It’s summer, baby, which means it’s time to break out the bathing suit and soak up a little sun, (unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere or San Francisco, of course). While you’re planning backyard barbeques and pool parties, you’ll also want to send out a summer-themed email or two.

To make sure your emails and subject lines are just as hot as the temperatures outside, we’ve got a few tips to keep the open rates rolling.

Promote a summer sale
One of the easiest ways to tie your email to the season is to promote a summer sale. Remember, you want to create a short, attention-grabbing subject line that encourages recipients to open the email immediately. Tell them exactly what they’ll get when they open it.

For instance, Travelocity entices readers with: Big summer savings – Promo codes inside – Don’t miss out. When the recipient opens the email, that’s exactly what they’ll find. Take a look at the email:

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You can also promote summer holiday sales like a Labor Day sale. Here are a few other summer sale examples:

  • Summer sale! Up to 60% off (Dockers)
  • Must-have summer prints on sale now (Coach)
  • Take up to 50% off our red, white and denim sale (Lucky Brand)
  • Last day – Labor Day sale (Travelocity)

Make a summer reference
You don’t have to have a sale, or even use the word “summer” in your subject line. You can still create a seasonal email by referencing a summer activity or theme. For example, online office supply store Shoplet sent an email to promote Margaritaville headphones. Margaritaville is certainly synonymous with summer. The subject line read: Margaritaville headphones are here. Take a look.

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Try connecting your product to an activity. Check out the examples below. Notice none of them use the word “summer” or promote a sale.

  • Fire up the grill! (Chronicle Books)
  • Frisbee and Fun – Great camps for kids (City of Brooklyn Park)
  • Here comes the sun – Sassy seasonal styles (Webzine)

Create a local summer events calendar
Everyone loves to know where the hottest summer events are. From local fireworks to homegrown veggie markets, consider creating a list of summer events for your recipients. The Messina Group, a staffing and consulting agency, does this every season. This year the subject line was: It’s here! Our 2014 summer calendar.

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The Messina Group’s Michelle Comer says the email gets a great response. “You don’t have to sell or promote anything; you can just provide a friendly service,” she says.

Try creating a list of summer events in your area and send it out to your recipients with a descriptive subject line.

Create educational lists
People love lists; so use that to your advantage. Create a summer-themed list that educates your recipients in some way. For instance, if you’re a clothing retailer, create a list of the top 10 summer fashions. If you run an auto repair shop, create a list of the five most common summer car problems. The list should include a connection to your company.

Here are few other examples:

  • School’s out – 10 great camps for kids (City of Brooklyn Park)
  • 10 things to love about summer (Dogeared)
  • 5 things to remember on your next hike (American Hiking Society)

Got another hot subject line tip? Share it with us in the comment box below.