📦 - Avada Kedavra Your Subject Lines
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Friday, February 10, 2023

Harry Potter and The *fill in the blank*. 🪄

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 The secret sauce to clickable subject lines + 10 examples

📦 A free swipe left to level up your creative in 2023

📦 Chat GPT 4: The power of suggestion

📦 Everything you need to create compelling and engaging Instagram Reels

📦 Honey gummies, beauty mail, and AI candles 🕯️

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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10 Click-Worthy Subject Lines

We know it. You know it. Everyone knows it…

The email inbox is C-R-O-W-D-E-D these days.

That’s why compelling subject lines are more important than ever. 💥

Subject lines have to stand out. Stop you in your tracks. Make you want to know more. Frankly, it’s more of an art than a science.

In case you need some inspo, we want to share three must-try tactics to boost those open rates. 👇

Tactic 1: Spike curiosity (A.K.A I gotta know more.)

These subject lines simply piqued our curiosity in some way which is a classic tactic for getting opens.

Think questions, juicy information, interesting topics, or anything that could get the reader saying, “I wanna know what’s inside this email!”

📧 “Beth’s personal secret to aging is…”

From: BOOM! By Cindy Joseph

This line got us to click by teasing desirable information inside: the secret to aging. Umm, yes, please! 🤚

📧 “Y’all drank how much coffee in 2022?!”

From: Four Sigmatic

I mean, we just HAVE to know how much coffee y’all drank…

Spoiler alert: it was over 7 million cups! (Aaaaand the DTC Team may or may not have consumed 4 million of that. 🙈)

📧 “Don’t Click this email 🚨”


Ahhh, the ol’ reverse psychology tactic. Now you’re curious, and all you can think about is clicking this email!

(FYI: We’d suggest treading lightly with potentially clickbaity subject lines like this. If you’re trying to bait people into opening your email, the message/offer best deliver high value!)

Tactic 2: Wait, what?... (A.K.A. That’s silly and I like it.)

Stopping the reader in their tracks with a statement or question that makes them go “huh?” is another strategy for subject lines. Because it requires some creativity and often a hint of irreverence, this tactic can be the most fun for brands to test.

Make sure the subject line isn’t silly just for clicks. It should ultimately tie back to the message inside the email.

📧 “How was your post-holiday poop?”

From: Seed

Well, since you’re asking… 🤷 *click*

📧 “200% Off Sale”

From: Cards Against Humanity

Welp, paying people to order your product sure is one way to get opens! While 200% off sounds ridiculous, this was a legit Black Friday Sale by Cards Against Humanity.

📧 “50% OFF. 50% OFF. 50% OFF. 50% OFF.”

From: Four Sigmatic

Discounts are used allllll the time in subject lines, but this particular one got us to click because 1) 50% off is a killer deal, and 2) “50% OFF” FOUR TIMES IN A ROW definitely stands out in the inbox.

📧 “What Are Beef Sheets?”

From: DTC team

If you don’t mind us tooting our own horn for a sec, this is one of DTC’s very own subject lines. Not only did this email snag an unusually high open rate, but it also got a fun conversation going on Twitter. 😂 👇 Win-win.

Keep scrollin’, there’s more where this came from! 😉


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10 Click-Worthy Subject Lines

Tactic 3: Personal touch (A.K.A This is not what it looks like. )

Another tactic we’ve seen recently is using a subject line that makes the message look like something other than a marketing email from a brand.

While these methods can be highly effective for getting opens, they’re also controversial for a few reasons:

  • Using prefixes like “Fwd:” and “Re:” in your subject lines can trigger email services to label you a high-risk sender, flag your emails as spam, or display an alert to your recipients. Not a good look.
  • You’re essentially tricking people into clicking your email, which is always risky and could get you marked as Spam – or worse – sh*t-talked on Twitter. 😮

If you’re going to test subject lines like these, use them sparingly, and make sure the message/offer inside is really, really valuable.

📧 “Photos”

From: Bo (FotoFetch)

At first glance, this looks like an email from a friend that’s sending you photos.

Psyche! It’s not. This is a sales email from FotoFetch (to be fair, a very short, to-the-point sales email). They got that click, tho.

This is also a good example of how one-word subject lines can work well. They often come across as more personal and evoke a bit of curiosity for the reader.

📧“@Hismile mentioned you”

From: Hismile

When this popped up on a phone screen, it looked like a notification from social media at first, so the click/tap was pretty automatic. Clever.

📧 “Re: Your order is confirmed”

From: Hey Harper

This email used the Re: prefix tactic, which made us think it was an ongoing conversation. Again, a risky move, but since this was used on an order confirmation email and not a sales email, it felt less intrusive.

Alternatively, here are some other ways you can make your emails seem more personal without being a Spammy Sammy:

  • Avoiding the use of emojis (yes, unlike a few years ago, emojis in email subject lines are now more heavily associated with brand marketing emails! Guess we overdid it 🤷)
  • One-word or very short subject lines
  • Using all lowercase letters and minimal punctuation
  • Incorporating the reader's name

Remember: The subject line is only part of the equation. You also need to create consistently awesome content to encourage readers to open your emails! 🙃

What about you – any good subject lines you’ve received lately? Reply to this email and let us know!


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Thousands of DTC readers (like you!) have learned from Cohley’s TikTok Creative Brief Template and now have killer short-form videos from UGC creators. 💪

Now, they're sharing their Instagram Reels expertise with you so you can create an innovative omnichannel marketing experience. Cohley’s latest Creative Brief Template has:  

  • Tools
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💥 Literally everything you need to create compelling and engaging Instagram Reels. With the looming possibility of a TikTok ban, now is the perfect time to try Reels.

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👉 It's time to unlock your Instagram marketing.


🤖 What? Your Bot Is Evolving!

We’ve all heard about or played with OpenAI’s Chat GPT 3.5 — the new tool that makes communicating with AI as easy as chatting with a friend.

But, like some friends, Chat GPT 3.5 has its limitations. 🙃

For now, GPT 3.5 can only communicate and learn with text… but the future looks bright! Imagine AI that responds to sights, sounds, and performs data synthesis to produce jaw-dropping insights. 🔥

This is what multi-modal AI aims to achieve.

And who knows, maybe AI will eventually be able to adjust the strength of your morning coffee based on sleep data from your smartwatch! ☕

👚Multi-modal in action

Have you seen Aimesoft's promotional video?

If not, the reel showcases a woman getting fashion advice from her AI bot while it uses visual and statistical data to pick the perfect shirt for her meeting.

It's like having a personal stylist and a fortune teller wrapped into one. 🔮

While the full release of multi-modal AI systems is still some time away, the above example gives insight into what AI developers are striving to achieve.

🤯 But…we have so many questions!

It looks like time to consider how we could harness AI advancements in a marketing context. 🤔

As marketers, we remain unsure of how this multi-modal system will influence consumers’ purchase decisions, journeys, and brand loyalty. We need to ask:

  • Are we going to be marketing to AI rather than actual people if the general public relies so heavily on the AI’s opinion?
  • What pixel could be used to track that sort of information?
  • How would attribution data change?

There are so many questions about how multi-modal AI systems could revolutionize the marketing landscape. However, we simply need to wait for more information and a tech demo to experiment with. 🤓

👩🚀 One small step for marketers…

Overall, we’re left with many more questions than answers but that’s not a bad thing. 🤷

While the future is limitless for AI in marketing, it gives us the opportunity to speculate on how our roles will change within our teams.

Have you considered the ways multi-modal AI would influence your marketing strategy?

With sight, sound, and data synthesis now within reach, discuss what that could mean for your approach to new content. Some of the wackiest ideas may not be so wacky after all. 😉


🐝 Rbel Bee Honey Gummies: Be honest. Do you have a packet of sweets on your desk right now? If so, and you’re looking for a healthier replacement, Rbel Bee has your back. Their honey-sweetened Poma Punch and Wild Child Cherry gummies will pick up your afternoon slump.

🎁 Birchbox: Not sure what products you should add to your beauty routine? Love receiving mail? Birchbox is your solution. They’ll send you five beauty product samples each month to see what works best for you!

🕯 Scent Lab: Imagine a world where AI tells you what candles best suit you. No need to imagine. Scent Lab is on the case! Take their 60-second discovery quiz to find your scent.

🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

🧑‍🦲 iRestore Hair Growth System: Kevin Chen - The True Impact of Costco.

⚔️ Mini Katana: Karly McFarland on $100M in Email Sales and Why She Sold Her Agency and Turned to the Brand Side (C-Suite Mentor Preview).

🤑 The Oodie - Davie Fogarty: Lessons From a Fast $400M.

💸 Andrew Wilkinson at C-Suite in Victoria: Bootstrapping vs. VC vs. PE vs. Angel.

😎 Pretty Boy - Ben Feys and Kevin Niehoff: Nailing your Brand Identity and Balling on a Budget.

💡 Listen to the Biggest Marketing News Stories Today.

Don’t forget to rate the DTC Podcast on Apple (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight, Kelsey Hess, and Michael Venditti. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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