Clients Can’t Help But Open Emails with This Subject Line

  • These two words work like magic
  • Put these words together and emails get opened
  • Get more clients by getting them to open your emails
  • Three more subject line tips
  • Writing emails is easy IF you know the secrets

One of the things I teach is to NOT begin writing your email with the subject line. I always suggest writing the email first, then reworking something from the text that sort of “jumps out” — a phrase, a sentence, or a thought — and using that as fodder for your subject line.

Because, if it jumps out at you, it should do the same, if not more, for the reader.

However, for a Proactive Marketing email, we’re going to toss out this rule and start with a subject line that works like gangbusters to get a cold email opened. And the best part is, you only need two little words: “quick question.”

Think about it. If you get an email with the subject line of “quick question,” there’s a lot going on there — not to mention a lot that COULD be going on, but is yet to be revealed.

Let’s start with the word “quick” …

Using the word “quick” intimates that this email won’t take long to read or process at all. And that’s exactly what a busy marketing executive or business owner wants — to get through his email as quickly as possible. After all, there are 100 other emails surrounding yours that are screaming for attention, too.

So, starting with “quick” gives him the assurance that it won’t take more than a few seconds to get this one opened, read, and done with. Which means it moves him toward opening your email that much faster.

As far as the word “question” is concerned, that’s an open statement that can be translated in a wide variety of ways. What’s the question about? Is it something to do with work? Something personal? A pressing and important matter? Something frivolous?

The possibilities are endless … and oh-so-intriguing.

But the only way to find out what the question actually is would be to … (drumroll, please) … OPEN THE EMAIL. And, that’s exactly what happens more often than not.

So, with “quick question,” we get the attention we want and the open rate we want. Because let’s face it — nobody’s hiring you if they never even read your email.

Here are a few more subject line tips to help you get more of your emails opened …

  1. Use an ellipsis … Those three little dots at the end of a sentence? They indicate there’s an unfinished thought. And, the only place to finish that thought is — you guessed it — inside the email. So, adding an ellipsis to your subject line can possibly increase your open rates even that much more.
  2. Lower-case letters: This one has always puzzled me somewhat, because I’m a big believer in initial caps (only capitalizing the first letter of a word) in headers. But the numbers don’t lie. I’ve consistently seen subject lines with all lower-case letters get opens more than headers with initial caps. And, they always outperform everything in all caps. (Who wants to be shouted at in a subject line?)
  3. Keep it short: Another reason why “quick question” works so well is because it’s only two words. Shorter subject lines are quicker and easier to consume, and in this day and age when we’re all being bombarded with marketing messages, the quicker and easier something is to consume, the better.

These tips will get more emails opened, and you’ll have more opportunities for paid copywriting gigs.

Your takeaway: Start your Proactive Marketing emails with the words “quick question” in the subject line. (And of course, make sure your email message really is just a quick question … )

The AWAI Method™

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »

Click to Rate:
Average: 4.5
Published: August 14, 2017

5 Responses to “Clients Can’t Help But Open Emails with This Subject Line”

  1. I like it:)


  2. Weellllll -- maybe it's my journalistic/advertising background, but, as a savvy recipient of many dozens of non-profit/news/business emails every single day (including some with the subject line "Quick Question"), I have a large caveat regarding the premise of this article.

    I've learned only one thing from emails entitled "Quick Question": they are always from someone wanting me to give them something I wouldn't voluntarily offer: time, personal information and quite possibly my hard-earned money.

    So call me a cynic, call me a hard-nose, but when I see an email entitled "Quick Question", it is one I know I don't need to open.


    Beth Jones

  3. Hi Jay, I have your program Email made Easy. There is a lot of writing that suggests that prospecting is most successful when done with direct mail vs. email. I want to specialize in content writing (email, enewsletters, case studies, etc.) for professional service providers. Is it helpful to launch a mail campaign in combonation with email, or will the person toss the dm package if he/she has seen and rejected the email? Carol in Canada

    carol olafson

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)