That Get Emails Opened

Bonus Material: Flash Sale Subject Lines Swipe File

Want your email campaign for your next flash sale to be a massive success?

Then you need to focus on one thing more than anything else.

Your subject lines.

The subject of your email will make or break your campaign. A good subject will get your subscribers to open and view your offer. A bad one will leave your email ignored, or worse — shoved in the spam folder.

In today’s article, I share 10 companies' proven flash sale subject lines you can steal for your next email campaign. Let’s do this! 

Note: A typical flash sale lasts less than 24 hours. Below I share six companies' proven flash sale subject lines, plus four from companies that ran extended, month-long flash sales.

1. Victoria’s Secret’s Fri-YAY!

Subject Line: Fri-YAY 🙌10/$35 Panty Party + $25 select bras!

What Makes It So Good: 

  • Victoria Secret is well-known for their panty and bra deals (I should know, my fiance reminds me all the time). That customer expectation is what makes this email work so well. Many shoppers wait for email deals like this to buy, as Victoria Secret has trained them to expect the deals.

  • They know their target market and use emojis to connect with their subscribers. 

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email

Note: There's one thing I don’t like about this email: the subject line is great, but the first thing you see when you open the email is their fashion show, which has nothing to do with the sale. You have to scroll to see the sale. I don’t recommend doing this.

2. Sun Basket’s “Little Secret” And Surprise

Sun Basket sells healthy, organic ingredients for specific recipes, delivered straight to your door. These next two emails are for 50% off flash sales (notice the text on the call to action button).

Subject Line: We've got a little secret to getting endless healthy recipes.

What Makes It So Good: 

  • It’s less about the sale and more about the benefit their customers want — endless healthy recipes.

  • It uses the word “secret” to create mystery and entice you to click.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email


Subject Line: ⭐️A surprise from Sun Basket! Treat yourself to bold flavors and delicious dinners.

What Makes It So Good: 

  • The star emoji draws the eye and makes this email stand out.

  • They use the word “surprise” to create mystery and entice you to click.

  • They highlight the benefit — “bold flavors and delicious dinners” — rather than the sale.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email

3. GrubHub’s Calling

GrubHub is a food delivery app that delivers food from your favorite restaurants right to your door.

Subject Line: Get $15 off. Breakfast is calling.

What Makes It So Good: 

  • It’s simple — what you see is what you get.

  • $15 off is darn good for a meal. That’s practically free food delivered to your door!

  • They hint at what you get with the “breakfast is calling” bit.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email

4. VistaPrint’s Friends & Family Sale

VistaPrint sells custom office supplies, like business cards and paper products.

Subject Line: Friends & Family sale + email exclusive offer inside!

What Makes It So Good: 

  • They say it’s a “friends & family” exclusive sale. It makes you feel important.

  • They use the words “offer inside” to entice you to click, but don’t say the exact offer to keep you curious enough to want to click.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email


Subject Line: ⚡️FLASH SALE | 2 FREE calendars ⚡️

What Makes It So Good: 

  • It is what it is — a flash sale!

  • They tell you exactly what you get (2 FREE calendars).

  • The lightning bolt emojis signify that you have to buy fast.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email

5. Muse Paintbar’s Flash Sale

Next up, I’ve got an email from Muse, a cool paintbar (a place where you paint and drink) I went to with my fiance.

Subject Line: Thanksgiving Sale — 25% Off

What Makes It So Good: 

  • It’s simple and to the point. What more could you want?

  • It shows you exactly what you’re getting. If you know the company and you like their product, this is a must-open email.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email

6. Audible’s 2-for-1 Sale

Audible sells audiobooks you can listen to from anywhere.

Subject Line: 2-for-1 Sale on Most Binged Listens!

What Makes It So Good: 

  • 2-for-1 is a good deal.

  • “Most Binged Listens” shows they speak their customer’s language and know what they’re looking for — binge-worthy audiobooks.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email

7. Wayfair’s Clearance & Holiday Sales

Our first flash sale subject lines come from Wayfair, a home store and master of email marketing. 

In fact, they’re so good, I wanted to share four of their subject lines. Each one has something unique that makes them good — let’s break it down.

Subject Line: 🤑 NOVEMBER 🤑CLEARANCE 🤑

What Makes It So Good: 

  • Caps and emojis make it stand out.

  • These particular emojis give their brand more personality.

  • The word “clearance” makes people excited to see what they can save on.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email


Subject Line: BIG Holiday Sale 🎁RUGS from $49.99

What Makes It So Good: 

  • Emoji to signify holiday sales and gift giving.

  • Capitalizing the significant words (BIG and RUGS).

  • Sharing the price to show people the exact deal they’re getting.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email


Subject Line: These rugs are DURABLE (and on sale!) 👟💧🐕

What Makes It So Good: 

  • It combines a major benefit (durable) and a sale.

  • They know their target market cares about the durability of their products.

  • It’s a resend of the same email as above — meaning they’re A/B testing their headlines (no surprise there).

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email


Subject Line: ☕🍳🍴 SEMI-ANNUAL KITCHEN SALE 🍴🍳☕

What Makes It So Good: 

  • Emojis and capital letters make this email stand out.

  • They use the phrase “semi-annual” to signify that 1) this sale is rare and 2) it’s probably going to be huge (since it only happens twice a year).

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email

8. Best Buy’s Early Black Friday

Best Buy still being in business amazes me, with Amazon taking a massive share of the electronics market. But perhaps their email subject lines are one of their saving factors!

Subject Line: 😊Whoa! Hundreds of Black Friday Ad deals available TODAY.

What Makes It So Good: 

  • They emphasize that these deals are available TODAY.

  • They’re capitalizing on Black Friday marketing really early (this was sent in the first week of November).

  • An emoji at the beginning of the subject line makes this email stand out.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email

9. Tony Robbin’s Massive Sale

Next up we have personal growth master and motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Valued at $480 million, this guy must be doing something right![*]

Subject Line: Save BIG this holiday — up to 50% off 1:1 Coaching

What Makes It So Good: 

  • He emphasizes saving BIG to draw you in.

  • He gives a very generous sale (50% off). Since his coaching is a high-ticket item, this is a significant savings.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email

10. Camping World’s “Quick” Sale

Camping World is the world’s biggest retailer of RVs and RV accessories. With such big-ticket items, flash sales are a big deal!

Subject Line: Quick! Up to 50% off new fifth wheels!*

What Makes It So Good: 

  • The word “Quick” signifies urgency.

  • Giving 50% off new fifth wheels is a huge discount.

  • Note that the asterisk (*) signifies the price is off MSRP, not actual retail value.

What The Email Looked Like:

Screenshot showing an ecommerce sale email

Get My Flash Sale Subject Lines Swipe File

Now that you’ve seen 10+ flash sale subject lines that have worked for all kinds of companies, you have some inspiration for your emails.

If you want a swipe file where you can quickly and easily copy-paste different email subject lines to use in your own flash sale campaigns, click the button below.

Flash Sale Subject Lines Swipe File

Email has the highest ROI. But that doesn’t matter if your subject lines suck.

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