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How to Write Good Email Subject Lines that Get Your Message Opened

Are your emails getting low open rates? Then you have to find out why. And reinvent your strategy. In my 10-year Internet experience I learned there must be a solution for any problem – all you need to do is to find it.

Why are open rates that important anyway? There’s no secret about this; low opens lead to low or no clicks at all. Which translates into zero profit for your business.

Since 95% of business owners quite within 5 years, your aim is not to survive but thrive, even in a bad economy!

And believe it or not email marketing, when done right, will put your business on the profit map. But it’s not that easy, if you’re expecting instant results.

Motivational speaker, Brian Tracy, once said… “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”

Can you imagine that the majority of email marketers think about subject lines as the shortcut to high open rates? Stumbling upon some “killer” lines and using them in your email campaign, “as is”, is a sure-fire way to failure.

While I dislike to critique I’m keen on giving practical advice for email campaign improvement. All the clients I consult with are “magically” starting to see results from their subject lines and wonder why they didn’t come at me sooner.

This is not a sales pitch, just straight facts. Look, you are reading this because you want to learn the “secret” to writing good email subject lines. I won’t give you any “tricks” here, just simple methods that get your message opened.

Good Email Subject Line Writing – Method #1


Take our title for example – How to Write Good Email Subject Lines that Get Your Message Opened – you can easily turn that into winning subject lines, by changing one word. Let me give you an idea:

How to Write Winning Email Subject Lines that Get Your Message Opened

Here’s another twist:

How to Write Good Email Subject Lines and Get Your Message Opened

Small tweaks lead to greater results. Keep this in mind when writing your lines.

What I want you understand is the constant “routine” of observing your competitors, as well as the experts in related and non related industries. We can all get good subject line ideas from their mailings, headlines, article titles and blog posts.

Good Email Subject Line Writing – Method #2


There’s not enough to copy-cat somebody else; we’re not thieves, but creative human beings. Writers. We observe, then reinvent and adapt.

This is the second step to writing winning subject lines and one of the quickest and easiest way to jolt your open rate.

American country music singer, television host, actor, and businessman – Jimmy Dean – said “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

Good Email Subject Line Writing – Method #3


Did you ever have the feeling a subject line you spent countless minutes to craft would do wonders, only to find later on it was a dud?

This happens all the times, particularly to people who do not have a keen understanding of their niche audience most pressing problems, wants and needs.

That’s why you can’t afford to forget about testing, tracking and tweaking your subject lines. Today’s professional autoresponders make it a breeze.

What you should be testing right away, in each email you send out:

1. Your open rates [do a split test]
2. Your clickthrough rates [do a split test]
3. Your user-feedback [run a survey]

If you have any questions or comments about this post, please share your feedback with me in the comments section! I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!


Article written by Codrut Turcanu: email follow-up specialist, blogger and copywriter.

Download his FREE special report – “99 Good Email Subject Lines” and discover 99 email subject lines that will magically skyrocket your open rates and boost your clicks…

Scott Hardigree
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  • by robertflorish
    Posted April 29, 2010 6:42 am 0Likes

    Writing an attractive email subject line is very important.

  • by Dror Zaifman
    Posted June 28, 2010 5:57 pm 0Likes

    I love method number three, testing is critical on all email campaign messages.

    The reason is we all make mistake and it’s better to catch them when you QA your email marketing message before it goes out rather then if it’s half way out and you then realize a big mistake needs to be fixed.

    A good checklist that I found works for me is THINGS TO CHECK BEFORE YOU LAUNCH YOUR EMAIL CAMPAIGN By Tamara Gielen

    It’s long but you sure will cover all your basis once you go through he list.

    If you like to see the full PDF version of this list it can be found at

    Hope it helps and keep testing everyone :)

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