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5 Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Emails

Get More People to Read Your Email

Imagine this: you’ve just spent hours and hours laboring over the perfect newsletter. You know THIS is going to be the one everyone reads and shares. But then disaster strikes. NOBODY READS YOUR EMAIL. That all too familiar and unpleasant sinking feeling is happening in the pit of your stomach. You can feel yourself about to crumble – how could this happen…again!?  You spent so much time working to make it perfect. Except you forgot one thing… You didn’t focus on the subject line. So, what’s the secret sauce that has people hungry read your content?  It’s simple: WRITE A MAGNETIC SUBJECT LINE Your subject line is your gateway to your emails.  It’s the first thing that people see and decide whether or not to continue to engage with you.

8 out of 10 people will read your headlines, while only 2 out of 10 will click

Some experts such as Copyblogger suggests spending as much time on the headline as the content itself!

(By the way, I’m using subject line and headline fairly interchangeably in this article.)

Powerful headlines are also the gateway to attracting people other things you do – webinars, books, speaking engagements, etc.

Today I’ve outlined 5 strategies to increase your email open rate and get more eyeballs on your content.

5 Subject Line Strategies to Get Your Email Opened and Read

1. Go Personal

A great way to magnetize your audience is to share yourself deeply. Having a subject line that suggests the content will reveal a bit about you and your story is a surefire way to get your audience that resonates with you hungry for more.

This holds especially true in the transformational space where your story is a big part of how you inspire your clients to step into their greatness.

“My magical wedding pictures inside” was one of the most opened emails in the history of my company.  It had nothing to do with my company, but it did share a bit of my own personal story. And it allowed me to form a deeper connection with my audience.

Other great subject lines have included: A message from my higher self to yours & Want to learn how I overcame my fear of rejection?

Remember to make it personal and relevant to your readers.

2.  “Fill in the Blank” Formulas You Can Use

(Hat tip: Copyblogger)

These examples below are some time-tested formulas that work.  Take a fill in the blank strategy from some of the best subject lines ever written, and tailor it to your audience. IMPORTANT: Make sure these fill in the blank strategies are relevant and match what will be inside of the email. Failing to deliver on the promise of the subject line is an instant credibility killer. A. How to _____________ How to coach like Tony Robbins, How to attract clients with your website Why it works: It’s direct.  And if your tribe is struggling with a particular problem, this headline promises to offer the solution. B. Who else wants _______ Who else wants to lose 10 pounds? Who else wants an extra 1,000 in the bank every month?

Fill the blank with something you know your clients really want.

Why it works:  It is benefit-rich, and you’re offering a solution to a pain point your client is having. It also suggests knowledge that only someone on the inside would know about.

C. The Secret of _________ The secret to healing emotional trauma from past lives, The secret to how I lost 10 pounds in 30 days

Fill the blank with something you know your clients really want.

Why it works:  It creates curiosity about the method or the approach you use to help clients get to their results.

D. Here’s a method that’s helping _______________ to ______________ Here’s a method that’s helping coaches get paid higher rates, Here’s a method that’s helping business owners get paid their worth

Why it works:  It’s offering a solution to your target audience’s problems.  And, it’s social proof, so it’s showing others have also done this in the past and its worked (Social proof is a powerful method for inspiring action).

E. Now you can have/do ___________ like ______________ Now You Can Speak Spanish like a Diplomat, Now You Can Play the Piano Like Beethoven

Why it works:  It speaks to the part of the reader that wants to be the very best at what s/he does.

 F. Have a _____  or build a ______________ you can be proud of Build an online business you can be proud of, Create a body you can be proud of

Why it works: Because it appeals to the part of the reader that wants to be proud of what s/he is creating. 

G. What everybody ought to know about _______________ What everybody ought to know about building a business, What everybody ought to know about choosing an acupuncturist

Why it works:  It taps into the part of our brain that is curious and wants to make sure we have the answer. And it is a headline that speaks to the value inside of the email itself.

These are time-tested formulas that attract your reader’s attention.  Like any formula, it’s important to know your audience and tailor the messages to make sense for you.

3.  Use the One Word Everyone Responds To

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”  ~Dale Carnegie

I once heard of an experiment (though I have yet to try it!) where famous copywriter Dean Jackson took a piece of paper and pen, and handed it to multiple people and said, “here, write something and try out my new pen.”

The first thing they wrote?  You may have guessed – their own name.

Use this information to your advantage when writing a headline, and consider customizing your headline to include someone’s first name.

It might look something like this: Hi Lisa, I have 5 tips you’re going to love today, Lisa, do you know how to attract your soulmate?

Most email service providers have an option where you can automate this option, and it will automatically merge their first name into your email headline.

Like any strategy or tactic, don’t over do it or it will stop working.  You can use it once in a while to create interest.

4.  Sweeten the Pot

Ever heard of the phrase, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar”?

You can apply that principle by using words that are time-tested to be sweet on the eyes and ears.

Here are some words and phrases proven to increase responses:


  • Do you think ____
  • What do you think _____
  • Would you like ____

Do you think you’re special? You’re not (see why that’s good news!), What do you think Oprah would do about this situation? Would you like a chance to win my Time Mastery Program?

Words that command

  • Subscribe
  • Do This
  • Open this

Subscribe today if you’re struggling with getting more clients Do this today if you want to have amazing intimacy in your relationship, Open this if you’re feeling hungry


  • Ends Today
  • Last Chance
  • Today only

Ends Today: Your chance to attend the Rock Your Socks Off Business Conference, Last chance to get your ticket to the Blog World Summit, Today Only: Invite a friend to the Transform Your Health Summit (for no extra cost)

Other popular headline words:

  • Discover / Uncover
  • Must have / Must know
  • Tip / top tip / tips and tricks
  • Best
  • Solution / Secret
  • Tell me
  • Increase
  • Create

Discover the #1 way you can get all the clients you want, A must-have resource to attract all the dates you want, The best way I know to attract 10,000 Facebook fans, Tell me what you think, Increase your charisma and confidence with these 5 tips, Create the business you always dreamed of

5.  Use This Powerful Formula To Get Them Interested Every Time.

I like to save the best for last.

This is one of the most elegant formulas I’ve found when it comes to thinking about headlines. Prepare to be wow-ed!

(Hat tip: Jeff Goins).

Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise

Example: Take the subject “getting clients.” You can write an article entitled, “How to Get More Clients” or “My Top Tips for Getting Clients.”

Or you could apply this formula and make it: “5 Unbelievably Simple Ways You Can Get More Clients Today”.


With everyone’s inbox overflowing with email, you have only a few seconds to grab someone’s attention and sense of curiosity.

If you want to change only one thing about your writing, focus on creating great subject lines.

It would be the highest impact thing you could do to get a lot more people reading your valuable content. Print this post out and keep it next to your computer for easy reference

Contest – A chance to win my Time Mastery Program

One of the fastest ways to learn something is to implement it right away.

So I’ve created a contest to make creating subject lines fun.

Here’s how to enter (please enter by 11/15/2018):

(1) Create a new headline using the strategies above, or share one of your all-time favorite or most successful subject lines you’ve used with your tribe.  And post it as a comment below.

(2) Share this blog post on your Facebook wall.

TWO lucky winners will be selected (by random drawing) to receive a copy of my Time Mastery Program ($497 value). My Time Mastery Program walks you through breakthrough insights and techniques for escaping all of the distraction and interruption that’s sucking away your energy and focus.

UPDATE: Congratulations to our two winners: Joan & Elena

A Revolutionary Approach to Conversations That Sell and Transform

If you are offering free consultations (or discovery sessions or strategy sessions), and you’re not seeing 80% of your potential clients sign up with an enthusiastic YES, then I want to show you how to turn that around in this report.

When you discover how to have conversations with potential clients so that they practically enroll themselves into working with you (if it’s a good match) and they feel great about the enrollment process, Then you’ll find it easy to attract as many clients as you want.. Free PDF Report – YES: A Revolutionary Approach to Conversations That Sell And Transform

OK, let’s all learn from each other’s subject line creativity!




  1. Joan Gilbert says:

    I loved this article. Got my creative juices going. I’m just getting started in my business, “Well Loved Space.” De-cluttering, Organizing and Creating Home Sanctuary. Here are some headlines I thought of:

    Cure “Company’s Coming” anxiety.
    Can’t get dressed ’cause you can’t find the closet?
    Shove it under the bed: and other ways to eliminate clutter.

  2. Thank you Bill! Awesome article. I try to spend more time on my headline and subject line, but sometimes it’s really heard to come up with original ideas. Your article will help.
    Here is my go to subject line I used a couple of times:
    “Learn my Secrets how to stay Slim during Holidays…
    Or similar to it.
    Thank you again!

  3. Thank you Bill. I have heard a version of this before but the way you put it makes it so simple and easy to understand. You have a gift and I appreciate you sharing it with me. C

  4. “6 incredibly affordable ways to meet at least 50 new clients a month, Starting Today, without ever leaving your office!”

  5. We operate a discount furniture warehouse in Yorkshire UK. My partner and I spend SO long deliberating over the headlines we often lose the will to live, so this article has been incredibly helpful, with an abundance of tips/advice we can utilise even though we’re not in the business of coaching.

    My next headline will be something like..
    Today Only… Incredible Discounts You’ll Love…. & Our Accountant Will Hate!

  6. Good stuff, Bill. I struggle with the titles of my e-zines so this was SO helpful. Just reread your article in prep for an e-zine based on an interview I just did with a Breathwork expert. The title going to be “Learn to Breathe Like Buddha”

  7. Very good tips, I will be utilizing them in the near future! thanks!

  8. Neves Pereira says:

    Here is my Subject title

  9. What a generous and helpful article. Thanks, Bill!
    Just published this yesterday, and had a 32% open rate in 24 hours. I’m curious to see where it goes in the next few days! I usually get 20-25% opens on content emails in the first day.

    “Tango tip for men: Lose the Gringo Triangle! (video)”

    With my tribe, the signal “(video)” often gets more opens, because they want to see the tango vids from Youtube that I select for them.

  10. Hi Bill,

    Happy I took the time to read this one!!

    Here’s my newest freebie heading: “5 Tips to Reduce Toxic Load That You Can Implement Right Away”. What do you think?

    • Bill Baren says:

      I would have a headline that’s in more layman’s terms and more directly results-oriented. For example, 5 Tips to Reduce Your Toxin Intake

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you Bill for doing this. It is a huge help!

    What everybody ought to know about hypnosis.

  12. Really helpful stuff, thanks Bill!

    My headline: “The saddest 4 words I ever heard.”

  13. Super helpful. Thanks, Bill.

  14. Pat says:

    IT”S TIME…

  15. Kyle says:

    Here’s my subject Title;

    Bill, I just Fired my Boss and Hired Myself… Details Inside

  16. Keely Shaw says:

    We had a really successful one with, “I never do this! Open up for radical honesty from ______”

  17. Marilyn Sutherland says:

    Bill, Learn how to uplevel your relationship no matter how great or crappy

  18. Pass the cheesecake: and other ways we handle our hurts.

    A bit long, maybe. This was something I was thinking about when I was hurting.

  19. Cherrise says:

    “One Proven Technique to Change Your Life”


  20. I certainly could use some time mastery… lol… so here’s my subject line:

    Bill, Have you ever had a tangible experience of your Higher Self?

    Great article btw! I appreciate the subject line ideas, and I’m sure I will make good use of tis content!!
    Thanks Bill.

  21. Great article – true and insightful.

    My subject line: Never Ever do these 2 things!

    List one at the top of your email .. and mention that the 2nd thing I’ll share below (under the rest of your email). You deliver what you promised, but sandwiched in is “the rest of the story” you needed to share.


    • Bill Baren says:

      Love how masterful all the perspective subject lines are!!! Great job and for pointing out how to sandwich the story.

  22. Susan says:

    These are great, Bill! I just sent out an important email last week to clients and realized that my subject line sucked! I knew subject lines were important but hadn’t really grasped HOW to make them better. It really is so simple! I love that there are experts like you who can help me excel without having to recreate the wheel – then I can focus my energies faster on my areas of excellence. My two favorites from above are “Open this if you’re feeling hungry” and “Do you think you’re special….”
    I think I may be using them! So here are a few:
    “Tina, would you like to go to France with me?” or “Joe, how would you like to zip-line through Costa Rica with me?”
    “Ice Cream? Donuts? The simple secret formula to lose weight and feel great fast”

    • Bill Baren says:

      Love all of your suggestion with the last one being just a tad too long to be a subject line, but an awesome blog post headline.

  23. Hi Bill,

    Love, love this post and am excited to post it on my FB wall! Thanks for sharing. Here’s my zinger:)

    “5 Smokin’ Hot Tips to Make Your Copy Sizzle”

  24. Sunita says:

    How my first business failed spectacularly (lessons inside)

  25. Hi Bil,

    Thanks for the opportunity. Came up with two…for now :

    * Want to be skinnier ? Weight a minute.

    * 370 people died last night…
    from boredom. Don’t ” kill ” your audience. Join out Presentation Skills program.



    • Bill Baren says:

      I would change the second subject line a bit to:

      * 370 people died last night…(details inside) –> develop the boredom part in the email
      * As clever as it is (I love play on words) — I would suspect that the weight a minute may lower your open rates just a little bit

      With open rates of emails it’s always an experimentation game. Sometime the subject lines are think are going to be winners are just average.

      So I say test and measure and adjust!!!!

  26. Allison says:

    Thanks Bill, I’m building a new ladies weight loss business where the online coaching and nutrition side is paramount to their success- more important than the face to face exercise sessions I think.
    This one worked for me
    “I’m in trouble with my client…..”
    Led to testimonial, and fact she had to buy a new wardrobe of clothes

  27. Bill,

    Thanks for the hot topic catching my eye and a very rich article above. Love your insights and encouragement!

    Some past successes:

    “How to get your son to focus even when he hates you!”

    “The art of making negative feedback feel so damn good to receive”

    “5 tips to turn fear into fuel for your dreams”

    Will be using this blog as my cheat sheet reminder, often I imagine…

  28. Want to have a 5 minute long orgasm? Here’s how.

  29. Headline:
    I’ve never felt so vulnerable…

  30. Teray says:

    Whoa, this is super useful! Thanks!

    Headline: The Secret to Changing a Habit For Good.

  31. Headline:
    5 Tips to Rock Your Path When You’re Stuck in a Rut

    • Bill Baren says:

      This is an awesome headline for a webinar or a free ebook! May want to go shorter for an email subject line.

  32. Hi Bill,

    Great article! I own a DJ service for weddings, corporate functions and private events. I thought this subject line might be helpful for brides + grooms:

    “5 Unbelievably Simple Ways You Can Have the Best Wedding Reception Ever”

  33. One of my most successful subject lines was:
    “If you receive just 1 message from my life, I want it to be . . .”

    Great post. Very helpful. I know that subject lines are KEY!

  34. Great ideas, thanks! I’ll definitely use this info and come back the next time I get stuck on a subject line. How about this one:

    Learn 5 pain-free ways to easily fit fitness into your daily routine.

  35. Bill, Are You Hungry to Lose Weight?

  36. This one is short and sweet… but provokes curiousity, I believe.:)

    Atom and Eve (Theories on Existence)

  37. Mary says:

    A favorite headline that a credit cleanup sent (and super opened) was “They’re Banging At My Door Right Now” — LOL!!

    Another obviously good one would be: “How To Get Your Emails Open”

    And one I’m writing according to your tips: “Discover the Secret to Becoming Irresistible” — good for our company.

    Thanks for the great article, Bill! 🙂


    As a Peter Block fan and evolutionary, I really appreciate this question!
    Co-hosting a healer mashup in Sept. using this subject line.

  39. Love the article! Here’s my subject line:

    Here’s the Number One Really Simple Way to Create the Life You Truly Deserve — I Did it — so Can You!

    • Bill Baren says:

      Awesome for a blog post!!! Subject lines are often shorter to be effective.

  40. My subject line idea is one I’ve used successfully in the past…
    The 5-Minute Fix to More Leads and Sales on Facebook

    Thanks for the opportunity! Shared to Facebook as well!

  41. Hi Bill.

    I just found your website yesterday and it’s been a great find. Email headlines are something I’ve been struggling with so this post came at a great time- so thank you for that.

    Number 3 is my favourite. It’s so simple and obvious to use the persons name, but I never thought of it. Can’t wait to use it!


  42. Mohan Babu says:

    Thanks Bill

    My headline is: Now is the time to ‘Master your time’ and learn how to become the Master creator of your destiny

    • Bill Baren says:

      Thanks, Mohan. Often times subject line in emails need to be a lot shorter than headline for blog posts.

  43. One of the best articles I’ve seen on the subject (pun intended). Here’s a subject line that makes me tingle in all the wrong (but fun) places…

    How To Rock Your Hat Like Bill Baren So Prospects Write You 6-Figure Checks & Thank You For The Opportunity To Do So


  1. […] This article was written by Bill Barren and originally posted on BillBaren.com. […]

  2. […] “5 Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Emails” by Bill Baren […]

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