Let's have a discussion about how to increase the chances of getting your next email opened.
Whether you're sending out a broadcast or are cold pitching a high-end client, there's no point in discussing how to write a great email that converts if you don't know how to get your emails opened in the first place.
Not to mention, there's no point in building an email list if you're not going to mail them often enough for them to remember who you are.
What we’ve noticed from mailing our own list over the years is that there are really three types of email subject lines that work for us.
We use these as “templates” and try to pick one of the three every single time. About every three months or so, we sit down and really analyze all of the emails that we’ve sent out.
We highly recommend everyone do this every so often so that you don’t have to constantly reinvent the wheel. You can simply reuse what’s worked in the past.
We’ll get to the three “templates” that we use in a bit but first, we wanted to break down our top 50 email subject lines over the past year or so.
In the table below, we organized all of our best performing subject lines and sorted them by the highest open rate. The goal of a subject line is to get people to open your emails.
Once you do that, then you focus on getting people to read and click the link in your email.
If you can master that combination, then you’ll be spending half of your day driving to the bank to cash checks (or obsessing over looking at the direct deposits in your account)!
We’re usually pretty happy if we can achieve a 20% open rate or better. You’ll notice that we basically filtered out any emails that didn’t at least have a 20% open rate.
When we make these lists, the idea is to do the following:
- Analyze our subject lines and identify patterns.
- Try to see what words, phrases, or common theme we can uncover that gave us great results in the past.
- From there, we have great data and a starting point for all future emails.
- Sometimes we completely swipe an exact subject line that we used in the past and then write a brand new email around it to fit because we can almost guarantee that email will be opened.
Top 50 Performing Subject Lines To Get Your Next Email Opened
REMEMBER: There is no guarantee that if you used these same subject lines that you’d get the same or similar results. You’ll always need to test and modify after you start seeing your own trends.
Here’s our list of 50 Top Performing Subject Lines, along with the open rates of each. Please note that some of these are from buyers lists (like the top 5 performing headlines) but most were targeted to non-buyers.
Get your next email opened with our top performing subject lines
So what does this list actually tell us?
- Well, first of all, the first five emails were actually sent to customers of the Evergreen Profits Letter, proving that you’re probably not going to get a more responsive list than a buyers list. We debated on removing those from list but ultimately decided to leave them because it does show the power and engagement that comes from having a list of customers that have spent money with you.
- After analyzing the data above, we found that there are really three types of emails that seem to work over and over again for us. There are definitely some outliers and random others that led to high email open rates but there were really just three that seemed to be consistent and reliable for us.
Our top three formulas to get your next email opened
If you're wondering what our top email formulas are for getting emails opened, here they are:
- The ambiguous subject line – These are the subject lines that make people think “what the hell are they talking about?” People want to open these just because they want to figure out what we’re talking about in the subject line.
Examples include: “It’s time to treat yourself!” and “This was a bit misleading”.
- Make the offer in the subject – Surprisingly, telling people that you’re making them an offer, right in the subject line, seems to work really well. Promoting a discount and reminding people of the scarcity draws a ton of attention.
Examples include: “Here's 20% off The Evergreen Profit Letter – This weekend only” and “A little over 48 hours left for Thrivecart”. It’s clear what product we’re promoting and why they should pay attention… And it works extremely well.
- The “How To” subject line – People love to learn new tricks. Whenever we start an email with “How to X”, we get a spike in opens. You’ll see a ton of examples of these in the list above.
Again, it’s important to note that these are what seem to consistently work for us, over and over again when tracking what led to our emails to be opened.
Because they keep working, we keep using them. They may not work as well for you and your market.
The point here is to:
- a) give you some subject lines that you can swipe, tweak, and test to your own list and
- b) describe the process that we use to pull out what normally works for us so that we can keep doing it over and over again.
Once you've mastered the art of subject line writing, you're probably going to want to funnel more people into your sales funnel. Here's an in-depth guide on two of the most popular tools you can use to do that.