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How to Write Amazing Subject Lines

how to write amazing subject linesIt’s a simple equation: get more people to click on your emails, and you’ll get more sales. But no matter how great your product is, if no one opens your emails, it really doesn’t matter what you offer. So you need to learn how to write amazing subject lines.

Start off by telling your readers why this topic is important (i.e. the first step of email marketing is to get your emails opened)

Which brings us to the most important – yet most neglected – aspect of any email: the subject line.

In this post, I’m going to show the simple trick to creating great subject lines – the ones that practically beg people to open your email and see what’s inside…

Then tell them what they’re going to learn and what the outcome will be (the trick to creating subject lines and emails that beg to be opened)

How to Write Amazing Subject Lines

Do you ever spend what seems like hours trying desperately to come up with the perfect subject line – only to draw a blank?

If you have, you’re not alone. Because I’ve been there and done that. Over and over.

Until, that is, a mentor of mine taught me a trick that the fashion industry has been using for decades.

And even better, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel or spend hours studying to learn it. Instead, we’re going to do something you already love doing – looking through your favorite magazines!

What Cosmo Knows…

Want 5 steps to making your guy happy in bed?

How about a 4-week plan to losing 15 pounds?

Or the simple trick to finding that perfect black dress?

Headlines like this are a dime a dozen, splashed across the covers of every fashion, entertainment and news magazines on the rack.

And while these headlines may seem whimsical, the truth is that the media industry has spent decades – and billions of dollars – testing and refining these formulas. And they’re all designed to do one thing: to get you to pick up the magazine and open it.

Your email subject line is no different.

The 6 Proven Headline Formulas

Just like a magazine headline, the purpose of your email subject line is to simply get people to open your email. That’s it.

It’s not to sell them anything, tell them about your product or offer a deal. It’s just to get them to open your email. Because if they don’t first open it, you’ll never be able to sell them a single thing.

Magazines have this down to a science. In fact, there are 6 headline types all of them use. (Once you’ve looked through a few magazines, you instantly recognize them.)

They are:

X ways to Y

56 Moves to Better Sex

5 Ways to Get More Prospects

10 Ways to Organize Your Closet

X ways to Y in Z time

5 Ways to Lose 15 Pounds in the Next 3 Weeks

3 Ways to Attract the Woman of Your Dreams By the End of the Summer

X resources to help you Y

18 health foods you can eat tomorrow to help you drop pounds without exercising.

10 Simple Tricks to Bigger Lips

X “Y” Tips

15 Tips for Better Sex

17 Strategies for a Well-Behaved Child

9 Secrets to Getting a Great Night’s Sleep

How to X Without Y

How to Lose 15 Pounds Without Dieting

How to Close High-Ticket Sales Without Being Pushy

How to Organize Your Kitchen Without Spending a Fortune

Combine Them

15 Ways to Shed Weight Without Diet or Exercise – in the Next 2 Weeks

15 Ways to Lose 7 pounds in the Next 2 Weeks – Without Diet or Exercise

5 Ways to Loose the Baby Fat in the Next 3 Weeks – Without Spending a Fortune

What makes these all so effective? They all have… outcomes! Each headline tells you how to get a specific result – which is exactly what your customers are looking for! And they make it super easy to do – which is why these headlines work so well.

Here Is The First Step In The Process…..

The first thing you’ll want to do is build a collection of magazines that you can turn to when you need to create even more headlines.  You can take a trip to Barnes and Noble or you can search on-line. Either works.  The whole point is to be able to look at the covers and see the headlines that are working today – That the advertising industry paid a small fortune to get right.

Step 1:Build a collection of magazines that relate to your brand  – you may have some overlap and that is fine. The whole point is to have access to many different styles of headlines to choose from.

  • Fashion (Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, ELLE, etc)
  • Entertainment (US Weekly, People, INTouch, INstyle)
  • Tabloids  (Today Show, Good Morning America)
  • News (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, USA today)
  • Fitness & Health (Fitness, Women’s Health, SHAPE)
  • Must-read Blogs (Refinery 29, and any of your favs)

Step 2: Choose the publications that best represent your brand and audience. If you think your audience reads these magazines, there is certainty they will respond to your “similar” headlines as they are used to seeing them and are already attracted to them.

Step 3: Create a “morgue file” of headlines

  • Don’t worry, a morgue file isn’t nearly as dreary as it sounds. It’s just a term designers use for collections of reference material.
  • You can call it “Awesome Headlines” or whatever you want.
  • This will make it super easy to keep track of all of these generic headlines.
  • To make it even easier, you can categorize your “Awesome Headlines” file using the 6 Headline Types from Above

Subject Line Examples You Can Use Today

Now that you know the formula and have a list of great headlines at your disposal, it’s really just a matter of plug & play!

X ways to Y

10 Ways to Organize Your Closet
5 Ways to Wear This Seasons Scarves
3 Ways to Choose The Best Fitting Jeans

X ways to Y in Z time

5 Ways to Create New Office Outfits in the Next 10 Minutes
7 Ways to Wear Your New Scarf This Winter
5 Ways To Wear Your White Blouse That You Never Thought of

X resources to help you Y

5 Simple Tricks to Wearing Hats
7 Easy Ways to Revamp Your Wardrobe
3 Stylish Ways to Wear A Shawl

X “Y” Tips

9 Secrets to Getting Dressed Quickly
5 Tips to Buying a Cocktail Dress
3 Ways to Pick the Best High Heels

How to X Without Y

How to Update your Panties Without Spending a Fortune
How to Offer Fashion Advice Without Being Pushy
How to Choose The Best fitting Jeans Without Tears

Combine Them

7 Easy Ways to Revamp Your Wardrobe – in the Next 2 Weeks

3 Ways to Choose The Best Fitting of Jeans – Without Tears

5 Tips to Buying a Cocktail Dress – Without Spending a Fortune

 

Plug & Play to Create Your Own Subject Lines and write amazing subject lines to get emails opened and make more sales

This make take a bit of practice, but I promise… you will get good it. And Pretty quickly too.

1: First, remove any words that are not relevant to your brand.  

This technique can be used for any of your email campaigns whether to stores, online shoppers,  the media etc… Just find the ones that work best for you.

This is how it will look once you remove the irrelevant words

  1. 5 Ways to Wear This Seasons Scarves  =  ______Ways to _____
  2. 7 Ways to Wear Your New Scarf This Winter = __ Ways to ___ in ___ Time
  3. 5 Simple Tricks to Wearing Hats = ___  (reasons) to ______
  4. 3 Ways to Pick the Best High Heels  = ___ ___ Tips
  5. How to Offer Fashion Advice Without Being Pushy =  How to ___ without __Y

2: Next, plug in words that DO work for your brand.

  1. 5 Ways to Wear this Seasons Hats
  2. 7 Ways to Wear A Sarong This Summer
  3. 5 Simple Tricks to Choosing the Right Bra
  4. 3 Ways to Choose a Stylish and Warm Winter Coat
  5. How to Wear a Short Skirt Without Looking too Old

Fairly straight forward right? You can even borrow these and get started right now.

——————————————————————————–

Subject lines are just the first step to creating emails that convert…

To learn how to build your fully automated email “machine”, check out The Ask Sarah calls.

Get instant answers from Sarah Shaw LIVE and on the phone with you twice a month.

 

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Written by Sarah Shaw

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