subject lines

3 Tips for Email Subject Lines that Work


The time you spend writing and creating your emails is a complete waste of time if your customers don't open them. Here are 3 tips for writing subject lines that work:

1. The Element of Surprise - Use words and phrases that aren't expected in the business world, like "10 Business Tips from the Super Mario Bros." or "Why There's No Crying in Marketing."

2. Strike a Juxtapose - Use a combination of words not typically read together, like "Kindergarten - a Year in Prison?" or "Social Media:  The New Fax Machine."

3. Keyhole View - Trade creativity for clarity by simply summarizing the subject matter inside your email, like "Ding! Your Proposal is Ready" or... "3 Tips for Email Subject Lines That Work."

The #1 Reason Your Email Subject Lines Stink


Your email subject lines stink because your writing stinks.


Reread your last email or ezine to your customers - blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Your writing is more strangled by corporate speak than Lady GaGa in her own clothing. Extracting an alluring two or three word subject line from a boring article is impossible.

Here's an example.

If you're informing your customers why you dropped a service provider, you could simply state in your email, "We were no longer pleased with their level of quality." Or you could really grab their attention with, "We fired them. It was just a bad romance." That sets you up to use the subject line: "Bad Romance."

Scared to take a risk like this? Try it once. When you see your open rates soar, the fear will float away and you'll "Just Dance."

PS: I'm emailing this article later this week with the subject line - "Strangled by Lady GaGa References." I'll tell you how it goes.

Zingers! More Amazing Email Subject Lines

"Bouquets and Brickbats"Sent to us from customer Mark in Perth, Australia. This is a favorite! What does it mean? Absolutely nothing! The use of alliteration and unusual words provides two ideas in one.

"We Play Dirty" Sent to us as an example from a customer who has had success with it. We agree it's provocative, but be careful. If the recipient doesn't know may backfire.

"Who Wears the Pants?" Another excellent one submitted by Jeff Blair. It's casual, playful, but begs for an answer. We're reminded, questions works well as subject lines!

This isn't the first time we've highlighted the Best Email Subject Lines.

24 "Spammy" Terms to Avoid in Your Subject Line!

When adding a subject line to your email, you may unknowing write a term that gets you zapped by spam filters. The examples below are common terms to avoid. They may seem silly or obvious when you see them all together, but you'll be surprised at how often you find yourself wanting to type one.

  • Freespam filter trash can
  • Special Offer
  • Click Here
  • Gift certificate
  • Great offer
  • Guarantee(d)
  • Opportunity
  • 50% Off
  • Click Here
  • Call Now
  • Subscribe
  • Bonus
  • Discount
  • Save Up To
  • Winner
  • !!!, ..., or www
  • Guarantee(d)
  • Special Promotion
  • All New
  • One time
  • Order Now
  • Amazing
  • Really
  • Very

If you need help on writing great subject lines, read the Best Subject Lines we've seen.

Zingers: The Latest, Greatest Email Subject Lines We've Come Across:

"Two Quick Questions..."Used by Jeffrey Gitomer in a recent Ace of Sales promotion. This one contributed to one of the biggest email open rates we've seen!

"Man, I hate making these calls..." By "The Ladders" CEO, Marc Cenedella. This guy writes great subject lines. He leads you right in to his column about how painful it is to call friends when you need a job.

"Carry Questions Around with You" By Social Media Sherpa, Chris Brogan. This subject line works because it's a challenge that resonates with everyone on the front line of business. Chris draws you in to his article about asking questions that give you value.

"Rebecca's on Vacation nanny nanny boo boo" By Ace of Sales customer Rebecca Drabent in Yuma, AZ. The subject line says it all and every recipient is reminded that she is fun and full of personality. You can't help but open the email!