I decided to do something a little different on the occasion of my 100th Selling Unique Weekly(ish) Inspiration Email…
Yep that’s right, according to my Mailchimp dashboard (stats! Exciting) I’d reached a century of what absolutely nobody is calling SUWIEs.
So to mark the special occasion, I cooked up a little treat for my email list and blog readers.
It’s something you can use in your own messaging to get MORE eyeballs on your offers, INCREASE audience engagement with your email marketing… and even blatantly SWIPE from when you’re feeling less than 100% creative.
Yes, it’s almost time for:
10 Arse-Kicking Email Subject Lines That Got Open Rates Like Gangbusters (Whatever The Hell Those Are) In No Particular Order
I dug into the first 99 SUWIEs (see? I knew it’d catch on) to find out which of my email subject lines got the best open rates, and thought I’d reveal which ones people seemingly couldn’t help but open.
Some of these babies got 40%+ open rates, which is better than a slap in the face, lemme tell ya.
I wrote a bitesized breakdown of my thoughts on why each one worked, to help you increase open rates for YOUR biz’s emails.
First though, a couple of points to remember:
1 – These are just what worked for me personally on my teeny tiny (but very exclusive and incredibly charming) list, which means these sub line ideas may not work for everyone…
2 – Every audience is different (I know, duh, right? Says the guy behind ‘Selling Unique’…) and the single biggest factor influencing your email open rates is always going to be what the people on YOUR list think of YOU… so again, these sub line ideas may not work for everyone.
Ok, with those party-poopers outta the bag, it’s time to check out:
10 Arse-Kicking Email Subject Lines That Got Open Rates Like Gangbusters (Whatever The Hell Those Are) In No Particular Order… For MY List
SUBJECT LINE: 100 weeks later… (NEW PODCAST)
Numbers get attention, and “NEW [insert your fave media]” announcements – podcasts, videos, cave paintings etc – get opens if they’re not overused (I’ve been on, like, 3 podcasts in 2 years, so I guess I’m on the safe side for now)
a knock at the door
Shameless curiosity factor here. I don’t recommend doing this often, but in this case I lifted it directly from a story I told in the email, so it was relevant if a little abstract. Sometimes short sub lines work really well (Laura Belgray is the reigning queen of this)
are you there, [FNAME]?
Curiosity + personalisation = desire. And questions in sub lines get opened because our subconscious needs to close that damn loop.
Again, don’t do this too often or you’ll bug the hell out of your audience, but this question was the (somewhat existential) theme of this particular email so I felt ok doing it. Sue me.
[FNAME], I see you swimming upstream
This probably would have worked well even without the personalisation, as the idea of an email sender ‘seeing’ the reader is pretty interesting (and just a little creepy) but still relevant to the email’s message of going against the flow
sucks-but-true (RANT ALERT!)
Let’s face it, we love a bit of anger! Sad but true in itself.
I think this works because we just want to know if a sender a) agrees with us and is on our side of an argument (even when we don’t yet know what that argument is) and b) has something worthwhile to rant about… juicy gossip perhaps?
Besides, it’s usually just fun to watch someone get all worked up about something
swipe ’em! 3x ‘BI/SM’ story types for [FNAME]’s biz
There’s a few things going on here. In copywriting & marketing especially, people are attracted to the idea of ‘swiping’ stuff to make their job easier. Swipes, templates, formulas etc are all one step closer to the promised land of Hands-Off Work than ‘how to’ tips.
There’s also the specificity of the number 3, which sounds easy enough for the casual email checker to scan and understand than, say, 7, 25 or 99 story types… then there’s the curiosity of wanting to know what the hell the acronym ‘BI/SM’ stands for, and finally the personalisation / the fact these can be used in YOUR business.
It’s messy, and a little long, but it worked as a ‘wild card’ effort. Always worth mixing things up a bit!
swipe these good vibes conversion-boosters
Another ‘swipe these…’ teaser suggests actionable value inside, while ‘conversion-boosters’ gets specific about the outcome.
The emoji blitz (TWO! I went nuts here) gets attention, with a similar impact to the angry emoji used in the ‘rant’ example – I feel if you can suggest emotion with emojis rather than just description, go for it. Just don’t do it every time, or you risk looking more like an excitable teenager than a biz-owner (serious face)
the most important 5 seconds of my day right now
The suggestion of an easy (ie: quick) outcome, and of course our natural nosiness about what people get up to in their daily routine (I’ll admit I’m a sucker for emails where my favourite writers tease some nugget of personal info).
Then there’s the timeliness of the “right now” (this was sent a few weeks into the Coronavirus crisis) as I shared a simple, practical tip for coping with anxiety spikes.
Hmm. Too many brackets here? (You tell me…)
there really are no stupid questions (except this one)
Curiosity works particularly well in sub lines if you can tie it to a negative outcome – nobody wants to get caught out asking a stupid question after all. But – WARNING! DANGER! DANGER! – don’t overdo it (like I just did there).
Personally I lean more towards positive than negative subject lines, because good grief there’s enough clickbait in the world, and I don’t like using shitty marketing tactics that may work in the short term but burn an audience out in the long term… so, go easy on the “Number 7 will ASTOUND you!!!” nonsense
why Ryan Reynolds emailed me
Sure, of course Johnny Hollywood and his juniper juice had to be in there somewhere, stinking up the place with his stupid handsome face. This one got a ton of opens because sometimes, you just gotta drop those famous names. Even stupid famous names like ‘Ryan Stupid Reynolds’… 😉
Ok, now go write some subject lines and let me know what works for your emails!
PS – for more swipeable sub line inspo, get your good self signed up for my weekly(ish) emails below👇