How To Write Better Subject Lines (With Examples!)

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Subject lines can be a son of a b*tch!

Let’s just be straight up about it. There’s nothing worse than writing a great note to your list and then getting stuck on the subject line.

But the thing is, if you half-ass the subject line, your note most likely never gets read.

Now, get this...

Forbes says that “email marketing is still the top way to generate leads.”

And just like “media headlines grab your attention and get you to listen longer or read further. A meaningful subject line for an email offers the same punch.

This means it’s worth spending some time on subject lines.

But first, let me ask you this…

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Practice, practice, practice.

This is my corny way (I love that joke, always will) of telling you to practice your subject lines. You have to start emailing your list more than just once a month to find out what works.

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Go Big or Go Home

Here are some examples of super bold subject lines that work:

  • $10,000 on my first webinar? Yes, Please! (Amy Porterfield is such a genius!)

  • 100X your sales with this secret

  • do this or you’ll die (Laura Belgray is life)

  • 389 new customer referrals? Here’s how. (Mara Glazer is the smartest and the nicest)

  • that time I got naked for Shakespeare . (I think I’m pretty cool, too :)

  • sign your name like this if you want people to like you

Straight Up (Paula Abdul Style)

You know exactly what you’re gonna get with these and I’m into it:

  • 3 strategic ways to get your next email read

  • how to not gain weight this Christmas

  • the 4 must-haves for the perfect morning

  • make sure your website has these 4 things.

  • calling you early bird! [$250 off!]

  • my best blog tips

The Better You

Help your list see that you can make it doable for them to reach their goals:

  • imagine a year without Facebook Ads

  • you. A calmer parent.

  • where do you want to be 6 months from now?

  • you’re normal. I swear

  • from frumpy to fabulous (for free!)

  • the moment you’ll finally lose weight (for good!)

[IMPORTANT] I like to make sure the first letter is lowercase. It feels more casual to me (like a friend) and less like, I wrote this weeks ago and it’s been scheduled to go out right now.

Now, I see you sitting there thinking, “Ok, Marisa but this is what you do for a living. It’s not that easy for me to just whip up subject lines.”

I get you.

Steal them. Well, swipe them :)

What I mean is that you’re not just going to take someone’s subject line verbatim (or any copy for that matter → it’s against the law) but you are going to use it to figure out where you can substitute your brand/business, idea, or course.

Magazines Are Your Copy Best Friend

One of my favorite ways to do this is to head on over to Medium.

They have some of the best headlines to grab your attention and leave you wanting to read more!

Take 3 minutes and write down all the ones that catch your eye. Now, take another 4 minutes and turn them into a subject line you can use.

Let me show you…

Here are 3 headlines from Medium I’ve transformed for my business:

  • When to question your intuition  → when to question your subject lines

  • Never walk out on a job → leave the room next time you get this email

  • Everything you need to know about digital humans → everything you need to know about FB Ad copy.

Keep them in a document so you can easily refer back to them.

Another great place for subject lines?

Cosmo, of course!

Consider this magazine your Ph.D. in direct response copywriting (fancy for copy that gets clicks and clients). It’s designed to keep you curious, engaged, and to keep you reading.

Google “Cosmo covers” and just start looking at all the enticing headlines:

  • Sex tips so hot → copy tips so hot (hope you brought a cold towel) **Note: my husband added the parenthetical part ;)**

  • Score a job you’ll really love → score an email you’ll want to make out with.

  • 5 no-fail pickup lines → 3 no-fail email openers

What I want you to take away from this is that writing emails should be fun. Step outside the stiff biz box and use your personality to help you create copy and subject lines that sound like you.

Then, get out there and send emails, and see which ones work. Don’t be afraid to tweak or change up your subject lines to unopens.

Let me leave you with this…

Sumo says, “email marketing has an ROI of 3800%, making it the #1 most profitable marketing channel for 10 years in a row.”

So...yeah...we should ALL be putting more attention on emails and less on nailing the perfect Instagram bio.

You feel me?

Attract more clients, make more money, and be super creative when you take the time to write a killer email.

I have more to say on this and more examples/categories, so stay tuned :)

Until then, what’s the best subject line you’ve ever seen in your inbox?