How to Write Email Subject Lines that Get Opened

by Wayne Sharer

International speaker, author, and entrepreneur. Retired navy officer, former commanding officer. Over 35 years of leading, coaching, mentoring, and speaking.

November 13, 2013

The first step to success with your emails is getting them opened because if they aren’t opened, everything else is wasted.  Here’s some great tips on how to write email subject lines that get opened.  Pay close attention and put these to the test in your next email.

Starting a business online absolutely requires you to build an email list of customers you can engage.   Once they are on your list, you are now the star of the show.  Your readers want to see what you have to offer.

Now you must get your perspective customers to open your emails from among the hundreds of others they receive.

4-Steps On How to Write Email Subject Lines that Get Opened

The best way to get started is to have examples to use to immediately put into action.  So that is what you will get here.

Sitting around with your fingers dangling over your keyboard while your brain runs in circles with no examples, generally leads to no results.

Your immediate action:

1. Share this with your team

2. Post it to Facebook or Twitter

3. Copy them and adapt them for your marketing

4. Practice, mail, practice, mail…

Ok, here are your different types.

#1 Write Email Subject Lines Speaking Directly to Your Reader

Speaking directly to your reader works because you are appealing directly to the individual in your target market.  Those who open are more likely to take action because they feel you are talking to them directly.

Here are some examples….

Insurance Seekers: Where To Get The Highest Payoff Policies

Email Marketers: How To Save 40% On Building Your List

Why Persian Cats Make The Best Companions

Designers vs. Writers: Who Wins?


#2 Create a Subject Line Mismatch

When you put two things together which don’t necessarily make sense, it draws attention from our brains because your brain does not see anything wrong when everything looks normal.

So put things together which aren’t normal.  Here’s some examples…

How To Get Leads To Despise You

3 SEO Tricks I Learned At the Pig Farm

Why Bad Design Can Make Your Product Great

When Spamming Makes You A Better Email Marketer (really)

Help, My Mouse Is Sick

How To Clone Yourself By Tomorrow

#3 Use Numbers in Your Subject Lines

Why does using numbers in your subject lines work?  Because people respond to precise information much better than to abstract.  Sorry abstract artists, but it’s true 🙂

The bottom line is, using numbers helps the reader know exactly what the email is about.

Give some of these a try…

5 Secrets To Get More Leads

10 Tricks To Be More Authoritative

7 Ways ___ Can Change Your Life

9 Reasons Your Business Is Losing Money

3 Tips For Training Your Collie Fast

#4 The Benefit Driven Subject Line

People want benefits.  Don’t you?  If you can put the biggest problem or desire of your market place, don’t you think it will catch their attention?

These type of email subjects resonate well with readers…

How to get more from your e-mail campaigns…

Want to save $1,000 on list management?

Bring Your Squeeze Pages To Life, ~FIRSTNAME~…

How To Get HER To Come To YOU…

High Converting Squeeze Pages In Minutes…

#5 Include Controversy in Your Email Subject Line

People are drawn to controversy, so much so they go out of their way to create controversy even where it doesn’t exist.  Ever notice that?

People that both agree and disagree will open it, because the just feel like they must.

Combine controversy with a common problem or enemy, and readers have a very difficult time ignoring.  Try these at your own risk!…

The FTC vs. Old Woman’s Gardening Blog

Does YouTube Hate Network Marketers?

Why Using SEO Will Get You Nowhere…

Bad news, ~FIRSTNAME~

The #1 Reason Most ___ Fail

#6 Use Scarcity and Urgency

Every marketer on the planet knows this works.  It is no secret.  Ever see a television ad without it?

The use of urgency or scarcity practically forces the reader to do something now, and not come back later.

Do you know anyone who likes to miss out on great deals, and awesome free offers?  I don’t, do you?

Time Is Expiring Fast, ~FIRSTNAME~…

WARNING: # Hours Left and it’s Gone

Last Chance

This Might Be Your Last Chance Ever…

Are you really going to pass on this?

Courtesy Reminder: ____ Expires Today

#7 The Use of Questions In Your Email Subject Lines

Questions are how speakers and writers start creating dialogue.  The trick is to get the listener or reader to say yes.

If the reader or listener says yes, they can’t help but open your email.  Do you want some examples that work? (did you say “yes”?)

Are You Sick Of Magic Pills Yet?

Does Google “Control” Your Business?

Want More Leads That Buy?

Hate Writing Your Own Blog Posts?

Does This Remind You of You?

Are You Living An Anti-Profit Lifestyle?

Ever Wonder Where You Can Get More TIME?

Your final actions on How to Write Email Subject Lines that Get Opened…

The key to success is to remember these 7 ways are only a beginning.  You can combine them and mix and make them work in any business online.

Yes, even your business.  There are no exceptions.

Be sure to bookmark this post, and share it with your audience on Facebook, Twitter and other places you have followers.

P.S.  Do you have any subject lines that got powerful open results?  Please share them here.

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