The 4 Power Word Generators for Better Subject Lines

I’m obsessed with split testing and data analysis.

Because I’ve built my career on questioning conventional wisdom.

I don’t believe in best practices. I only believe in testing things to see what works in the real world.

Most “best practices” are written by people who just just repeat stuff from other people – they don’t base anything on real-world experience.

I know you want to boost your open rates with better subject lines.

So good news – today you will learn the 4 power word generators that give you superior open rates.

I was going to include a 5th – money – but that’s so obvious I won’t bother. 

What’s a power word generator?

It’s an idea source that gives you attention-grabbing language.

Remember, the first law of persuasion is that you want to generate attention.

If you can’t get attention, you can’t get results. Simple, right?

And Power Words get you that attention. Yes, there are a million lists of Power Words, but I’ll show you how to create them on demand, every single time.

Now, as you read this, I want you to think about what the generators have in common. 

I’ll reveal the secret at the end, so let’s go:

1. Love and Sex

References to love and sex are surefire attention grabbers.

But calm down! You don’t have to go full Madonna and declare that you feel “Like a virgin, touched for the very first time.”

A little subtlety goes a long way.

Here’s a few ideas:

“Better than your first kiss.” You could use that for anything.

Or if you want to give something a lovey-dovey feel, you could say “Remember the first time you held his hand?”

What if you were selling a fitness course?

“How 6-pack abs get you out of the friend zone” would work.

Or… if you want to push the envelope and get a little funny, you could try things like “The Climax You Didn’t See Coming.”

Or how about “This is nastier than your ex-husband.”

Sentences like these are so broad you can apply them to almost any niche.

Even big companies can get edgy. Here’s a great classic Porsche ad declaring the 911 sports car offers “All the lust allowed by law.”

porsche all the lust allowed by law

2. Food

Food is the innocent version of Love and Sex.

And there are endless ways to write email subject lines based on references to food.

You can keep it really simple:

“More satisfying than your first Happy Meal.”

Or you can get a little more controversial:

“Why caviar is for fat, sweaty losers.”

So food-based imagery is another great source of subject line inspiration.

Now… have you guessed what each of the power word generators have in common. I’ll reveal the secret below, but for now let’s just keep going.

3. Death and Violence

Death and violence are also great sources of inspiration.

You can go full Metallica who had an album named ‘Kill Em All.’

But imagine you had a golf video course. You could say things like:

“You’ll die happy after you hit a 150-year drive.”

What if you taught heavy-metal guitar?

“How to Cut Their Heads Off With Your Next Solo.”

Or writing.

“How to Kill Writer’s Block.”

4. God and Religion

References to God and religion are also very powerful. 

Remember the movie “All Dogs Go to Heaven?”

And you don’t have to make it complicated.

Imagine you taught people how to have better marriages.

“Stop Praying for a Happy Marriage. Start Working on It.”

Or if you taught email marketing like me:

“The Devil In the Details of Your Analytics”

What the Power Word Generators Have in Common

You’ve been waiting for the answer, so here it is.

The Power Word Generators are all related to primal needs and desires.

For love.




Connection to a higher power.

So the next time you struggle with generating a subject line, insert a Power Word Generator.

Just ask yourself “how can I make a subtle reference to love, sex, death, violence, food, God, or religion?”

And yes, be subtle.

You don’t need to be crazy.

A simple word like heaven, spicy, or sweetheart goes a long way.

Try it.

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