List of “Take Action” Email Subject Lines

"Two people peeking from hole in wall--eyes onlyWhat makes YOU look– sneak a peak, peep through the window-blinds…?

Lawrence Bernstein and Art Crowley put together a downloadable PDF, entitled “Made You Look: 527 Email Subject Lines That Dare You To Look Away.” Their criteria? These “chosen ones” had to pass their “did it make me want to look?” test.


They posit this problem:

“The big hairy problem marketers face across industries and market niches of every stripe is a
steadily weakening grip on the attention of their email recipients. What to do?”


“Made You Look…” is one of the 3 marketing and copywriting products I’ve actually bought in the last year. It’s a pretty valuable tool. But it can be much more than that. It actually put a head of steam behind a list of email subject lines I had already begun to save in a spreadsheet myself (I admit it, I also squirrel away lists of keywords, keyphrases, jargon, colloquialisms, and other amazing and beautiful words and phrases).


I was inspired by their work. Everyday I have dozens of email messages of all kinds streaming into my inbox, as it gets busier and busier I open fewer and fewer. Those that get opened  NATURALLY have passed my personal little test. I add them to my handy and growing list.


Email subject lines are akin to sales letter headlines. They are mission-critical to getting your message read, period.  Here is a short selection of some of my recently “swiped” –and squirreled away:


  • What I discovered during my season of desperation…(Perry Marshall)
  • The secret that doubled a successful company in four months…(Perry marshall)
  • (name), this is my most powerful lead generation tool… (Troy White)
  • When marketer meets beekeeper (Clayton Makepeace)
  • 99 Questions to train your email brain (Perry Marshall)
  • The Junkie’s Success Secret (Early to Rise)
  • FW: Business building tips for Entrepreneurs (Nate Bloom)
  • The best way to learn anything – EVER (Rich Schefren)
  • Give us your feedback and you could win $500 from Public Storage  (Public Storage)
  • Your Email Bombed? Here’s What to Do (Troy White)
  • Xtra Xray Vision for Google’s Content Network (Perry Marshall)
  • Add an extra hour to every day (Bob Bly)
  • I use this to train my own staff.. (Jeff Johnson)
  • Hate Mail and Threats About this Video (Dr. Harlan Kilstein)
  • Creating Demand Where None Existed Before (Perry Marshall)
  • Call the FTC on These Bastards! (Six Figure Copy)
  • SEO and nofollow – Should you even Care? (Andy Jenkins)
  • Momentum Killers (Matt Furey)
  • Million dollar marketing ideas – from a pizza joint?! (Troy White)
  • How Copy Alone CAN Change Minds After All (John Forde)
  • GMO Sugar is the Biggest Trick this Halloween  (Care2 Action Alliance)
  • The Curse of the 10,000-hour ‘Talent Syndrome’  (Psychotactics)
  • This is different and kinda Gutsy… (Andy Jenkins)
  • Why COPYWRITING is the KEY marketing skill  (Eben Pagan)
  • Internet Marketing 2010: The Road Ahead (New Report…)   (John Reese)
  • The Art of Criticism  (Early to Rise)
  • Let’s end the banks’ tricks  (Consumers’ Union Action Fund)
  • The revolt is on! (Consumers’ Union Action Fund)
  • Unbelievable… (Consumer’s Union Action Fund)
  • Hate your cellphone bill? (Consumer’s Union Action Fund)
  • The flow-state secret (Clayton Makepeace)
  • “People crave a wicked tale – and they will buy from the dude that tells them one” – John Carlton  (Perry Marshall)
  • Secrets of the “Buy” Button (Wordtracker)


What kind of tool could you create over time — like this– that has value AND could put some spice into copy and content?

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4 Comments on “List of “Take Action” Email Subject Lines”

  1. Lynne Says:

    Where is the downloadable PDF you talk about?


  2. Paul M Says:

    90% of the subjects above look like spam to me, so good luck using them.


    • jrotman Says:


      Interesting take… I consider SPAM to be unsolicited email bombs. The above are, for the most part, sent to a targeted subscriber list, not to mention that many of them are from some of the most successful email marketers working today. One person’s “spam,” is another’s….


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