email marketing - Copy Noah Kagan and our friends at SumoMe bring us the best idea list I’ve seen for writing email subject lines that get more opens.

After looking at this list (below) I tweaked previously sent emails, added new subject lines based on suggestions (below) and SHAZAM . . . those retread emails got more opens than when originally sent.

We can always do better marketing our jams and jellies, especially when sending offers to our list(s). After all, the money is in the list – right? And email is the cheapest component of our marketing mix – yes it is.

The subject line gets the email opened. The opening line gets the email read. Pay more attention – it only takes a moment or two – to your subject lines.

Here’s Noah Kagan’s SumoMe list. Study it and use the ideas to get more opens and more sales.

Next time you’re grasping for an email subject line just plug your information into these formulas:

The Last Call Email

  • Formula: Last call: [Name Of Product] closes in [#] hours
  • Example: Last call: SEO That Works closes in 3 hours

The Urgency Email

  • Formula: [Action] Now
  • Example: Open this right now

The List Email

  • Formula: The [#] way to [Benefit]
  • Example: The top 5 ways to burn fat fast

The Welcome Email

  • Formula: Welcome to [Brand/Name]!
  • Example: Welcome to SumoMe!

The Don’t Buy This Email

  • Formula: Don’t buy [Product Name] until you read this
  • Example: Don’t buy Welcome Mat until you read this

The Case Study Email

  • Formula: [Case Study] [Result of Case Study]
  • Example: [Case Study] Mother of 3 earns first $30,000 online

The How To Email

  • Formula: How To [Achieve Desired Result]
  • Example: How To Type Faster

The School Of Email

  • Formula: [Insert Celebrity] School Of [Topic]
  • Example: Bruce Lee’s School Of Self Defense

The Do This Email

  • Formula: Do THIS [Benefit]
  • Example: Do THIS if you want her to be your girlfriend

The Branded Newsletter Email

  • Formula: [Name of Newsletter] [Issue #]
  • Example: The Traffic & Conversion Newsletter #24

The New Post Email

  • Formula: [New Post] [Blog Post Headline]
  • Example: New Post: How to fix your iPhone

The What If Email

  • Formula: What if [Negative Result]
  • Example: What if YouTube shutdown

The Versus Email

  • Formula: [Subject] vs [Subject]
  • Example: Fake businesses vs real businesses

The “We’re Hiring” Email

  • Formula: [Brand] is hiring!
  • Example: CopyMonk is hiring!

The Mistakes Email

  • Formula: [Number] [Topic] Mistakes You’re Making
  • Example: 21 fat loss mistakes you’re making

The Product Q&A Email

  • Formula: [Number] [Topic] Mistakes You’re Making
  • Example: 21 fat loss mistakes you’re making

The Roundup Email

  • Formula: [Number] experts [Topic]
  • Example: 10 experts share their favorite marketing tools

The Authority Email

  • Formula: [Authority’s Name] [Topic + Secret/Tips]
  • Example: Warren Buffet’s investing secret

The Flash Sale Email

  • Formula: [Flash Sale] [Name of Product] [Discount]
  • Example: Flash Sale: Ogilvy on Advertising 50% Off

The Avoid Email

  • Formula: Avoid These [Number] [Topic] [Pitfalls/Mistakes]
  • Example: Avoid these 10 copy writing mistakes

The What I Learned Email

  • Formula: What I Learned After [Accomplishment]
  • Example: What I learned after spending $100,000 in FB ads

The Death Of Email

  • Formula: The Death Of [Topic]
  • Example: The death of blogging

The Command Email

  • Formula: Stop [Action]!
  • Example: Stop reading the news!

The Quick Announcement Email

  • Formula: Quick Announcement: [Topic]
  • Example: Quick announcement: The complete web developer course is here

The 180 Contrast Email

  • Formula: [Opposite vs Opposite]
  • Example: Little man decimates 200lb attacker

The Call Out Email

  • Formula: [Audience] [Topic]
  • Example: SaaS owners! Here’s how to reduce your churn rate

The Social Proof Email

  • Formula: Proof That [Product] Works
  • Example: Proof that 30 days to shredded works

The Results Email

  • Formula: How We [Result] In [Timeframe]
  • Example: How we got 100k uniques in 6 months

The Question Email

  • Formula: [Question]
  • Example: Am I the only one with a million questions?

The “You” Email

  • Formula: You, A [Desired Result]?
  • Example: You, a best selling author?

The Imagine Email

  • Formula: Imagine [Desired Result]
  • Example: Imagine being able to travel around the world

The Little Known Email

  • Formula: [Number] Little Known Ways To [Action]
  • Example: 3 little known ways to build your email list

The Hack Email

  • Formula: [Number] Hacks To [Desired Result]
  • Example: 15 hacks to read faster

The New York Shocker Email

  • Formula: [Subject] Shocked By [Unusual Thing/Person]
  • Example: Gary Vaynerchuk shocked by weird FB ads

The National Inquirer Email

  • Formula: Man/Woman/Kid [Weird Action/Thing]
  • Example: Man writes sales letter with straws

The Three-Point Email

  • Formula: [Topic 1], [Topic 2], and [Main Topic]
  • Example: UFC, sore thumbs, and email copy

The Seasonal Discount Email

  • Formula: Save [Discount] [Items] This [Season]!
  • Example: Save 25% on shoes this spring!

The I Love Email

  • Formula: I [Adjective] Love Topic]
  • Example: I freaking love copywriting

The Advice Email

  • Formula: [Topic] Advice To all [target market]
  • Example: Fashion advice to all millennials

The Real Reason Email

  • Formula: The Real Reason [Target Market] [Attracted To Product/Topic]
  • Example: The real reason men want to learn pick up

The Tao Of Email

  • Formula: The Tao Of [Topic]
  • Example: The tao of email marketing

The Lessons Email

  • Formula: [Topic] Lessons From A [Weird Source]
  • Example: Programming lessons from a real life ninja

The Possibly Email

  • Formula: Possibly The [Smartest/Dumbest] Way To [Action]
  • Example: Possibly the dumbest way to train a dog

The Nazi Email

  • Formula: The [Topic] Nazi
  • Example: The wine nazi

The Never Met Email

  • Formula: The Most [Hated/Loved] [Person] You’ve Never Met
  • Example: The most loved salonist you’ve never met

The Big Mistake Email

  • Formula: My Big [Topic] Mistake
  • Example: My big self defense mistake

The Truth Email

  • Formula: The Truth About [Topic/Person]
  • Example: The truth about abs

The Problem Email

  • Formula: The Problem With [Insert Problem]
  • Example: The problem with pricing too low

The Art Of Email

  • Formula: The Art Of [Topic]
  • Example: The art of gaming

The % Rule Email

  • Formula: The [Percentage] Rule Of [Topic]
  • Example: The 47% rule of building a business

The Most Interesting Email

  • Formula: The Most Interesting [Person] In The World
  • Example: The most interesting shoe shiner in the world

The Best Of Email

  • Formula: The Best Of [Brand]
  • Example: The best of SumoMe

The Most Common Mistakes Email

  • Formula: The Most Common [Topic] Mistakes [Target Market] Make
  • Example: The most common health mistakes seniors make

The Can’t Believe Email

  • Formula: Can’t believe how much you’ll love this [product]
  • Example: Can’t believe how much you’ll love this app

The Normally Email

  • Formula: Normally We [Do Something]. You Get It [New Way]
  • Example: Normally we charge $500 for this advice. You get it free.

The Can’t Be Wrong Email

  • Formula: [Number] People Can’t Be Wrong
  • Example: 5,000 people can’t be wrong

The Rags To Riches Email

  • Formula: From [Rags] To [Riches]
  • Example: From homeless to Fortune 500 CEO

The Try Out Email

  • Formula: Try Out [Product] For Yourself
  • Example: Try out SumoMe for yourself

The Use This Email

  • Formula: Use This [Thing]
  • Example: Use this workout plan

The He/She Lost/Gained Email

  • Formula: She gained [Result]…and blamed me!
  • Example: Possibly the dumbest way to train a dog

The War Email

  • Formula: The War Against [Enemy]
  • Example: The war against the fitness industry

The Great Hoax Email

  • Formula: The Great [Topic] Hoax [Optional Time/Place]!
  • Example: The great content marketing hoax of 2016!

Why Do These Email Subject Lines Work?

A good email subject line is designed to get your ideal readers attention.

The only question is how do you actually do that.

To answer that question, Gary Bencivenga, the world’s greatest living copywriter, came up with this equation after analyzing some of the best headlines ever used in direct mail:

Interest = Benefit + Curiosity

In other words, I should be able to read your email subject line, feel like I’m going to get something out of it and wonder what the rest of the email is going to say.

And this is why these email subject line formulas above work. Even the most basic and straight-forward email subject lines display some kind of benefit (whether it’s education-based or entertainment-based) and are structured to make you at least wonder what could be inside of it.

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Filed under: Business

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