Let's Make It Open - Killer Tips For Email Subject Lines For High Open Rates
What I’ve learned writing and editing 800+ email subject lines while running email campaigns for various niches.
One key to high open rates?
Write killer subject lines.
1/ Experiment often.
We A/B test 4 different subject lines every day.
We study what works/doesn’t work and make adjustments constantly.
2/ Shorter is (almost always) better.
Here’s a list of winning subject lines from our most opened emails over the past ~10 months.
3/ Shorter, please!
Our top 20 best subject lines averaged 33 characters.
The bottom 20 averaged 41 characters.
4/ Boring isn’t always bad.
Here’s the subject line from our most clicked email, which had a 55% open rate:
“How bitcoin are created”
5/ HELP PEOPLE MAKE MONEY.
These 3 subject lines all made our Top 20:
“How a tiny D2C company hacked its way to $500k/mo in sales”
“Why NFTs are suddenly selling for millions of dollars”
“We interviewed 20+ vending machine owners. Here's how much they make.”
6/ Assertions are better than questions.
Assertion: 🏦 Stripe Treasury is a huge deal (51% open rate)
Question: 💸 Will Big Tech lose its tax shelters? (42%)
7/ Solutions (and numbers) sell.
📧 Fixing the $650B subscription economy (46% open rate)
🎯 How Target took $9B from competitors (46%)
She was kidnapped and locked in a car trunk. Then, she decided to change the car industry. (47%)
8/ Kinda obvs, but news also sells.
Amazon’s next play 🚚 (53% open rate)
Apple fires Intel (52%)
📦 Jeff Bezos is stepping down (51%)
🍟 McDonald’s is crushing it (51%)
🙅♂️ Zucked (51%)
9/ Question assumptions.
As a journalist, I've always assumed that conflict sells.
That’s not always true.
💸 Will Big Tech lose its tax shelters? (#244 most opened email since Aug. 2020)
🍭 Big Candy vs. Cannabis (#182)
💻 The Google Docs pickle (#101)
10/ Another assumption: People love explainers.
We wrote at least a dozen subject lines with some variation of “X, explained”
Not one cracked the Top 50.
11/ What not to copy.
Our email with the lowest open rate had this subject line:
“Board games are starting to look a lot like video games”
I don’t even know what that means...and a sh*t ton of readers didn’t care either.
12/ In sum, to write great subject lines:
- Experiment often
- Keep it short
- Keep it simple
- Help people make $$
- Assertions > questions
- News sells
- So do solutions
- Conflict is overrated
- So are explainers
- Don’t make people think too hard
13/ If you like breakdowns like these: Please rate & like my post :)
I write about email growth tactics with the occasional wisecrack.