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The Best Email Subject Lines: 11 Formulas to Use in Real Estate

December 07 2021

email hand goThere are two kinds of people in this world. People who maintain a clean email inbox, and people whose inbox is bursting at the seams with a high number of unread emails (my inbox is at a shameful 602).

The average person sends and receives approximately 120 emails per day. Most people won't open all 120. So how do you fight through the clutter, and get your audience to open YOUR emails?

You have to master the subject line. It doesn't matter if your email contains the most amazing content if no one even opens it.

3 Types of Subject Lines

The best headlines and email subject lines generally fall into three categories. We've gathered proven formulas and examples under each category to help you write better subject lines to increase your open rates:

Social Proof

These types of subject lines are fueled by people's inclination to make decisions based on the choices that other people have made. Stating that a great number of people or a very influential person has made a certain choice increased the weight of social proof.

Formula: [Provide social proof] [Ask compelling question]
Example: Millions of Americans affected: can you afford to ignore the changes in mortgage rates?

Formula: [desired result] Like a [desired group or person]
Example: Remodel your dream home like Chip and Joanna Gaines

Formula: How [impressive number ] Got [desired result] in [time period]
Example: How your neighbors sold their home in less than a week!

Formula: Why [impressive number] of People are [taking desired action]
Example: Why Thousands of Californians are selling their homes now


These subject lines are intended to push people to act to avoid a threat or pain, rather than gain a benefit. These subject lines promise your audience that the message inside the email will protect them against these threats.

Formula: [Lie/Threat] about [Topic]
Example: 10 things most real estate agents won't tell you

Formula: Don't [Take action] until you read this
Example: Don't buy a home until you read this

Formula: [Number] [Topic] Mistakes You're Making
Example: 10 Home Buying Mistakes You're Making

Formula: Avoid These [Number] [Topic] [Pitfalls/Mistakes]
Example: Avoid the 5 most common mistakes of first time homebuyers


The simplest of the three categories, these subject lines simply state the benefit with the promise that the inside message will help you achieve it.

Formula: The [#] way to [Benefit]
Example: How to get your home sold above asking price

Formula: How to [Achieve Desired Result]
Example: Don't buy a home until you read this

Formula: Imagine [Desired Result]
Example: Imagine living in your perfect home right now

The Secret Formula of All Formulas

Subject lines can make or break your emails. It has to be interesting enough for someone to want to open it. Gary Bencivenga, often referred to as the best copywriter in the world, has come up with a formula for writing great subject lines:

Interest = Benefit + Curiosity

One's level of interest is directly proportional to the presence of two factors: benefit and curiosity. The recipients should be able to read your subject and know that something in the email will benefit them.

It must also possess a level of unpredictability. Even if the subject offers a clear benefit, if people can predict what the message inside will say, they are less likely to read it. The goal is to pique the reader's curiosity by teasing them just enough to want to read more.

To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.