Lessons From 7 SPAM Email Subject Lines

Do you ever pay attention to the messages that wind up in your SPAM folder?

I do.


No, I’m not looking for 20{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} off on Viagra. I’ve got no interest in losing 55 pounds in 29 days. And, thanks, but I’ll pass on the investment advice that’s gonna triple my money by the end of the week.

I pay attention to them because they provide some great ideas for email subject lines I can use for myself or my clients. Recently I cleaned up my SPAM folder and, as I was scanning the 100s of emails in there, 7 really jumped out at me.

Here’s the 7 and a look at why they work:


Woman is 53 but looks 27! See how she did it

This one is specific…she’s not 50 and looks 25, she’s 53 and looks 27. Specificity gives credibility to your claims. The subject line also creates intrigue. A lot of people would be interested in seeing a picture of 53 year old who looks like she’s 27. And, a lot of them want to know how she did it.


5 Tips For Better Welcome Emails

Lists are always great. People love to read about the 5 Tips, 7 Secrets, 54 Reasons, etc. (In fact, the title of this blog post uses this technique.) This email subject line also offers value to the reader to read the email and dig deeper. If you send out welcome emails to prospect or new customers, wouldn’t you like some tips on how to make them better?


Three questions that get all women excited…

Here’s another subject line using the list technique. This one also creates curiosity while, at the same time, offering something of value. The copywriter clearly knows the audience here. It’s guys seeking dating advice. And, if that describes you, I’ve got no doubt you’d be VERY interested in finding out what these 3 questions are that you can use to get women excited. In fact, even if that doesn’t describe you, you still may be very interested in finding out what those 3 questions are!


Struggling to make it until payday?

Asking questions is another great formula for subject lines, headlines and Google ads. Ideally you’re asking a question, as is the case here, that your prospects identify with and/or, better yet, are asking themselves.



The answer is yes

These two (from separate emails) can work because they look like subject lines of emails you’d get from a friend. They also play to people’s emotions. People like to be appreciated so when someone says “thanks”, we pay attention. We also like people saying “Yes” to us and want to find out what this person is saying yes to.

The trick with getting these subject lines to work, however, is the “From” line. If these emails were to come from Scam artist 1, [email protected] or [email protected], it will seriously decrease the email’s open rate.


Do you know who lives next door?

This is from a company that runs background checks on people. One reason it works well because it uses a question, which we already touched on above.

Psychologically, it creates intrigue by arousing people’s curiosity about their neighbors. And, by raising this question, it plays on people’s fears and gets them wondering how much do they really know about the people who live around them?

So that’s why these 7 subject lines caught my eye. Now, I wouldn’t recommend any of the products these subject lines are hawking. But I would recommend looking at these subject lines as templates that you can use for your own subject lines, headlines, etc.

Not all the subject lines in my SPAM folder were good candidates for templates, however. In my next post I’ll share 5 others that caught my eye…because they’re good examples of horrible subject lines.

5 Horrible SPAM Email Subject Lines - January 29, 2013

[…] In the last post, we looked at 7 SPAM email subject lines…that were actually good! […]

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