5 Proven Subject Line Winners, And Why They Crush It


Great subject lines are the backbone of email marketing. If your readers skip your email without opening it, you might as well never have sent it at all! Here are five winners you can use, and what makes them tick. Use them as-is, or adapt them to your product or service. Just be careful — your readers have entrusted their emails to you, so write wisely.

1) AMAZING! Goldmine inside…

Who can use this? Almost anyone with some big value to deliver.

Who does it appeal to? A very broad audience, but especially a money-oriented one.

This subject line is vague but promises big things. You can use it for any email with a big “return on attention.” Who DOESN’T want to find that “goldmine” opportunity?

2) 5 Steps to Getting Rich… And Thin

Who can use this? If you’ve got a guide to hitting the jackpot while shedding the pounds, this one’s for you.

Who does it appeal to? Almost everyone — losing weight and making money are probably the two most common desires out there.

It’s rare that you see a headline target not one but TWO bit pain points, which is what makes this one work. “You mean, I can get two birds with one stone?” Throw in a numbered list (“5 steps”) element that promises something clear and concrete, and you’ve got a winner on your hands. (Using a number, 5, that resonates with people also helps.)

Not every one of you will have a guide to boosting your bank account while cutting the flab, of course. But don’t feel limited to the way it’s written. Any time you can hit two “emotional buttons” at once, go for it!

3) 100% FREE Training

Who can use this? Purveyors of webinars, seminars, classes, eBooks, videos…

Who does it appeal to? Information-hungry audiences who are willing to work a little. Not something you’d use if your list is looking for “easy money,” but for a group of people that’s seeking professional development this is dynamite.

This one’s tricky. You think it’s promising something for nothing, but it’s not. Training means, “I’ll show you what to do, then you have to work for it.” And that’s why it works. Too many people promise the impossible — the magic bullet. That’s a very attractive promise for some audiences, but not all. People who want to learn a skill don’t want it done for them! They want you to show you how.

For them, this subject line is exactly what they want.


Who can use this? Marketers with a less-formal approach.

Who does it appeal to? Markets with an appetite for intrigue and entertainment.

If you use this, be sure and tie it in well. You risk losing response long-term if you “cry wolf” too much. But it can add a healthy dose of “James Bond drama” to all kinds of offers.

5) Don’t get left behind

Who can use this? Anyone with a time-limited or quickly rising offer. It’s about missing a deadline or having the crowd pass you by.

Who does it appeal to? Almost anyone, but particularly audiences in fast-changing or trend-driven markets.

As soon as you read this subject line, it sets up tension. Fear of loss. “What am I missing out on?” You want to click it just to find out… after all, once you know, you can take a breather. And that’s why this one works.

It is one of the more manipulative subject lines, so it may not be appropriate for some lists. There’s also the same “crying wolf” issue as with 4). Some people want to milk their lists for everything they’ve got, others want to build a relationship. Your call!

Now you’ve got five more subject lines for your efforts. Good luck! Always remember to keep in mind how you want your subscribers to see you. Are you plundering your list for profit? That will make you lots of money in the short term, but may also increase your unsubscribe rate. On the other hand, building a relationship or just plain being a little more low-key may keep your list bigger longer, even if it makes you less up front.

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