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Get 7 subject line ideas in 2 minutes — even if you’re not creative

You might already know a favorite place to get subject line ideas if you’ve attended one of my classes.

Next time you’re flying within the US, pull out the SkyMall and read the teasers for the ridiculous things they sell.

You might see some barely believable claims. Some very specific itches that a gadget will scratch. What most of the copywriting in SkyMall does wonderfully well is target a very unique pain that a customer has and present a solution.

Most people don’t need a toaster designed to cook hot dogs and buns in one. For people who do, you can bet that skymall has it.

These product descriptions often feel like the instant clarity headline formula described by Dane Maxwell.

For sales content, this works wonders. If you look at the subject line for this article, I decided to follow the format: “Get 7 subject line ideas in 2 minutes — even if you’re not creative.”

To me that feels a little salesy. It’s not the way I’d want to write all the time, but if it’s for one email in a sequence and it’s meant to convert, use this format — it’s good.

What examples can SkyMall offer

Here are some of my favorite headlines I read on a recent trip:

# 1. Turn water into soda in seconds!

# 2. Leave your gloves on and still be able to text

# 3. Harness the sun to charge electronics

# 4. Discreetly monitor home or office with this hidden video camera

# 5. Keep your shoes odor and bacteria free without the spray can

# 6. Seal your attic entry and reduce your heating and cooling bill by up to 20%.

# 7. Potty train your cat faster than most people can potty train their kids

Not all of these fit neatly into the Instant Clarity Headline. Some of them do address objection, but what they do best is focus on the outcome you’ll receive from buying the product.

Can you distill your product value into an instant clarity headline?

Give it a shot. If there’s a headline you’re proud of, or want feedback on, send it to me or post in the comments.

Happy emailing,

P.S. – John and I will be at LessConf this weekend. I’m giving a 20 minute talk on email at the beach and can’t use slides. Any advice from your experiences giving talks in crazy places?

P.P.S. – We also un-earthed a recent change Google made to Gmail that significantly increases your recipients seeing “This message could be a scam” for emails you send. Get more info