Top 8 Subject Lines To Increase Email Open Rates

 In Blog, Home Business Tips, Marketing Tips

facebook-copycat-130613What’s the source?

Well, it’s no big mystery. It’s simply that all editors and copywriters are veteran thieves. They all study, admire and copy each other’s work. Maybe that’s why they call it copywriting. #copycat

The average Internet user is bombarded with dozens if not hundreds of email subject lines every day. Most of us have developed an anti-headline defense and tune out when we sense an email subject line is trying to sell us something.

For both news articles and advertising, 75 percent of your success is gated by your headline. If the headline does not convince the user to read on, all is lost. (stats from mequoda advice)

So I decided to share my best headlines to increase your open rates, our Unstoppable Tribe also had a hangout sharing their best secrets for email writing that are fun, easy and personal.  (view video above)

1. REASON WHY Email Subject Lines

The Reason Why email subject line convinces the user “why” they should do something based on a number of “reasons”. People respond well to lists, as you’ll find out later, and according to the results below, they respond well to reason too.

Winner: “Reasons Why” (as in “5 Reasons Why You Should Use the Reason Why Subject Line Template“)

2.  BENEFIT Email Subject Lines

Professional copywriters know to emphasize benefits over features. The benefits of my losing weight are enormous. My clothes will fit better. My feet won’t hurt as much. I love the benefits of losing weight. However, one of the features of losing weight is something my doctor calls a “diet.” I have a lot less enthusiasm for this feature than I do the benefits.

Examples of the benefit subject line are everywhere. They generally contain an implied promise.

  • Make Money While You Sleep.
  • Earn $90,000 a Year Surfing The Worlds Best Waves
  • Write a Blockbuster in 30 Days.

3. TESTIMONIAL Email Subject Lines

Testimonials help convince buyers because they provide validation and social proof. While testimonials usually appear in the body copy of a sales letter, they can also be effective in the subject line.

  • How Sarita Klees earned $35k in 6 months using our formula
  • Unstoppable Surfer rides the worlds best waves & works on a laptop
  • Rhonda Swan can choose any company, but she chooses Empower Network

4.  FASCINATION Email Subject Lines

  • Fascinations are compelling, benefit-driven bullet points that motivate the reader to discover the answer. Fascinations exploit the reader’s curiosity. Often, fascinations include the words “discover,” “secrets” and “amazing.”Winner: “Discover the” (as in, “Discover how this kiwi kid went from plumber to world traveler“)

5. TARGETED Email Subject Lines

This subject line is very direct in that it specifically identifies its intended audience. 25-year copywriting veteran Mark Johnson told copy blogger  in an articel that this is his favorite type of subject line. “The reason is because targeted subject lines are about the reader; and more than any other topic, people want to read about themselves,” says Johnson.

  • Attention Americans: Who Need to Lose Weight
  • Corporate Women Who Want To Stay Home With Their Kids
  • Are You a Sales Pro Who Wants to Close More Deals?
  • Surf Addicts: How To Surf The Worlds Best Waves Working On A LapTop

6.  We love “LISTs” Email Subject Lines

Readers love lists because lists comprise convenient summaries. Note that the blog you are currently reading is a list. “One of the easiest ways to get double duty from your subject lines is to start with a great idea based on one of the proven archetypes and combine it with the List subject line,” says Mary Van Doren.

Winner: “Strategies for” (as in “10 Win-Win Strategies for Quitting Your Job”)

7. INTRIGUING PROMISE Email Subject Lines

Anyone with a curiosity quotient higher than room temperature can be intrigued and motivated to open an email.

But using the intriguing promise subject line absolutely requires that you fulfill the reader’s expectations with information that at least partially satisfies his curiosity. The product you are offering must completely fulfill the promise.

  • The Surfer’s Guide To The Life Of Travel
  • Women On A Mission: Exact Steps For Women To Succeed
  • Wanted: People to Write Greeting Cards
  • Banking Secrets that Banks Don’t Want You to Know

8. TEASER Email Subject Lines

A teaser subject line is also intriguing, but without an implied promise beyond an engaging narrative. Teaser subject lines must be followed by an expertly crafted story that instructs or entertains, otherwise the reader will feel deceived.

  • Do You Close the Bathroom Door When You’re Home Alone?
  • Last Friday I Was Scared…My Boss Almost Fired Me!
  • Living Well for Less is the Best Revenge
  • Soon, an Economic Emergency Could Wipe You Out


Unstoppable “Crib notes”

1.   Offer a quick and easy way to do something.
2.   Talk about the reader’s self-interest – something that is a benefit.
3.   Give the reader some news – especially good news.
4.   Arouse curiosity, preferably related to points 1, 2 or 3 above.
5.   Make them personal

I hope this offered you some additional help on how to increase your open rates, if so let me know!

4Until Next Time:  Be Unstoppable!

Rhonda Swan ( Unstoppable-Momma)



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  • AAntoi77

    Wow, Awesome tips Rhonda!!. Thanks :)!!!

    • Brian Swan


  • Gabrielle Morrison

    This is Gold!!! Thank you for sharing this X

    • Brian Swan


  • Regina

    wow thanks for the tips. these are great!

    • Brian Swan


  • Paul MacInnis

    So good. Can’t wait to have this resource for my email campaigns!!!

    • Brian Swan

      Just apply and everyday, @paul_macinnis:disqus

  • Kimberley Vento

    Great tips! I really appreciate you sharing!

    • Brian Swan

      You are very welcome, @kimberleyvento:disqus

  • Guest

    Always learning from my Unstoppable Mama! Thank you 🙂

  • Guest

    Always learning from my Unstoppable Mama! Thank you!

  • Kimi

    Always learning from my Unstoppable Mama! Thank you 🙂

    • Brian Swan

      Aloha from the Unstoppable Surfer….Cheers!

  • Tiffany

    Sweet this is great info Rhonda!!
    Appreciate the value as always 🙂

    • Brian Swan

      Our pleasure 🙂

  • Jenne Gimenez

    This is so valuable to me as i begin my journey! Thank you

    • Brian Swan

      Nice, let the Journey begin…

  • Nicole Tindell

    Thank you!!! Always grateful for your lessons

    • Brian Swan

      You are very welcome, @nicoletindell:disqus so looking forward to see you and your hubby at the Unstoppable Mastermind 🙂

  • Wonderful post! I bookmarked this so I can use it for all of my future emails 🙂 Thank you!

  • Sarita D. Klees

    Brilliant 🙂 thank you for this! Very helpful indeed!

  • Stephen Moody

    Rhonda this is a gold mine of information, thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  • Paul MacInnis

    Love these tips, Rhonda!!! Will be implementing more of these!

  • CJ Pereira

    Thank You so much this helped me Tons, CJ

  • Bruce

    Nice Brian. Thanks!

  • Chris Ward

    Nice work Mrs. Swano!! I will definitely be using some of those!! Thank You…

  • Rhonda, very insightful post, great tips, thanks so much for sharing this sis. Namaste

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