The truth is sobering.
Especially for us marketers.
78% of emails NEVER get opened.
A whopping 55 trillion emails each year never see the light of day. They inhabit a virtual junkyard and are doomed to remain there for an eternity.
What’s an honest email marketer to do?
We’ve got to fight tooth and nail to get our emails opened… and constantly hone our powers of persuasion for a fighting chance.
Testing helps too.
And this timeless recap from the great man never hurts: “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. It follows that, if you don’t sell the product in your headline, you have wasted 80% of your money.” (David Ogilvy)
Forget about selling a product.
Our biggest problem as email marketers is selling the recipient on just opening our email — not so easy today.
Ponder this for a moment.
How much time do marketers waste on
cracking email body copy that never gets read?
How little time do they invest on the all important subject line… only as an afterthought?
Here’s a packed edition of Magic Subject Lines. I’ve been out of circulation for several weeks… or is it months? I’ve lost track.
(For readability… and editorial ease… quotation marks were omitted.)
BUY (I REPEAT BUY) THIS STOCK TODAY (Wealth Insider Alert)
SWIPE (I REPEAT SWIPE) THIS SUBJECT LINE TODAY. This ones’s been mailing since July 12, 2018. Arrogant? Check. ALL CAPS? Check. But Wealth Insider Alert has mailed this more times then the number of typos you’d find in today’s Daily Mail. If nothing else, this subject line exudes CERTAINTY.
Employees keep stealing… this advertising course (Lawrence Bernstein) Tooting my own horn? Beyond the self-promotion angle, this one had a killer open rate thanks to the curiosity-larceny angle. I tend to use ellipsis (…) often, especially in subject lines. It provides eye relief and breaks up key words.
Re: Employees keep stealing… this advertising course (Lawrence Bernstein) Wasn’t sure how to follow up on the magic of the previous subject line. Re: (Regarding) often does the trick and it did in this case. Re: helps with continuity in an email campaign and preserves this non-boomer’s brain power.
China Is Creating Its Own Digital Currency — and That’s Bullish for Bitcoin (Money & Markets)
1 Stock That Could Make You Millions (Jeff L. Yastine) “Dear Lawrence, Millions of people across 20 nations depend on this company’s technology each and every day to download movies, shop on line, post family photos on the clouds and much more.”
Top 5 ways to reduce crippling hand pain (Harvard Medical School) “Hand pain is more than just annoying. The stiffness and swelling that go along with hand pain can sap strength and diminish the ability to carry out routine functions, like buttoning clothes.”
Like to make an old man happy? (Drayton Bird) Though not a recent one, this is up there with my favorite subject lines — more so now that I’m old myself. And speaking of Drayton…
Whenever I’m strapped for ideas, my larcenous little fingers reach for the mouse to see what Drayton has to say. Anyone who’s survived three recessions, three stabbings and two near funerals is someone I long to listen to. Of course, there’s Ogilvy’s observation as well: “Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone in the world.”
Here’s a timely trio he blasted out in early April:
Worried about your future? Read this (Drayton Bird)
Sales dried up yet? (Drayton Bird)
No sales? No idea what to do? Read this. (Drayton Bird)
A vital SEO step you’ve never even heard of (Matt from Thrive Themes)
22 Indoor Herbs to Grow for Your Pharmacy (Dan F. Sullivan) “Growing medicinal herbs indoors not only creates a portable and easily accessible food source, it also allows preppers to cultivate the potent ingredients needed to make healing home remedies.”
$286 Billion Car Accident Coming: Steer Clear of These Two Stocks (Winning Investor Daily) “Americans have over a million dollars in auto loan debt. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, we can expect some of that to become delinquent. Right now, auto lenders are enjoying a boost from a rising stock market. But don’t be fooled, these companies are on the edge of a cliff.”
Face masks don’t protect you? (Personal Liberty) Timely?
The Lawrence Bernstein Legacy Foundation? (Ray Blanco)
Ah, good ol’ personalization. Technology Profits Daily takes it to the limit in this one with both the subject line and body of the email. Straight outta Caples, this uses the sales appeals of prestige and security. And, of course, there’s the perennial enemy: Wall Street bankers.
“Dear Lawrence, It’s chaos in America… But while cities burn, Wall Street bankers are collecting some of the largest bonuses in history… And a few regular Americans have found my colleague’s LEGAL investment method to siphon some of the banker’s profits.”
Kills more cancer cells than a dose of radiation (Katherine Wheeler) “Dear Reader, In 1918, this “miracle medicine” was in every household in America. Valuable enough to get caught in the crossfire during both World Wars… And powerful enough to be studied by the founding members of a massive Big Pharma dynasty…”
Trade Alert: Disappearing Consumers Are Bad News For This Big-Box Retailer (Jim Rickards’ Crash Speculator) “Dear Crash Speculator, The U.S. economy has suffered the past three months due first to the pandemic and then the nationwide lockdown which closed most businesses and required everyday Americans to “shelter-in-place” in their homes.”
Can you really regain your lost hearing? (Harvard Medical School) “Dear Reader, Imagine if there were ways to improve your hearing so you could hear as well as you did decades ago. So you could easily hear what people are saying a (sic) loud party… or soft sounds like your grandchild’s whispered secret.”
Scientists stupefied—”Fluke” diabetes-flusher is real! (Dr. Marc Micozzi) “His doctors were so sure of it—’these results are a fluke.’ You can’t fight diabetes with just a daily teaspoon of anything. But Eugene Barclay did.”
Customers Rejoice at Cholesterol-Balancing Discovery off the Coast of Italy (Dr. Sinatra and Healthy Directions)
Nature’s Cholesterol-Balancing Secret – HINT: It’s a fruit! (Dr. Sinatra and Healthy Directions)
The above subject lines promote the same supplement. ABT is a must for email marketers — always be testing.
Is the Dow Doomed to Plummet to 18,000 Again? US CFO’s Think So (Money & Markets) Compelling question and answer in the space of a subject line.
WARNING! Move Your Money Before June 10 (Money & Markets)
Nothing to do with deadlines. This is one POWERFUL subject line worth knowing!
I’ve got $1 million riding on May 20 (Rogue Economics) What’s so special about May 20th? Again, you’ve gotta open to find out.
Fwd: Você viu isso? (Bo Williams) The Brazilians are among the ablest marketers in the Southern Hemisphere. “Did you see that?” is the translation. It’s casual, captures opens and the Fwd: doesn’t hurt either.
Want to take years off your skin? (Harvard Medical School) “Dear Reader, Now you can take care of your skin as never before. This Special Health Report shares the exciting advances that are bringing a fresh look to skin care.”
Can astaxanthin turn on your youth gene? (Dr. Sinatra and Healthy Directions)
[BREAKING] European study reveals one wrinkle-erasing substance (Katherine Wheeler)
Hurry, Un-Wrinkle® Eye Is 80% Off! (Peter Thomas Roth) This marketer never wavers from this subject line approach. Discount… discount… discount. If you want to water down a brand and train your prospects to never pay full price, this is the strategy to follow.
Up To 60% Off Select Products! (Peter Thomas Roth) Works for Walmart but not a product line positioned as “high end.”
Mike at Critical Bench — a website initially devoted to bench press technique — is unique in the world of email marketing. Why? Mike uses the “from” field in his emails as a quasi-subject line. In effect, he gets two subject lines for the price of one.
I’ll wager you’ve never seen “booty mistakes” as a sender yet? But for Mike W., this is like white bread and he shows up every day with a fresh new affiliate offer.
Granted, you or I might not be able to pull this off, , yet for some affiliate marketers like Mike, this just might work.
All it takes is a simple test. 🙂
Do NOT Do the Ketogenic Diet (Avoid Keto)
Sending you a FREE bottle of premium anti-aging skin cream… $150 value; need your address (Order Pending)
3 glute training barriers (booty mistakes)
Avoid The 3 WORST Exercises For Your Knees (Your Knees) “Millions suffer from knee discomfort and it has a serious impact on quality of life. These 3 common exercise movements often destroy cartilage, increase inflammation and cause MORE pain for your knees.”
Recession Alert: One Stock to Protect Your Portfolio (Winning Investor Daily)
Medical Intuition Training You Don’t Want to Miss (Sounds True) “Hello Sounds True friends, I have exciting news to share with you. For a limited time, we are offering $130 off for our premier medical intuition program called The Science of Medical Intuition, which features over 18 hours of audio and video teachings, meditations, and special bonuses, including more than 6 hours of new video trainings.”
Friend, 7 practices to restore balance in mind, body, and spirit… (Sounds True) “Friend, In this time of pandemic and heightened anxiety, if you’re feeling anxious, uncertain, and maybe even fearful, then you’re far from alone. After weeks of lockdown and quarantine due to the spread of COVID-19, it’s all too common to hear people expressing feelings of overwhelm, exhaustion, uncertainty, and dismay about the state of our world.”
Are stress and sleeplessness nipping at your heels? Jon Kabat-Zinn offers a solution. (Sounds True) “Friend, “How are just sitting and breathing going to solve my problems anyway?” This thought may have come up for you while we’ve been describing Jon Kabat-Zinn’s new online course, Opening to Our Lives. The short answer is: it won’t.”
New Release: The Quest for Happiness (TAN Books)
Your Morning Message (Craig Ballantyne) Three years (3!) worth of HUNDREDS of emails with “Your Morning Message” subject lines inhabit my Inbox. Almost NONE have been opened.
I’m almost BLIND to this subject line.
I’d love to get the open statistics from this marketer. This strategy can work if the sender is a heavyweight and opening the email is almost obligatory. It never is. For my money, I’ll hedge my bet with subject line VARIETY any day. I know if I had a client with a fetish for the same subject line — no matter who he or she is — I’d try to get them to listen to reason. I’d go for something like this for example: “Your Morning Message (Conquering Procrastination)
Foods that Boost Immunity (Healthy Directions) Timely subject lines.
Supplements to help your immune system thrive (Healthy Directions)
Breathe like THIS to live longer (Dr. Marc Micozzi)
7 reasons to stockpile water… and lots of (Dan F. Sullivan) “Hey, it’s Dan. Listen, I want to shed some light on the “1 gallon of water / person / day” is B.S. we all read about in prepping articles. It won’t be nearly enough to cover your needs, and here’s 7 good reasons why:”
North America’s Favorite Overseas Retirement Haven (Kathleen Peddicord) “Dear Overseas Opportunity Letter Reader, Mexico is hands down the most popular overseas haven for Americans and Canadians… Of the estimated 11.5 million North Americans abroad, nearly 2 million live within Mexican borders alone. It’s easy to understand Mexico’s appeal…”
You missed another 400% gain. (Zach Scheidt) “Hi Lawrence, I’ve been telling you all week about the 400%+ gain you missed… Well, today we just scored ANOTHER. That’s TWO 400%+ gains you missed! It’s a pity you missed out on both…”
Covidcosm: 12 Things That Will NEVER Go Back to Normal (The Daily Edge)
Kylie Jenner: Lies Of A Fake Billionaire | Twitter Vs. Trump | World’s Highest-Paid Athletes (Forbes Daily Dozen) The headline trio approach — like three bites at the apple. Kylie… they caught ya.
Re: Your FREE Fitness Tracker (Order#17566) (Coach Mike) The amorphous Mike (from above) pushes the envelope yet again with this one. “Please read this message carefully. Here is why: A famous heart surgeon from Florida is giving away exactly 1000 of these “Heart-Strong Fitness Trackers” for FREE as a way to eliminate heart disease in America.”
Stock-picking legend leaks secret stock (Trades for less than $3) (Stansberry Research) “Dear Reader, One of the world’s great stock pickers just did something crazy. He went onstage and outed a secret stock that trades under a hidden name. See the leaked footage here.”
[URGENT] Maybe you should delete your account (Publisher Of St. Paul Research) “Hi Lawrence, Matt Insley here, Publisher of St. Paul Research.You might want to consider cancelling your subscription if you don’t take a few minutes to look at this.Because if watching one of the biggest announcements in St Paul Publishing’s history isn’t important enough to you…You’re probably not interested in using our research services to their full potential.Let me make this crystal clear, Lawrence.I know you should watch this presentation, but it’s YOUR decision.”
The one food you should NEVER put on your dinner plate (Katherine Wheeler) You’ve seen this type of headline/subject lines a thousand times before. The one (blank) you should never do… eat… say. Why is it so common? In short, it WORKS. “Dear Daily Dispatch Reader, Thank you for your continued support of Dr. Micozzi’s Daily Dispatch and Insiders’ Cures. Like most popular internet sites, and print and broadcast media, from time to time we accept third party commercial advertisements. Please take a few moments to consider their message below.”
Google Ads Account Recovery: The Step-by-Step Guide (WordStream) These guys usually have excellent subject lines.
This 1977 Direct Marketing Ad Was Perfect (Denny Hatch’s Marketing Blog) Denny, you had me at “this.”
From Cold Traffic to Clients in 10 Days: 10:30am Tomorrow (Scott Bywater) My friend, Scott, from Oz. An able man all around.
Coronavirus got your stocks down? Try this… (60 Seconds with Jon Najarian)
The 5 Best “Cheap” Stocks to Own Now (Wealth Insider Alert)
Boost cognitive function with 6 simple steps (Harvard Medical School)
How to silence snoring (Harvard Medical School)
Best advice I’ve ever heard? (Perry Marshall) Can’t imagine I’d be indifferent to this subject line. I knew Perry from back when he used to answer his own phone!
USC Professor’s urgent money prediction (Stansberry Research) “Dear Reader, As a former NASA astronaut, I spent a total of 107 days in space. After leaving NASA, I worked for Elon Musk at SpaceX for 7 years. And today I teach astronautical engineering at USC. But now, for the first time in my career, I’m stepping forward with a big money-making prediction every American needs to see…”
Analyst Who Called Crash Predicts Second Collapse (Matt Badiali) This and the subject line above are “crystal ball” subject lines in which an expert, hopefully with some glowing tack record, makes an urgent prediction.
[Alzheimer’s bombshell] Re-fuel brain cells starting in 90 minutes (Dr. Marc Micozzi) Prolific promoter with solid subject lines.
WARNING! Move Your Money Before June 10 (Agora Catalog) An irresistible subject line having NOTHING to do with deadlines. See above.
Your $450 Gift – Ends in 48 Hours (Steve Forbes) There are many variations of this effective subject line.
“Corona Crash” is Coming. Do THIS now… (Wealth Insider Alert)
Dan Kennedy Is Alive… (Magnetic Marketing | Darin) Thank goodness for that!
The UN wants you to stop using these 14 “offensive” words (Simon Black) “Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice. The United Nations takes a page from 1984 with a list of offensive words.”
4 days. 1 big sale. (SeroVital) A giant brand in DRTV, online display and print but disappointing in email because it’s usually about the discount.
Orders may take longer, but they’ll arrive safe and sound (Healthy Directions) Timely.
Could the Fed get Bitcoin banned? (Stansberry Investor Hour)
Quarantine dieting trick [8 weeks, 25 lbs!?] (Dr. Marc Micozzi)
Why the vaccine industry may destroy itself in the coming year (NaturalNews)
I’m a restaurant critic — and I’m not ready to eat in a restaurant right now | Devra First (The Boston Globe)
How well do you know your customers? (Experian Data Quality)
Inside: how to keep your blood sugar in the normal range (Healthy Directions)
I Expect This to Be Our Next Triple-Digit Gain (Charles Mizrahi) “Dear Lawrence, ’ve just zeroed in on a stock that has the potential to soar 300% in the months ahead. In this urgent new video presentation, I not only show you my secret investing approach that I used to find it… I also reveal specific details about the stock itself.”
Collect $2,000 for this fun writing project (AWAI) “Hi Lawrence, Board games have made a resurgence during this pandemic, as families are looking for something fun to do at home. Apparently there’s a new Pandemic game … as well as the classics, like Sorry!, Scrabble, Sequence (my family’s current favorite), and of course, Monopoly. Well, today, I’ve got a chance for you to “pass go” and collect $2,000. 😉 Not $200 — 10 times that.”
Can You Confirm Please? (Wealth Insider Alert) This type of subject line has become popular over the last few years. It’s not necessarily for everyone.
A maintenance manual for men over 50 (Harvard Medical School) Harvard has really made the foray into hard-hitting direct response.
For Lawrence (Frank Kern) The man’s come up with many subject line dazzlers that are swiped far and wide.
Uh Oh (Palm Beach Research Group) The aforementioned Kern, I believe.
Bit of a personal email to share with you… (Dan Wardrope)
2 Contrarian Signals to Grab 7% (or Better) Dividends in This Crisis (Money & Markets)
Why Tom Dyson just broke the #1 rule of Gold Investing (Rogue Economics)
Deadly Sex Habit KILLING Seniors (Technology Profits Daily) Still too young, but interested?
Sneaky (but Legal) Tax Tricks to Pay ZERO Federal Income Tax for 2019 (Ted Bauman)
4 top abundance experts share their secrets (Heather Mathews) Told you… I’m on more email marketing lists than Imelda Marcos had pairs of shoes.
The secrets to attract wealth (Mark Pescetti)
BYOT: Build Your Own Trade (The Stansberry Digest) A subject line inspired by Bring Your Own Beer.
The 11 symptoms of adult ADHD you should know (Harvard Medical School)
3 tips to prevent neck pain (Harvard Medical School) The HMS email copywriter loves this kind of subject line.
Better than Bitcoin? (Grant Cardone) 17 years later, this headline (and subject line) still packs a punch.
Everyone is doing social distancing wrong except me (The Boston Globe)
Is This Buffett’s “Big Bet”? (Wealth Insider Alert)
“Spray away” the pounds! (Katherine Wheeler)
Doctors prescribe this “sleep mineral” for stubborn fat (Coach Chris)
Your neighborhood bookstore needs you … here’s how to help (Sounds True) Noble… alas.
Google Ads Benchmarks During COVID-19 (WordStream)
This Message Is High Priority [!] (Palm Beach Research Group) Worth a try.