10 Subject Line Templates to Get Your Emails Opened

Are you frustrated that more of your subscribers aren’t opening your emails?

Try some of these attention-grabbing templates as a starting point to boost that open rate!

Subject Line Template 1: “For _______, This Works Like Crazy”

Focus on the result that works (like crazy!) and your subscribers will want to open it up and take a look.

So the idea is to use a combination of: The Result Your Audience Wants + “This” Makes it Work

In the email or blog post you’d have to reveal, of course, what “this” is.

So fill in the blank with what you know your audience wants as an outcome.


  • For losing weight, this works like crazy…
  • For longer tee shots, this works like crazy…
  • For relieving headaches, this works like crazy…
  • For saving a marriage, this works like crazy…
  • For avoiding bankruptcy, this works like crazy…

Make sure your result is something your audience actually wants, and that you do share it in the email (or what you link to in the email).

People open email with this subject line because it promises to reveal something that produces a result they want to achieve.

Subject Line Template 2: “Why Your ________ Won’t _______”

One of the basic human motivations for response is driven by a fear of failure. This subject line is the exact opposite of the first one which promises results – this one hints at NOT producing results.

The idea is to plug in a desirable result and then an appropriate negative statement at the end after the word “won’t”.


  • Why your diet won’t work
  • Why your business won’t succeed
  • Why your list won’t make you money
  • Why your vacation won’t be fun
  • Why your credit won’t be restored

Who could resist opening up to see WHY?

If your result is something that we WANT to achieve, then we’d want to read your email to find out what might stop us. It’s a great time to reveal a mistake or a problem or a hindrance… and then offer your product or service as a solution!

Subject Line Template 3: “The Biggest Mistake _________ Make”

We all want to avoid big mistakes!

The difference with this subject line and others that offer a sort of warning or caution is the emphasis here is on the word “biggest”. This isn’t just a
mistake, it’s the BIGGEST mistake. It’s the number one, most common error that folks make regarding a particular topic and curiosity alone will get your
subscribers to open up JUST TO SEE WHAT IT IS and be sure they aren’t making it.


  • The biggest mistake wives / husbands make
  • The biggest mistake first-time parents make
  • The biggest mistake dieters make
  • The biggest mistake car buyers make
  • The biggest mistake ferret owners make

Obviously, the biggest mistake is a matter of your opinion and experience, so it’s open to your own objective perspective, which makes this one an easy
subject line to work into your mix.

Subject Line Template 4: “The Fastest Way To ____________”

We all want results – and, let’s face it – we all want them as quickly as possible.

We live in a fast food and microwaves world that promises instant results and that’s what we want.

So, the key here is that word “fastest”. This isn’t just a way to success with a particular topic; it’s the FASTEST way to success with a particular topic.

And, if you can plug in SPECIFIC results it makes this one so much more effective.


  • The fastest way to make $500 online
  • The fastest way to lose 5 pounds
  • The fastest way to play guitar chords
  • The fastest way to speed read 75 pages
  • The fastest way to cut insurance costs by 25%

Now, you don’t need to make outlandish claims, make reasonable claims that are actually possible (you want your community to trust you and you want to be honest!).

It’s not the “fastest way to make a million dollars online,” but rather “the fastest way to make $500 online”. Not “100 pounds”, but “5 pounds”. Not “play guitar”, but “play guitar chords”.

There are two reasons for this:

(1) If a subscriber believes they can actually do what you mention in the subject line, they are more likely to open up and take a look, and

(2) Your subscribers are smart enough to realize they can probably INCREASE the results by DUPLICATING what you share inside.

In other words, if you mention the “fastest way to lose 5 pounds” I automatically think, “I can increase whatever they mention and lose 10 pounds”. That may or may not be the case, but that’s what I’m thinking. I’ll take a look because your claim is BELIEVABLE and I think ACHIEVABLE.

Subject Line Template 5: “Get Your ________ Questions Answered”

This is a great information gathering subject line to use when you want to survey your database.

What I will say is this: if you aren’t regularly surveying your database – maybe once a month – then you aren’t helping them as much as you could be.

The more you know about them – what they WANT to know from you – the easier it is to provide them with quality content they can use and the easier it is to make offers that they will say “Yes” to. So, this is a great subject line to gather information with, by allowing your subscribers to submit their most wanted question to you.


  • Get your model train questions answered
  • Get your acne questions answered
  • Get your insomnia questions answered
  • Get your digital photography questions answered
  • Get your toy poodle questions answered

Now, you can promise to answer the top 5 for free in a report or training call or give a free copy of your completed product to all those who submit a
question or whatever you choose as far as the offer inside.

Subject Line Template 6: “Something Every _____ Needs To Know”

Once again we have the “curiosity” factor in play. What is it that I need to know?

That word “needs” is very powerful and compelling. It gives the impression that something is a necessity, that it is required.

What I have found to work really well here in my own testing is when you tie this in with a special emphasis on “first-timers”, “beginners” or “newbies”.

Because they are inexperienced, they are more likely to not only recognize they do have needs because of their lack of knowledge, but also will be
eager to learn those things that you feel are necessary or required for success.


  • Something every new mother needs to know
  • Something every college freshman needs to know
  • Something every first-time car buyer needs to know
  • Something every beginner bird watcher needs to know
  • Something every bride-to-be needs to know

Why do you think the Dummies® books have sold so successfully?

Newcomers to the subject want to know what they need to know. And that’s why they’ll open this email up and take a look inside.

Subject Line Template 7: “Here’s A Shortcut For __________”

When I say “shortcut” what comes to your mind?

Think about it for just a second. You likely envision something that is “faster”, something that is “easier”, something that gives an “advantage”, something that “reduces expenses or effort” – all of which are highly desirable.

We all want to take the shortcuts in life – the easiest, fastest, most advantageous path to our destination.

It doesn’t matter if it’s rose gardening or entertaining in-laws or boosting metabolism or racing radio-controlled cars, we all want a shortcut.


  • Here’s a shortcut for getting a great job
  • Here’s a shortcut for creating an ebook
  • Here’s a shortcut for boosting your memory
  • Here’s a shortcut for becoming a day trader
  • Here’s a shortcut for learning to play piano

Tip: When you can tie in some kind of product, software or service that fully or semi-automates the shortcut, then you’ve got a very good chance of getting the sale.  (Consider affiliate marketing here!)

Just a quick, very generic example: I might share that a shortcut to success with customer support is to have a text file with my most asked questions
and my responses to those questions so when a new customer asks a question all I have to do is copy and paste my response instead of retyping
out a response. That’s a shortcut.

Now, I could also PROMOTE an autoresponder service that would actually automate the process of getting those answers to the customer, I could
promote a package of template responses to the most asked questions, I could promote a customer-service help desk software or even a third-party
company that provides customer service.

The point is this: If you can provide your subscribers with a quality shortcut, but then also promote a product, software program or service that
automates that shortcut, you’re likely to get a sale.

Subject Line Template 8: “Here Is Your ________ Checklist”

One of the things that most human beings want – at least the human beings that I know – is a set of instructions that we can go by in order to make sure we do things correctly.

That’s why offering a free checklist as your subject line is yet another great way to increase your open rate and get subscribers diving deeper into the mailings you send out.


  • Here is your interview checklist
  • Here is your “Baby’s First Year” checklist
  • Here is your wedding checklist
  • Here is your dog obedience checklist
  • Here is your travel checklist

You can get even better results if you NAME your checklist.

Not just “Here is your interview checklist” but “Here is your ‘Acing Any Interview’ checklist”.

Not just “Here’s your wedding checklist” but “Here is your ‘The Perfect Wedding’ checklist”.

A good name adds more desirability to the checklist by adding in the result or goal people want.

Obviously, in your email you’ll want to provide the checklist. And your checklist is a great place to make recommendations. For items in the checklist, refer them to your product or affiliate products for more information on that entry to the checklist.

A classic example is the “Setting Up An Internet Business” checklist where some of the steps would include “buying a domain name”, “finding a web
host”, “creating a mini-site” etc. For most of those steps, you could provide a brief overview of them and then point them to resources to do the very
things you instruct them to do… most of which could earn you money as an affiliate.

If there is one email subject line and corresponding email message that EVERY SINGLE LIST OWNER should have in their sequences somewhere, this
is it. It’s the surest shot for making money with a list that I know of. Provide a checklist with useful steps and useful overviews and then point them to
profit-generating resources.

Subject Line Template 9: “A Great _______ Resource I Just Found”

This is a super subject line to use in promoting an affiliate link, especially if there is some kind of free information or discount involved at the affiliate site.


  • A great discount hotel resource I just found
  • A great free traffic resource I just found
  • A great genealogy resource I just found
  • A great model train resource I just found
  • A great home improvement resource I just found

There is an element of newness and freshness here with the “I just found” reference at the end of the subject line, which brings a sense of urgency – we desire to be the first to know, the first to use.

Again, just another solid way to get folks to open your emails.

Subject Line Template 10: “This Ruins Most ____________”

This subject line is one of the strongest in the set. It goes beyond sharing a mistake or even the biggest mistake to the point of revealing something that can have a devastating effect on the subscriber if they fall victim to it.

Again, we’re talking about both awareness of a potentially destructive pitfall, with a provided solution, only this time the language is stronger in that it
could “ruin” the results for the person on the other end of the line.


  • This ruins most dieters
  • This ruins most newlyweds
  • This ruins most teachers
  • This ruins most affiliates
  • This ruins most child models

In this email, you’d want to reveal the most disastrous, destructive stumbling block that the subscriber might face, along with a solution for avoiding it.

I’ll give you a hint: Provide the solution in your content in a brief, overview form so you do actually give them useful information, and then lead the subscriber to an offer to thoroughly explain the solution which allows you to make a sale.

Ready for more?  Grab my Free PDF: 43 Fill-in-the-Blank Headline Templates right here >>

Your Turn!  What’s one subject line that works for you?  Or that you just had to open when you saw it?  Leave a comment and share!

Bonus Tip: Create an “OPEN ME” folder in your email software.  Every time you see a subject line you can’t resist opening…  file that email into your “OPEN ME” folder.  And then when you’re looking for inspiration go open that folder back up and see what might fit what you’re working on with some tweaks.  (Internet Marketers call this a “swipe file.”)

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  1. Love these.
    Thanks :-)

    1. Hey Suz, thanks for reading and commenting. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Go From Clueless to Email Pro in 5 Minutes #InfographicMy Profile

  2. These are awesome. I always have problems coming up with a non-lame subject line. This list will help tremendously. Thank you.

    1. I think most of us can identify with that feeling, Jean. Glad these are helpful!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 32 Freebies You Can Create to Grow Your List (That Aren’t Another Boring eBook)My Profile

  3. Hi Michelle,

    Very nice tips on a problem that is not even mentioned commonly. It is going to be very helpful. Struggling with the perfect subject line is a common problem and its outcome is always damaging as the email doesn’t get opened at all.

    You have given as many as eleven tips and they are going to be immensely useful. Having a format or a template for everyday problems are a great help.

    Thanks for sharing these great templates with us. Have a great day!

    Naveen Sharma recently posted… Easiest Ways to Build and Grow a Small Business Website in 2018My Profile

  4. Useful content, got some really amazing tips from here.
    Umer Idrisi recently posted… Attitude Quotes to Update your Status on Social Media NetworksMy Profile

  5. Some great tools thanks Michelle… I will be checking these out :) Had read also great article from Needo on How To Set SMART Marketing Goals check this out https://needo.com/blog/set-smart-marketing-goals/

  6. I find it useful and full of great information thanks for sharing.
    Mike Marko recently posted… HAPPY EASTER FOOLS DAYMy Profile

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