Notion - 50 Best Subject Lines by Open Rate – Jesse Grillo

Upsell Copy Template


Introduction: These subject lines are all aimed to pique your curiosity, create an open loop and force you to open to close that loop. Anytime you can have them read the subject line and ask themselves a question they’ll be more likely to open afterwards.


1. Bad news

Using the bad news is well known for performing well. Humans are attuned disaster and fear
so bad news fits right that. Just be careful you aren’t actually delivering bad news and figure
out a way to twist it so it still make sense.

2. You asked for it ;)
What did I ask for? Works well when you actually have subscribers anticipating this email.
Use it in conjunction with a pre email like ‘Would it help you if I…’ and follow up on that

original email.

3. Have you seen this?
Questions always work great and this one is no different.

4. [Special Training] Big Announcement
Everyone loves training, especially when it’s special AND includes a big announcement.
Simple but effective.

5. Kind of weird, but VERY profitable.
One weird trick that scientists hate! Weird tricks always work and they are even better when

6. Dude.
I think this one just catches you off guard. Dude what? Plus it feels more informal and as if it
could be from a friend.

7. Hey
Amazingly simple and very effective. Sometimes less is more and this is a prime example.

8. Ok now this is…
Anytime you use a … MAKE SURE to connect your next sentence.
For example if the subject line was ‘Ok now this is...’ then the first sentence would be ‘...the
best video training I’ve EVER seen.’

9. He was wrong..
Similar to above except it also touches on a gossipy aspect. Who was wrong and about

10. 5618411832 (93s)
A bunch of random numbers, wait it’s actually a phone number and it’s 93 seconds? When
doing my research this one even caught me off guard a little bit. Being different is good in the

First Name

Introduction: Everyone will subconsciously see their first name and it’ll grab their attention. This technique works great for announcements and questions.


11. I have Good News [First Name]!
The opposite of our bad news subject line. Who doesn’t love (personal) good news?

12. [First Name] just give up
The second I wrote this one I knew it’d perform well. It also received quite a bit of negative
feedback. This is a pretty ‘shocking’ subject line and will tend to polarize. Make sure that the
content for one like this is positive.

13. [First Name] are you Overwhelmed?
Most people feel overwhelmed. I know I have my moments. This speaks to their inner

14. [First Name], Please accept my apology
This one piques curiosity while also feeling honesty. Just be careful it’s not gimmicky.

15. [First Name], Did You Get Your Free Gift?
At the end of the day you can’t beat free.


Introduction: Transactional emails such as login details, receipts, welcome emails and notifications account for the highest open rates. Because of that remember to use them for marketing as well.




Introduction: These subject lines are all aimed to pique your curiosity, create an open loop and force you to open to close that loop. Anytime you can have them read the subject line and ask themselves a question they’ll be more likely to open afterwards.


16. [The Academy] Your Login Credentials
This was used in a promotion where we gave subscribers free access to our paid monthly
membership. The initial plan was just to give access to the free portion, but due to an error
we gave paid access. Most subscribers had heard about The Academy thus they were very
surprised to receive this email and open rates where through the roof.

17. Re: [The Academy] Your Login Credentials
Similar to above, this email explained what had happened previously. Using Re: is a great
way to reuse a successful email subject line while also furthering the story.

18. [The Academy] Downgraded to Free Level

After the weekend paid access we had to downgrade subscribers back to the free level.
Similar results to the first email as far as opens and responses. Be careful though because
you can cause a support nightmare.

19. You made a sale!
This was sent to affiliates and is actually a transactional email. It also has one of the best
open rates out of any email we sent


Introduction: What can beat free? Great for when you're sending out pure no strings attached content


20. [Free] Over The Shoulder Case Study
Case studies always do great and everyone loves the concept of peeking over your shoulder
if you’re an authority.

21. [Free Software] Youtube Spy Tool
Nothing beats free software.

23. [Special Training] Your Questions Answered
Everyone likes to get their questions answered plus they are curious what the training is

24. New Training Get It For Free (For A Short Time)

The urgency of this email makes it perfect. We’ve released a new training, you can get it for
free BUT only for a limited time.


Introduction: Honesty is the best policy. Well not always but it definitely has it’s place in our arsenal of subject line techniques


25. I need your help
This works great if you’re thinking about creating a training but want some feedback and to
create anticipation for it.

26. Can I Get Your Feedback?
Similar to above.

27. My Blatant Bribe
We used this for a giveaway. I think it’s a great subject line for contests, giveaways and even

28. Frankly, I’m a little surprised..
A logic based email focused on why they haven’t done something yet. Make sure you’re
sending it to non­buyers.

29. 99% of you haven’t seen this…
Good way to announce a brand new training.

30. This mornings Raffle Winners are…
Everyone’s excited to see if they won.

31. Only $20. Only 24 Hours.
If the product is cheap then why not mention it? Also includes time based urgency.

32. ☛ Only $1
Doesn’t get any cheaper than that plus the pointing finger draws your attention.
This works great if you’re thinking about creating a training but want some feedback and to
create anticipation for it.


Introduction: Using details from your own life can work great for emails. Letting your
personality shine is ALWAYS a good idea in emails and this category just
takes that a step further.


33. OOOPS I Did It Again… Pink or Blue?
Joe was announcing his wife's pregnancy and introduced a Buy One, Get One Free offer.

34. I can feel the love…
This was a followup to the previous email. We received a lot of very nice messages and this
was in response.

35. 32,000 feet above Charlotte (special announcement)
Ben had a few thoughts while on his recent flight and wrote the email in air while traveling. A
great idea especially when you want to write off a quick email.

36. Would it help you if I…
Another great subject line to build anticipation for a training. Plus you can gauge response to
figure out if it’s worth creating.

37. What I Learned from the Wolf of Wall Street
We had recently seen the Wolf of Wall Street so it was personally relevant. Plus many people
at this point had seen or at least heard of the movie.

38. Here’s The Wolf of Wall Street Notes… (as promised)
We put a PS in the previous note that read “P.P.S. I took about a page or two of notes from
the event. If you want the notes from the event just reply ‘I’m excited for tomorrow’.” We
hadn’t planned on publishing the notes but after a HUGE response we decided to. This email
worked well because of the anticipation from the previous email.

Shock Value

Introduction: Shock value works there’s no doubt about it. Use it sparingly though or you’ll build distrust among your subscribers.


39. I got my @ss handed to me…
Whoa now, a curse word in an email subject line? You bet your butt it got opens.

40. One Word… CRAZY!
People can’t help but find out what’s so crazy.

41. Please Stop
I KNEW this one would crush. I also knew it’d probably get some really bad feedback. It met
both expectations. The storyline made sense but you still have to decide if pissing a few
people off is worth higher open rates.

42. Holy Shikees Make A Sale While On The Training
Shikees isn’t much of a curse word but enough to get your attention. I think the benefit really
drove this one though.

43. Video Marketing will NEVER be the same…
It’s a very BOLD statement to make but that’s okay if your email backs it up.
Whoa now, a curse word in an email subject line? You bet your butt it got opens.

Benefit Driven

IntroductionAnswering the ever important question ‘What’s in it for me?’ concisely within the subject line.


44. The #1 Reason We Have Grown 100%+ Year Over Year
If you like the person or company you receive this from you’re almost guaranteed to open it.

45. FWD: From 1 Product to Over $20 Million in Annual Revenue
What’s great is this was a completely true story. It was a great TriggerCast interview with Ajit.
Joe framed it as a forward. A good way to promote someone else’s content.

46. 7 Customers in 8 Days
This one almost sounds too good to be true but who can resist.

47. CHECK IT OUT ==> Local Marketing Profits on Autopilot!
Grabbing attention with the beginning and then proving why it’s relevant. It’s the type of
subject line you can use when your list is segmented well or you know your demographics.

48. [45x The Leverage] Do Yourself a Favor & Watch This…
Everyone wants (or needs) more leverage in their business.

49. Horse & Buggy or Bullet Train (you decide)
Personally one of the favorites. It easily paints the narrative of using an ancient method
versus the benefit of modern technology.

50. 20 calls & 16 email leads in 7 days + I'll tell you how to do it
A great way to concisely introduce a case study or training. As you can see using numbers in
benefit driven subject lines saves space and helps grab attention.

Time Based

Introduction: Urgency and scarcity makes sells. If you do online sales you should be running time based offers.

Live webinars also happen on a specific time.


51. Tuesday’s Meeting
I think it performed so well because subscribers thought it might have been an in person
meeting they had already agreed to.

52. Can you make it to this?
A great way to get someone to check out a webinar.

53. Tomorrow, Things Change
Typically used in conjunction with a training webinar so good it’ll change the way you do
business OR a big announcement.

54. [4 Hours Left] This is it folks
Using time in the subject line works very well as you’ll see in these next few emails.

55. [12 Hours Left] I cant keep it open any longer…
When it closes, it closes. This gets subscribers to check it out now.

56. Only 6 Hours left… more winners!
A special twist, this email gets opens because people are also curious if they won.

57. You Missed It? Seriously…

Good for webinar replays.

58. Last Call…
If you don’t want to use time in the subject, this is a good alternative that performs well.

Hope You Enjoyed It!

Introduction: Don’t forget to test email subject lines against each other to see what wins with your subscribers. In time you should have your own vault of high performing subject lines that worked well with your list!
Remember that when you send out emails is also very important. Test different days and different times.
Also inserting images and GIFs into emails can greatly increase CTRs.