4 Most Opened Email Subjects! (tested)

79 replies
Hi guys,

I've been testing multiple email headlines for some time now and below headlines had the highest open rate:

1- You Will Love This... (20% on average)
2- How I (Insert Benefit) In Record Time... (17% on average)
3- Seven Deadly [blank] Mistakes (16% on average)
4- Discover the 'Insider' Strategies That... (13% on average)

Any one want to share some of their best converting email subjects?

Cheers,

~Gary
#email #opened #subjects #tested
  • Profile picture of the author adamlantelme
    I'm curious to know how many e-mails did you send to come up with your figures?

    Also, with these open rates as is, are you aware of what your conversion rates are as well.

    Thanks for the post.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
      Originally Posted by adamlantelme View Post

      I'm curious to know how many e-mails did you send to come up with your figures?

      Also, with these open rates as is, are you aware of what your conversion rates are as well.

      Thanks for the post.
      Well i've been testing these with a list of 5000+ for the past 6 month... Around 1 mail every 2 days... (IM freebie list)

      By conversion rate you mean click through? well that greatly depends on the body of the email..

      For me the purpose of a subject is to get the email opened...

      Cheers,

      ~Gary
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    • Profile picture of the author DanteRomero
      One has to be careful, though. Just using an e-mail subject line that worked for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you. The gestalt, or end-to-end experience of the viewer counts. E-mail subject -> e-mail content -> what they are sent to.

      A high open-rate subject line could sell less in the end due to the wrong first impression.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stephen Dean
    My list is small but I usually get 20-30% to click.

    "The 2nd Best Personal Productivity Cheat" got a 47% click through.

    Cheers,
    Stephen Dean
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    • Profile picture of the author Chance2427
      Originally Posted by Stephen Dean View Post

      My list is small but I usually get 20-30% to click.

      "The 2nd Best Personal Productivity Cheat" got a 47% click through.

      Cheers,
      Stephen Dean
      I always click links from this ^ guy.

      The e-mails are really simple... at least on the surface level. You get an email with great, curiosity-provoking subject, and when you open it, you only see a line telling you to "take a look", followed by a link to his blog.

      And how could you not want to check out why "Will Smith Denies 2+2 Equals 4", or what is "Behind The Scenes Of A Guru"?

      Nice work, Stephen. Just keep sending 'em, they're going right into my swipe file.
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      • Profile picture of the author William Prawira
        "How" and "Secret inside"

        works for me
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        Thanks,

        William Prawira

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      • Profile picture of the author Stephen Dean
        Originally Posted by Chance2427 View Post

        I always click links from this ^ guy.

        The e-mails are really simple... at least on the surface level. You get an email with great, curiosity-provoking subject, and when you open it, you only see a line telling you to "take a look", followed by a link to his blog.

        And how could you not want to check out why "Will Smith Denies 2+2 Equals 4", or what is "Behind The Scenes Of A Guru"?

        Nice work, Stephen. Just keep sending 'em, they're going right into my swipe file.
        Thanks! My autoresponder is getting powerful - getting easy to send daily emails. I'll keep 'em coming

        Cheers,
        Stephen
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  • Profile picture of the author tdj
    Originally Posted by garytsang View Post

    Hi guys,

    I've been testing multiple email headlines for some time now and below headlines had the highest open rate:

    1- You Will Love This... (20% on average)
    2- How I (Insert Benefit) In Record Time... (17% on average)
    3- Seven Deadly [blank] Mistakes (16% on average)
    4- Discover the 'Insider' Strategies That... (13% on average)

    Any one want to share some of their best converting email subjects?

    Cheers,

    ~Gary
    Are those for the make money crowd? I think open rates should be tested with a variable such as day and time of the week it was sent. Open rates also depend on the niche and your relationship to your list members also.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I know that the most powerful word to use
    in any email subject line is "this". So I'm
    not surprised about your #1 result.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Here's a more powerfull question...

      "Which subject line made the most sales?"

      Numerous tests have shown a lower email
      open rate makes more sales than the highest open rate.

      Not always, but something to keep in mind.

      Best,
      Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      I know that the most powerful word to use
      in any email subject line is "this". So I'm
      not surprised about your #1 result.

      -Ray Edwards
      You're 100% right on this one
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  • Profile picture of the author ecoverbox
    Originally Posted by garytsang View Post

    1- You Will Love This... (20% on average)
    2- How I (Insert Benefit) In Record Time... (17% on average)
    3- Seven Deadly [blank] Mistakes (16% on average)
    4- Discover the 'Insider' Strategies That... (13% on average)

    "Who Else Wants" & "Now You Can Have" always worked for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kate Campbell
    Thank you for thread. I love "How I (...)" also in PPC, E-mail Marketing etc. People always love it, because they are thinking that there is blueprint, formula, success story.
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  • Profile picture of the author KennethYu
    My list responds to one word subject lines. Some gems include:

    Spartacus!
    Debauchery!
    And my fave...

    S.E.Oooohhhh!
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  • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
    But what about CAN-SPAM act compliance? Rule #2 says

    Don't use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
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    • Profile picture of the author Stephen Dean
      Originally Posted by Nail Yener View Post

      But what about CAN-SPAM act compliance? Rule #2 says

      Don't use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
      It'd be silly for a marketer to do anything but accurately describe the content.

      Cheers,
      Stephen Dean
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      Free Coaching WSO: How to finish all your 2013 "Goals" in JANUARY with my proven productivity secrets - taken from 9 years working as a freelance copywriter. Click Here

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      Matt Bacak, Jim Edwards, Ryan Deiss and more.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
        Emails are one thing but I've noticed, when posting on message boards, that I get a good response by titling the thread with a deceptively simple question that almost anyone will have an opinion on. Something like:

        "Is SEO really important?"

        or

        "Is internet marketing just a scam?"

        I feel that the questions actively engage the reader and will make them start thinking about the subject before they even click the link. People will also come in just to tell me I'm an idiot and end up reading the thread.

        Just my 2 cents
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        • Profile picture of the author Bryan99
          I don't have an IM list, but with other lists I've tested, some mystery + an unbelievable fact/claim seems to do the trick.

          E.g.: "Amazing how Justin Bieber denied all of these accusations".

          ^Only an example I quickly came up with, never used it before, but should be quite effective.
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        • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
          Originally Posted by Shadowflux View Post

          Emails are one thing but I've noticed, when posting on message boards, that I get a good response by titling the thread with a deceptively simple question that almost anyone will have an opinion on. Something like:

          "Is SEO really important?"

          or

          "Is internet marketing just a scam?"

          I feel that the questions actively engage the reader and will make them start thinking about the subject before they even click the link. People will also come in just to tell me I'm an idiot and end up reading the thread.

          Just my 2 cents
          Building controversy (with supported facts) is a great way to build a relationship with your list and increase conversion.

          Cheers,

          ~Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary336
    Hi,
    Thanks for posting this thread, it is great reading for a newbie like me.
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  • Profile picture of the author indolesman
    This is great info, I am going to use them on my emails, I get a poor click through rate.
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  • Profile picture of the author GetMoreTraffic
    Anything starting with "Warning:" tends to get awesome results...
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  • Profile picture of the author Simu :P
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Just maybe, Ryan Deiss, or his copywriter, has been reading this thread.

      The last 3 out of his 4 emails have had "this" in the subject line.

      And it's no coincidence they are about his testing...now isn't that interesting.

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
    a man walks into a bar and asks a hot blonde, “hey, can you rub my back?” and the woman replies, “of course dear, where does it hurt baby?”

    The guy sitting next to her is pissed off. He asks the man, “dude, I've been hitting on her all night, using my best lines, buying her drinks... and she wouldn't even look at me. What's your secret?”

    To which the man replies... “we're married.”
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary336
    Just as a point of interest, I tested the subject line "Think you'll like this" and got my lowest open rate ever. "Who else wants..."' or "Could you use a free..." seem to get the best results so far.
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  • Profile picture of the author dillpickle
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  • Profile picture of the author lemonarian
    The #1 factor in open rates isn't in the words. From personal experience it's the people on the list, how familiar they are with you and how willing they are to listen from what you have to say.

    For example... one of my lists, the squeeze page has no incentive. I make a case for why they should sign up to my list - so they can get my emails. It's not so they can get a free report or whatever.

    There, they sign up to my list for the sole purpose of signing up to my list.

    The squeeze page gets about 16% conversions.

    Open rates are 30%+ every time.
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    • Profile picture of the author EvanBeck
      I think this is a valid approach, along with all the other suggestions in this thread. You need to spend time early on getting people used to seeing your name in their inbox. So branding your name is important.
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    • Profile picture of the author Karson
      Originally Posted by lemonarian View Post

      The #1 factor in open rates isn't in the words. From personal experience it's the people on the list, how familiar they are with you and how willing they are to listen from what you have to say.

      For example... one of my lists, the squeeze page has no incentive. I make a case for why they should sign up to my list - so they can get my emails. It's not so they can get a free report or whatever.

      There, they sign up to my list for the sole purpose of signing up to my list.

      The squeeze page gets about 16% conversions.

      Open rates are 30%+ every time.

      I have to agree with this.

      I am on several list to keep up with what some other fellow marketers are up to. There are 2 or 3 that I will open no matter what. The others depend on the words. So a relationship is the best selling point.
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  • Profile picture of the author LaunchBrain.com
    I just started a new thread on this subject LOL,

    I've sent out the subject line

    BAD NEWS

    To three different lists in three different niches, all consistently got a 30% open-rate
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    • Profile picture of the author jschultz
      Here are the Subject lines I could gather from the video in Post #4.

      Some great stuff...
      Watch This..
      Think you'll like this...
      GET THIS...
      Now watch this
      This is awesome...
      Social media money system You gotta hurry
      Now it all make sense...
      Here's the link...
      The ultimate done for you...
      Are you in?
      Trust me on this...
      I "totally" recommend this...
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    • Originally Posted by LaunchBrain.com View Post

      I just started a new thread on this subject LOL,

      I've sent out the subject line

      BAD NEWS

      To three different lists in three different niches, all consistently got a 30% open-rate
      So YOU'RE the guy...:rolleyes: - (It's nothing personal, I just don't like bad news... )

      I got about 50 emails this week with "BAD NEWS" - I opened one of them.

      The other 49? -they got the BAD NEWS...

      I honestly don't understand how some of these are getting such high click rates when all email headings open the same, it's like trying to shoot ducks with a .22 - you might hit one, but the rest are gone with the wind...

      Are these not of IM niches?

      We tend to be a bit jaded as we have seen a million of them...

      I also don't get the emails that spell things like fr.ee , f.ree, gu.ranteed etc. - what is that about?

      I have my suspicions, but never have read anywhere why this is actually tried.
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      • Profile picture of the author Azarna
        This is a very interesting, and rather surprising, thread.

        I personally would never open anything that had 'Who else wants' as it is such an obvious 'hard sell cliche' type phrase. Besides, it is illogical, an email recipient surely wants to feel they are the only person being sent the message, that it is personal. An open question to a crowd breaks that bond straight away.

        I open emails that have intriguing subjects, not sensational ones. I ignore 'warning' type ones, as they are never really much of a warning at all.

        A calm, witty, interesting subject line will work.
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        • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
          Originally Posted by Azarna View Post

          This is a very interesting, and rather surprising, thread.

          I personally would never open anything that had 'Who else wants' as it is such an obvious 'hard sell cliche' type phrase. Besides, it is illogical, an email recipient surely wants to feel they are the only person being sent the message, that it is personal. An open question to a crowd breaks that bond straight away.

          I open emails that have intriguing subjects, not sensational ones. I ignore 'warning' type ones, as they are never really much of a warning at all.

          A calm, witty, interesting subject line will work.
          Just remember you are usually not your customer.

          Everyone in the im world seems to be sick of the "who else want" headline or possibly the "warning" headline but many email subscribers in other niches are not familiar with this approach.

          And, of course, test your email subject lines.
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          • Profile picture of the author Azarna
            I have only just got interested in IM, from 'this side of the fence'. But I have been buying online for many years. So I think I still remember how I felt about emails before, and that phrase bugged me then too.
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            • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
              Originally Posted by Azarna View Post

              I have only just got interested in IM, from 'this side of the fence'. But I have been buying online for many years. So I think I still remember how I felt about emails before, and that phrase bugged me then too.
              You can absolutely do what you want. But you are making the serious mistake of making your personal opinion the basis of what will work.

              I always test in my niches...I don't rely on my personal opinion...but you absolutely have the right to do that. But the result is usually lesser profits.

              Enough on this one.

              Best,

              Thomas O'Malley
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              • Profile picture of the author 7figs
                Originally Posted by ThomasOMalley View Post

                You can absolutely do what you want. But you are making the serious mistake of making your personal opinion the basis of what will work.

                I always test in my niches...I don't rely on my personal opinion...but you absolutely have the right to do that. But the result is usually lesser profits.

                Enough on this one.

                Best,

                Thomas O'Malley
                Great advice! (Always test. Look at the numbers. Measure results. Hard numbers don't lie.)

                Personal Opinion? (personal feelings?)
                It's okay to follow a feeling into new uncharted waters. For example, to see if a strong hunch might work.

                BUT, like Thomas said, don't leave it there.
                Monitor your metrics to see if your feeling works.
                And if you're onto something, try testing and tweek it some more!

                Getting your message to market is like sharpening a knife:
                You gotta rub your thumb over the edge a bunch of times until "it" (the market response) tells you that you've got it razor sharp.

                It's really a combination of both: The fluid, creative/intuitive "feel" side, married to the solid, analytical/statistics side.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stephen Gilbert
    I've found great success with some sort of private invitation
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  • Profile picture of the author MarcMilburn
    My favourite was...

    "Pick you up at 8...?"

    It was for a dating campaign I was running, the e-mail talked about what to do on first dates and what not to do on first dates.

    Open rate = 20%
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  • Profile picture of the author AmazeMe
    Banned
    This email subject line was my hand's-down, best-performing I've tested in close to 4 years (I test a new email subject line to my list every Thursday):

    $39 ebook = $21,145,924.30 in just 12 months

    If only I added the word "this" back then to improve my email subject line opens.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    "F*cK You!"

    Had a 60% open rate...

    ...and a 35% unsubscribe rate.

    D'oh.
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  • Profile picture of the author go4wealth
    I am taking notes ... thanks for this thread. Oh by the way this headline got me a tremendous amount of opens and activity ( a few angry responses and sales )

    (The persons first name) You Stink At MLM
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Nash
    Either "What have you done??" or "X what have you done??"
    X would stand for their first name.

    Isn't the best I've used. If I recall correctly, it gave me about 35% open rate.


    ~Alex Nash
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  • Profile picture of the author pacelattin
    Try "WTF.. lol?"

    35%+ open rate


    Originally Posted by garytsang View Post

    Hi guys,

    I've been testing multiple email headlines for some time now and below headlines had the highest open rate:

    1- You Will Love This... (20% on average)
    2- How I (Insert Benefit) In Record Time... (17% on average)
    3- Seven Deadly [blank] Mistakes (16% on average)
    4- Discover the 'Insider' Strategies That... (13% on average)

    Any one want to share some of their best converting email subjects?

    Cheers,

    ~Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author squadron
    Originally Posted by garytsang View Post

    Hi guys,

    I've been testing multiple email headlines for some time now and below headlines had the highest open rate:

    1- You Will Love This... (20% on average)
    2- How I (Insert Benefit) In Record Time... (17% on average)
    3- Seven Deadly [blank] Mistakes (16% on average)
    4- Discover the 'Insider' Strategies That... (13% on average)

    Any one want to share some of their best converting email subjects?

    Cheers,

    ~Gary
    Well worth a shot. Thank you.

    Now here's another question, what time of day and day of week gets the best open rate? I usually send out my weekly tips at 10:45 on Fridays. I figure the morning email culling has been done, they have had morning tea and are looking for a distraction I use Mailchimp to deliver the messages at a preset time and day - in the reader's time zone.
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  • Profile picture of the author sdzh
    Originally Posted by garytsang View Post

    Hi guys,

    I've been testing multiple email headlines for some time now and below headlines had the highest open rate:

    1- You Will Love This... (20% on average)
    2- How I (Insert Benefit) In Record Time... (17% on average)
    3- Seven Deadly [blank] Mistakes (16% on average)
    4- Discover the 'Insider' Strategies That... (13% on average)

    Any one want to share some of their best converting email subjects?

    Cheers,

    ~Gary
    I don't have any stats to share, but it's strange how counterintuitive this whole industry is. If asked without prior knowledge, I would have thought that those titles would perform poorly.

    Great information, though, and thanks for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author MMSolutions
    I think the best are:

    RE: Your Purchased Download

    RE: Your Order Download

    RE: Order Notification - Your Order Is Complete Please Save This Email

    RE: Your Commision Pay Check

    Although I do not agree with these subject titles the open method and following emails have been known to work fantastically!

    Hopefully by making this public knowledge people might stop using them!!
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  • Profile picture of the author maile15
    It is also something about the Database, you can have 10000+ people in your Database but still not a good converison rate because the Quality of the Data is not right. Without having this, you Email can have the best Subjectline it will not convert.
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  • Has anyone just tried:

    Why is it?...
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  • Profile picture of the author Dann Vicker
    I guess i've also picked up a number of gems here. Of course, i'm off to test for myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author thomasburke
    This one usually works well for me:

    Free Facebook Software!
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  • Profile picture of the author abugah
    Thanks. I have picked powerful tips from this thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author Increase Media
    Here are a few more great email subject lines that have been tested:

    1. Great stuff
    2. Watch this
    3. Think you'll like this
    4. GET THIS
    5. Now watch this
    6. This is awesome
    7. Now it all makes sense
    8. Here's the link
    9. Trust me on this
    10. I totally recommend this
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    • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
      Originally Posted by Best Damn Content View Post

      Here are a few more great email subject lines that have been tested:

      1. Great stuff
      2. Watch this
      3. Think you'll like this
      4. GET THIS
      5. Now watch this
      6. This is awesome
      7. Now it all makes sense
      8. Here's the link
      9. Trust me on this
      10. I totally recommend this
      I've used the above in the past..

      Really great results..

      I suggest you guys try them out.

      Cheers,

      ~Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author PsychoProfits
    My best open rates to a IM list:

    1. WARNING! 29%
    2. Thank You 22%
    3. Apologies 20%
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  • Profile picture of the author thehorizon
    It's interesting to use "BAD NEWS" with a high open rate - but psychology states that people have a increasing distaste towards bad news givers - would it be harmful towards one's likeability? (That would be bad for branding and conversions in the long run)

    Thanks for the rest of the email title prefixes- great resources here.
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  • Profile picture of the author wanzulfikri
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennisknows
    One that has always produced some good numbers is

    "FIRSTNAME pick up your check" or "Pick up your check FIRSTNAME"

    dont know the exact number but me and a buddy of mines get a kick out of how many people open this one.

    Great thread
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
    Trying some of Frank kern's subject line right now..

    Getting some great results

    1. Hey
    2. Hey dude
    3. WooWoo

    Subscribe to his list, he really has a unique style

    Cheers,

    ~Gary Ning Lo
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    Nice thread

    I normally don't care about open rates... just the bottom line.

    In other words, all I care about is how much this subject line made in terms of commissions and sales.

    If the subject line targets the right person but has a lower open rate, then that's a good thing in my mind.

    Still, great thread!
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  • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
    Here is a short list of words you can use to draw attention to your emails:

    Secret/Secrets
    Unleashed
    Special
    Limited
    Limited Time
    Expose/Exposed
    Insane
    Weird
    Strange
    Utterly/Completely (Adjective)
    News
    Bad
    Exclusive
    Mind Boggling

    Using those words you should be able to form a subject line. Then use these tips:

    Be Current ("Colonel Gaddafi" Killed & His Secret Traffic Report Uncovered)
    Use Symbols (*Really "Strange" Traffic Generation Secret Unleashed!! (Urgent)*)
    Tell People What To Do - Open This Email Right Now Or Else!
    Use What's In The News - Example of being current, just an idea.
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