67 Back-to-School Email Subject Lines + 5 Email Examples

Omnisend Blog
August 24, 2020

Fortunately or unfortunately, summer is quickly coming to an end: meaning you’ll need to catch up on your back-to-school email subject lines.

Unlike previous years, this B2S season outlook remains clouded. There is much uncertainty about school reopenings, which impacts the usual school supplies and apparel demand.

However, the National Retail Federation has optimistic predictions for upcoming discount events. According to them, the total season spend will increase by 26.2% to a record $33.9 billion, up from $26.2 billion in 2019.

For retailers, it means that they shouldn’t miss their opportunity to launch back-to-school marketing campaigns and get the piece of that multi-billion-dollar sales cake.

So let’s look at 67 of the best ever-green back-to-school email subject lines that you may need.

Top 5 best performing back-to-school email subject lines

In our yearly Omnisend email marketing research, we analyzed more than 10,000 of our bigger brands’ 2017-2018 back-to-school email campaigns.

We wanted to find out what the highest-converting email subject lines were, related to the back-to-school topic.

When looking at the data, we see that ‘back to school’ as a term performed almost as well as the other regular subject line phrases, which include:

  • holiday
  • sale off
  • %
  • free
  • now
  • soon
  • save
  • don’t miss
  • last

You can see this in the following graph:

How the back-to-school email subject lines compare to other popular subject line terms

Since we’re looking specifically at subject lines, we’re focusing mainly on open rates. After all, that’s the main impact of having high-converting back-to-school email subject lines.

Secondly, we’re also looking at the click rates for each of the top 5 subject lines.

So let’s take a look at the 5 highest-converting back-to-school email subject lines:

#1 Back-to-school subject line: “BACK TO SCHOOL! Come join the FUN! 🎒”

  • Open rate: 28.6%
  • Click rate: 5%

#2 Back-to-school subject line: “OH DEER POP UP SUPER SALE! Back to school Shopping!”

  • Open rate: 22.5%
  • Click rate: 6.5%

#3 Back-to-school subject line: “$5 Back to School Deal  ✏️”

  • Open rate: 21.6%
  • Click rate: 1.9%

#4 Back-to-school subject line: “Back to School never looked so good! Specials all week!”

  • Open rate: 20.3%
  • Click rate: 3.5%

#5 Back-to-school subject line: “30% OFF BACK TO SCHOOL SALE  🏃”

  • Open rate: 18.3%
  • Click rate: 1.8%

As you can see from the five above, there are a lot of emojis here. That’s probably because the target is about the younger generation (aiming for younger parents), or for the students themselves.

Or, it could be that it’s a pretty light, optimistic occasion in itself, so the emojis fit the mood.

You can also see that three of the email subject lines contain all caps, either completely or partially.

That fits in with the light mood, and it’s always good to experiment with differently subject line styles to see which really pay off.

Back-to-school email subject lines with sales & discounts

  • Exclusive! Back to School Sale
  • Shop for Back to School with 40% Off
  • 40% off all Back to School must-haves!
  • Last Days of Our Back To School Sale
  • A sale so big you’ll wish you had homework.
  • Back to School must haves | Now 20% off!
  • Back to school: Get up to 30% off + bonus!
  • 📝 Back to School Sale: Up to 50% Off Footwear →
  • 10% OFF for the Back to School Event!
  • Hold the door! Check out this back to school sale.
  • 👓 Get them set for school! Kid’s lenses only $25– so smart
  • Back To School savings up to 40% Off*. Better hurry.
  • Back-to-School Essentials, $39 & Under →
  • Back-to-School Sale begins NOW! Double Deals: Up to 80% OFF + EXTRA 10%
  • Stock Up for School: 40% to 75% Off The Entire Store and Earn $15 PLACE Cash!
  • Free Shipping + 20% Off Back-To-School Must-Haves!
  • Back to School Sale – Up to 70% off sitewide
  • 20% off Back to School Gifts!
  • 40% OFF Everything! Stock up on back to school basics!
  • Hurry, before the bell rings! New gear ships free + save 20% on select backpacks
  • Back To School Sale Starts Now!
  • HUGE Back to School Bedding SALE – Today Only!

Back-to-school subject lines about getting ready

  • Are you in the back to school spirit?
  • Ready to go back to school?
  • It’s that time of the year again…
  • ☑ Check the Box on Back to School Readiness! (Lenovo)
  • Back-to-school already?! Raise your hand if you’re prepared…
  • Time for Back to School 🍎
  • 🎀 Back To School Ready
  • Prep for School: New Year, New Look
  • Going back to school?
  • School is Around the Corner!
  • Ready for Back to School? Deals inside.

Back-to-school subject lines about fashion

  • Favorite looks for school are here!
  • Back to school cool 😎
  • Your #1 Destination for Back to School Looks 💙
  • Back to School in Style With These Essentials
  • Top 10 Looks for Back to School
  • 🎒 👟 Back to School Styles for Him and for Her 👟 🎒
  • Jump Back Into School With Style!
  • Back to School Fall Faves
  • New Style to Rule the School
  • Back Into School With Style

Back-to-school subject lines with supplies and gadgets

  • Still short on school supplies?
  • Back-to-School Checklist: √ Backpacks √ Supplies
  • Back to School Essentials
  • It’s time to get serious about back-to-school season
  • New! Personalized notebooks for back-to-school.
  • Back. To. School. Brilliant stuff for little scholars
  • School Time. Play Time.
  • Must-Have Back to School Essentials
  • Raise your hand if you still need school supplies
  • Get Psyched for School with the Coolest Tools!
  • ✔ These Off Your Back To School List…
  • Earn Up to 2X Miles on Back-To-School Tech

Back-to-school subject lines about savings and gifts

  • A special back to school Gift for you!
  • Big Back-to-School Savings
  • Save big on Back to School + Free Shipping
  • Limited Time Only- Back to School Savings!
  • Back to School Deals
  • Your First Assignment: $ave Money!
  • Saved by the 🔔 Get huge back-to-school deals today!

5 Back-to-School Email Examples

Apart from buying the school appliances, “Back to School” shopping is about looking cool. For kids and teenagers, this is the most essential when acquiring stuff for the new season.

Check out the following examples, how brands differently approach their audience and promote their products.

1. 24S.com

24S.com targets young women, college students of higher income. This brand highlights the most suitable for the fall weather products on the “must-have” list.

Although the products vary in shapes and colors, the newsletter looks stunning because of the design solution that 24S.com made. The list email structure helps a lot when the products and the size of the images are different. Take a look at email yourself.


2. Columbia

An unexpected approach has Columbia. They take a chance to promote their summer sale and introduce new arrivals for back-to-school shopping.

I also like the images: instead of listing separate products, they use images of products for boys and girls and lead them to entire categories.


3. K-Deer

This brand doesn’t sell any of must-have school appliances or cloths. However, these guys take a perfect chance to promote leggings for both – mommies and their little girls.

The photoshoot they’ve used for this sale could also serve for many occasions: the Mother’s day, upcoming fall or spring vacation, and so on. It only proves the fact that you don’t have to invest much in preparation for an endless list of different occasions. The same marketing material can be repurposed in many ways.


4. Lego

Lego team encourage sales by offering a school-related gift for all purchases above $50. Gifts are also something that could be quickly adopted by many ecommerce businesses.


5. Cath Kidston

Cath Kidson offers a wide variety of products. They sell clothes, shoes, gifts, home accessories, bags, and so on. For the following back-to-school newsletter, they chose only bags.


For me, it seems like an email marketing strategy: giving decent attention to different categories of the products and not mixing them all in one email.

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