One Friday Morning 04.01.11

Today, we debut a new and, hopefully, permanent blog posting that will appear every Friday morning highlighting just one item for your review. The post may be a single article, quote, photo, infographic, video, etc. that captured our attention during the last week. But it will be just one, so you can move on and enjoy your Friday. We look forward to your comments on these special posts as well.

The 4 Words That Will Get Your Email Opened

image of email in a bottle

“You Are Not Alone”

In two and a half years of sending all kinds of emails to all kinds of lists, the simple phrase “You Are Not Alone” is the most-opened subject line I’ve ever seen — by far.

Because Aweber counts each email that’s been opened, even if they’re from the same user, that single subject line has had an average open rate of 90%, and has surpassed the 100% mark several times.

I’ve seen this subject line used successfully on emails ranging from content marketing to personal development to potty training, with a dozen verticals in between. The results are always the same.

I don’t want to be alone is a compelling, universally recognized statement.

The need to belong, to know that others are going through the same life experiences, is primal.

No matter what message you’re sending or service you’re selling, if you remind your reader that someone understands what they are going through and cares about helping them, you will become their temporary hero.

Do it repeatedly, and you will permanently solidify that position.

Use this subject line to get your email opened, but treat the open as just the first step. Once you capture your reader’s attention, prove you deserved it by providing a useful solution to their most pressing problem. Even the most effective subject line in the world merely gets you in the door. Your job is to address the issues.

Your subject line is an invitation to dinner; you still have to cook the main course. Not only does the “You Are Not Alone” subject line get opened like crazy, it has an extremely high reply rate. This isn’t too surprising since it responds directly to the need for community and connection.

Make sure you reply back. It’s amazing how directly responding to the needs of your reader makes it A-B-C easy to nurture rewarding relationships. Help people solve their problems and relieve them of their feelings of isolation, and they will reward you.

The “You Are Not Alone” subject line works because it connects to an elemental human need — and the good news is: the well of human need is bottomless. Respond to a single need or to more, but you must provide what people truly desire if you expect to reach the root of who they are. Discover this and everything else becomes easy; growing your list, nurturing your relationships, and, ultimately, closing the deal.
Source: Sean Platt,, March 30, 2011

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