Best Subject Lines of 2021

Best Subject Lines of 2021

For the fifth year in a row, I have compiled the Best Email Subject Lines of the year! You can read the Best Email Subject Lines of 2017, the  Best Email Subject Lines of 2018, the Best Email Subject Lines of 2019 and the Best Email Subject Lines of 2020 to see previous winners winners.

Every year, I listed the best email subject lines according to my personal email inbox.

My Totally Biased Judging Methodology


  • 3rd place – You are on the list. Sometime in the past year, I opened one of your emails and thought, ‘Hey, that got my attention.’ I put a label on your email so you would be on this list when it came out.
  • 2nd place – You are on this list more than once.
  • 1st place – You have written more subject lines on this list than anyone else.

Since I subscribe to digital marketers and sales leaders, the content of the subject line skews to that school of thought. But I follow these people the most because they write the best email subject lines, and are more likely to contribute to my swipe files.

3RD PLACE – Best Email Subject Lines of 2021

     2ND PLACE – Best Email Subject Lines of 2021

    Those who earn 2nd Place in this annual contest make it on the best subject line list more than once.

    • [FREE] Download my Cheat Sheet – Pat Flynn
    • Learn these powerful email marketing strategies – Pat Flynn


    1st Place – Best Email Subject Lines of 2021

    Yael Bendahan

    Yael Bendahan is an online marketing and growth strategist, and specializes in training women to grow their business.

    Yael’s Best Email Subject Lines of 2021

    1. can I promote you in Q1? – Yael Bendahan
    2. do you see that elephant in the corner? – Yael Bendahan
    3. want to hit your income goals this month? (and next?) – Yael Bendahan
    4. the daily affirmation that changed everything for me – Yael Bendahan

    MAP workbook coverI’ve been collecting the best subject lines from my inbox every year for a while (see previous yearly roundups here). Feel free to review these subject lines, click through to the authors, and subscribe to their email newsletters (if someone is on this list, they are worthy to follow).

    Once you learn about writing better email subject lines, it’s time to automate your marketing! My Marketing Automation Planner takes you step-by-step through the process to create a lead generation machine. Get all my best tools, templates, and workbooks here:

    About The Author

    Caelan Huntress is the father of 3 kids, and in his spare time serves as creative director of Stellar Platforms. He is also a writer, digital marketer, multimedia producer, and a retired superhero. He blogs about his adventures on

    How To Ask For A Testimonial From A Client

    How To Ask For A Testimonial From A Client

    I waited for weeks. My client said she loved my work, and promised to give me a testimonial, but she stopped returning my emails.

    Putting aside my imposter syndrome, I looked at things from her perspective. She was an interview host by trade. The whole reason she hired me was because she didn’t want to write her emails and sales pages.

    By asking her to volunteer her time to write a testimonial, I was giving her homework. That’s not nice to do, when you’re asking someone for a favour.

    So I asked myself: what’s the best way to collect testimonials from a client?

    The answer is: an interview.

    How to Collect Customer Testimonials with Interviews

    I called my client and asked her, “Can I interview you for about fifteen minutes, about what it was like working with me? I’ll take a lot of notes, and write up a short paragraph based on what you’ve said, and you can approve it or edit it to make sure it’s perfect.”

    She was happy to oblige.

    Lisa Garr The Aware Show“Caelan has a great way of taking your vision and making it a reality. He works really well with visionaries – I speak it, and he makes it happen! His website design for The Aware Show really captured my personality, and his project management skills kept my entire team on track. The beautiful summits he put together helped us to grow our list and expand our audience. Caelan is always positive and keeps a positive outlook on life!”

     – Lisa Garr, host of The Aware Show

    She used the phrases and wording in this paragraph – I just plucked them out of our conversation, and put them in an order that made sense. I also made sure to ask her about specific things I wanted to include in the testimonial, as well.

    By interviewing her about the experience of working with me, I took all the grunt work on myself, so all she had to do was chat with me. It was much more respectful of her time and attention, and when we are asking a client to do us a favour, we should be more respectful of them, not less.

    Below I’ve listed answers to some of the most common questions I get about how to collect testimonials from clients. But first, if you would like to use my step-by-step process for collecting testimonials with interviews, then you should enroll in my 5-Day Testimonial Collection Challenge: 

    Frequently Asked Questions about Testimonials

    Can testimonials be anonymous?

    Technically, yes, but they are not as effective. Ranking the types of testimonials in order of effectiveness, from most to least:

    1. Testimonial with name and headshot
    2. Testimonial with name and position
    3. Anonymous testimonial

    Where should testimonials go on a website?

    The first home should be at If I’m ever doing any sort of web design for a client, I always make this page if they don’t have it already. This page can serve as the storehouse for your testimonials, so anytime you are making a piece of marketing collateral – designing a new brochure, or writing a sales page – you know exactly where to go to find your master collection.

    In addition to having a dedicated Testimonials page (you can see mine here), you can also put testimonials on your website:

    • Below the fold on your homepage
    • In the footer
    • In the sidebar

    I do not recommend you put testimonials in a slider. (Read why sliders suck here.)

    Who can give testimonials?

    Anyone who has experienced a transformation because of you or your work can give you a testimonial. If you are just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey, ask your former co-workers, or anyone who has worked on a project with you to collaborate.

    What’s a good testimonial email template?

    Personally, I’ve found that asking for testimonials over email has limited effectiveness. It might get you a few nice words with little effort, but that’s generally what they provide you – nice words with little effort.

    While I do recommend the testimonial interview process laid out in Testimonials 101, if you are going to ask for a testimonial over email, here’s a sample script:

    Hey there, would you mind sending me a few sentences that I can use as a testimonial? I really enjoyed the work we did together, and sharing your thoughts on my work would help me to find more clients like you. I’d appreciate it if you could mention [TOPIC] or how I [QUALITY]. If you could please send me a short paragraph by [DATE] I would be very grateful.

    How testimonials help your business

    Studies have shown that 88% of people trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation. Even if they don’t know the person who gave the testimonial, 88% of people trust those strangers as much as one of their friends.

    The social proof of having a good testimonials page can sway someone to make a buying decision in your favour.

    What questions should I ask to get a good testimonial?

    I have scripted my 6 best questions for collecting testimonials out in the free workbook that is part of Testimonials 101. Opt-in here:

    About The Author

    Caelan Huntress is the father of 3 kids, and in his spare time serves as creative director of Stellar Platforms. He is also a writer, digital marketer, multimedia producer, and a retired superhero. He blogs about his adventures on

    Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    The awards for this contest, the Best Email Subject Lines of 2018, is totally biased and skewed. To even be considered for this award, you have to:

    1. Publish a newsletter regularly, to which
    2. I happen to be subscribed, and
    3. One or more of your subject lines has to make me go, ‘Wow!’

    Last year I did a round-up of the 170 best email subject lines from 2017. Now that we’ve faced another New Year, I clicked the same Gmail label in my inbox to pull up a list of all the best emails that got my attention in 2018.

    Email Subject Line Contest Judging Criteria

    • 3rd place – You show up in this list. Sometime, in 2018, you sent me an email with a subject line that made me say, ‘Wow, that’s good.’
    • 2nd place – You show up in this list more than once.
    • 1st place – You show up in this list more than anyone else.

    Again, this is a highly subjective list, and it’s skewed towards digital marketers and salespeople (since they are the content creators I like to follow the most, and they are usually the best at writing subject lines that make you want to open the email) and the joy of having your own award show is that you get to award them however you please, so without further ado, here is…

    3RD PLACE – Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    I kept this secret way too long – Mira Kelly

    I never wanted to be an entrepreneur – Stu McLaren


    Can we talk about getting you leads? – Dan Faber

    Announcing major new services for your site. – Jetpack

    How I Generated 800 Booked Calls With A Four Page Website – James Kemp

    So, stop me if you’ve heard this one – Joseph Michael

    How to get 10 paying Clients Now – Ted McGrath

    New for you. The Mozart Pack is now ready. – Divi Den

    The bad advice I followed at the start of my business – Melyssa Griffin

    Full-time author within 12 months (how she did it) – Nick Stephenson

    Question – Holden Qigong

    did you miss it? – Jill Knouse

    You are guest speaking on TED in 3 days (you’re ready, right?) – Dominika

    Write me back if you want one of 7 test drives – Amber McCue

    I know Keto is hot. Here’s a simple way to do it. – Pedram Shojai

    Surprise! Unlock a Free Membership Upgrade When You Join Today – Trusted Housesitters

    [pdf download] Get paid to share your message – Ben Kniffen

    Why I love it when my clients are afraid – Laura Simms

    Steal this sales email – Shenee Howard

    You won’t believe who just joined the Naturopathic CE Faculty! – Naturopathic CE

    I recorded a video for you – Fab Mancini

    “That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard” – Vishen Lakhiani

    You’ve acquired FIFTY PERCENT OFF 😉 It’s confirmed, CAELAN – Expedia

    Can we put your name in the raffle? – Danny Iny

    Day Six – “ABANDON SHIP!” (and other launch lies your brain tells you) – Kyla Roma

    [Explosion noises] – Digg

    Don’t buy this course! Guerilla Publishing is NOT for you if… – Derek Murphy

    Your “Start Here ” Page – Pat Flynn

    REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN – Susan Peirce Thompson

    Now I’m obsessed. – Nick Stephenson

    Changes – SARK

    do you believe me yet?- Cory Huff

    Announcement : Introducing Unstoppable with Kerwin Rae – Kerwin Rae

    You have a $603 credit – Michelle Shaeffer

    The Productivity Hack That’s Made Me Millions – Bob Allen

    Can I give you $1000? Two people are going to win…might as well be you. – Kelly Poelker

    You’ve always wondered ….Now you can find out for yourself – Team Tony Robbins

    The ultimate list building short-cut (PDF DOWNLOAD Inside) – Navid Moazzez

    BOOM! This is how you make money from a tiny list – Meera Kothand

    Something BIG is coming – Steph Crowder

    Write better emails TODAY-Here’s how – Derek Halpern

    You’re not in yet 🙂 last chance today! – Aaron Morin

    Can you come as my guest? (VIP invite) – John Assaraf

    did you hear the news? – Dustin W. Stout

    Why do customers really buy? – Donald Miller

    Did you see this? – Andrea Leda

    10x your book revenue without selling another book – Ty Ward

    Get my best speaker training tips! Here’s how… – Sage Lavine

    do you need a raise? – Lisa Sasevich

    The hardest decision I’ve made in my business this year. – Caleb Wojcik

    Make Your Website a Well-Oiled Machine – Pia Larson

    While some of these subject lines look like they were addressed to me personally, or seem to be a personal request, I can assure you, they are not. Some of these were so good because they insinuated a personal connection so well, but these were really all mass emails.

    The email subject lines in this list – these are examples of really good mass emails.

    2ND PLACE – Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    These authors showed up multiple times in my inbox this year, and more than once I said, ‘Hey, that’s a really good subject line.’

    Wendy Weiss

    Wendy Weiss, the Queen of Cold Calling

    Wendy Weiss runs a sales training and coaching consultancy, with an expertise in new business development.

    Wendy’s Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    • Your message = your money
    • This will be your last chance

    Eben Pagan headshot

    Eben Pagan, Entrepreneur & Teacher

    Eben Pagan teaches advanced strategies to grow your business to the 6 and 7 figure per year level.

    Eben’s Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    • Email me back
    • Did you still want this?

    Jon Morrow, 7-Figure Blogger

    Jon Morrow gives cutting edge advice about blogging to smart bloggers.

    Jon’s Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    • [Blog Launch Tookit] Please don’t pay full price for this
    • [FLASH SALE] The Ultimate Training Library for Beginning Bloggers

    Benji Bruce headshot

    Benji Bruce, Motivational Keynote Speaker

    Benji Bruce shows an audience how to create a psychological advantage so they stay sharp and stay ahead.

    Benji’s Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    • Send me your pitch
    • Cancel my membership

    John Lee Dumas headshot

    John Lee Dumas, Podcaster

    John Lee Dumas hosts the daily business podcast EOFire for the Fire Nation.

    John’s Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    • Secrets to selling from pages, stages, and webinars
    • Get ready to learn Facebook Ads!

    Alan McKenna, Business Strategist

    Alan McKenna is a sales & marketing strategist with over 20 years experience in turning companies around and exploding their growth

    Alan’s Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    • Can I send you $3000?
    • Wednesday March 21st-Add to your calendar
    • I changed the date of the meeting

    David Siteman Garland headshot

    David Siteman Garland, Online Course Creator

    David Siteman Garland helps experts create and sell online courses.

    David’s Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    • (super time sensitive) Create Awesome Online Course is open
    • The biggest mistake I made in my business (plus deadline)

    1st Place – Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    Marisa Murgatroyd headshot

    Marisa Murgatroyd, Brand Builder and Marketing Strategist

    Marisa Murgatroyd provides done-for-you branding, website design, and training on becoming the most bold, colorful, vibrant expression of who you are online.

    Marisa also has one of the best platforms on the internet, IMHO. She’s got crystal-clear messaging, top-notch website design, excellent sales funnels and creates a TON of content. So it’s no big surprise that she showed up in this (highly subjective) list a total of NINE times.

    Marisa’s Best Email Subject Lines of 2018

    1. Can we work together on your business?
    2. I hit 7-figures because I did this…
    3. what Luke Skywalker can do for your business
    4. this common product creation mistake can lead to zero sales
    5. this is not a trick question
    6. I’ve got an idea for you!
    7. {true story} How I hit zero….
    8. 2 inconvenient fact that should disqualify me as a coach
    9. {urgent} change of plans….

    About The Author

    Caelan Huntress is the father of 3 kids, and in his spare time serves as creative director of Stellar Platforms. He is also a writer, digital marketer, multimedia producer, and a retired superhero. He blogs about his adventures on

    Follow Caelan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube.

    The Stellar Email Template

    The Stellar Email Template

    The best autoresponder sequences have a lot of shared characteristics. After subscribing to hundreds (maybe thousands) of email newsletters over the past decade, I’ve become adept at noticing what works, what the best people are using, and what steps are used by everyone. Here’s a standard email template you can use for a follow-up autoresponder sequence, one that you can use with just about any email newsletter signup autoresponder: 

    1. You Are Confirmed
    2. Let’s Connect
    3. Here’s My Services
    4. Survey To Segment You Into A Group
    5. Here’s Some Good Education
    6. Book a Call
    7. Referrals

    If I’m working with a new client who doesn’t yet have any content on their blog, this is the outline that I use to set up their email autoresponder. I make a copy of my Stellar Email Template, spend an hour or two writing some good copy, and then migrate the content into their ESP. In an afternoon, you can have a completely custom email newsletter autoresponder sequence all set up and ready to go, using this template.

    Get the Stellar Email Template

    Note: this template can be used for an entire sales funnel, and it also includes copy templates for thank you pages, confirmation emails, and more. Some of the pre-written email autoresponder templates in this doc may not apply to you or your business. But if you want to flesh out your email autoresponder sequence with CTAs to follow you on social media, book a call, or buy your services, there are templates for those emails in this document as well. Delete the ones that are not relevant, and add sections if you want to promote more blog posts.

    This easy, step-by-step process outlined above can give you a brand new email autoresponder sequence with just a couple hours of attention. Passively nurturing your sales funnel is definitely worth this investment of your time; successful bloggers and entrepreneurs are always tweaking and optimizing their onboarding autoresponder sequence.

    Can I send autoresponders and newsletters at the same time?

    Personally, I have no problem with this overlap, in the emails that I send or that I receive. I like to leave a long interval between email autoresponder messages (unless it is a 5-day or a 30-day course, which often needs to be every day) so any email newsletters sent will likely be in between the delivery of the autoresponder.

    Besides, many times, your new subscriber cannot tell the difference between an immediate newsletter and a pre-scheduled autoresponder.

    There are ways that you can exclude someone from your newsletter sends until the autoresponder sequence has completed – the specific method of doing so depends on your email service provider – but generally, I don’t bother with that unless the newsletter would really interrupt the flow of the autoresponder sequence.

    If you ever wonder, “How are others doing this well?” You can just collect some examples to find out.

    How To Collect Autoresponder Email Examples

    The best autoresponder email examples are only a subscription away. I’m sure you follow some people who are good at email. (If you don’t, there are a number of them quoted in this article.) Go subscribe to a bunch of their email newsletters, and if you like, use a filter to automatically tag their emails as they arrive. In a few weeks, you can search your inbox for this tag, and you will have dozens of the best autoresponder email examples to review.

    Pat Flynn’s autoresponder sequence examples

    Autoresponder Series #1: The Bait and Hook
    Autoresponder Series #2: The Ground and Pound
    Autoresponder Series #3: The Pat Flynn

    “The real magic of my approach is two-fold,” says the mastermind behind Smart Passive Income. “I’m establishing credibility and building relationships in a non-evasive manner, which keeps people on my list and opening emails. This obviously helps increase the open rate and responsiveness of my broadcast emails; and some of the content emails get people back onto another platform where opportunities for affiliate sales and product sales exist.”

    Pat Flynn is one of the best in the business. If you want to make money online, I recommend you subscribe to his newsletter, just to watch what he does, and how he does it. Read his article explaining these 3 Autoresponder Series here.

    Best welcome autoresponder email examples


    Dan Wang collected 13 of the best Welcome emails on the web, and laid them out in a nice visual progression. Give this article a scan so you can see how some other successful email autoresponders are doing their thing.

    Other talented email marketers that I follow include:

    Subscribe to their newsletters and take notes. And download the Stellar Email Template to work on your own.

    About The Author

    Caelan Huntress helps people sell their stuff online. As a website designer, sales strategist, copywriter, and digital marketer, he works with entrepreneurs, coaches, authors and public speakers to bring them more calls, more clients, and more customers.

    The Easiest Email Autoresponder Sequence for Bloggers

    The Easiest Email Autoresponder Sequence for Bloggers

    If you have been blogging, then you already have an easy email autoresponder sequence that is 85% done. Writing email newsletter autoresponders doesn’t have to take a long time; you can repurpose your best blog posts, using the 10-step system in this article. Before I describe the step-by-step process for converting your best blog posts into email autoresponders, let’s take a second and remind ourselves why email autoresponders are so effective.

    Email autoresponders convert strangers into customers, automatically.

    You’re facing a problem, and you’ve met someone who is solving that problem. They offer you a solution: it’s an intriguing lead magnet, giving a step-by-step solution to your problem, and you only have to subscribe to their newsletter to get access. Shyly, you hand over your first name and email address, and your relationship begins.

    Over the next few weeks, this person courts you. They send you interesting and useful emails, that seem like they were written just for you. Over time, you begin to know this person. Then you like them, because they are funny, and engaging, and real. Finally, you trust them, and when they ask you to buy something, you agree.

    This is what an email autoresponder sequence is supposed to do.

    “Autoresponders allow you to build ‘know, like and trust’ before you ask for the sale. That way, you can convert more customers, and you can do it without being overly ‘salesy’ or pushy.”
    – Mary Fernandez

    Research tells us that it can take up to 7 touches to close a sale. So don’t try to sell your services right away in your confirmation message – treat this new relationship like a courtship.

    Butter them up. Demonstrate your expertise. Tell some stories. Share some photos of you and your life. Give them time to get to know you for a few weeks, and then, when they are interested, ask them to buy something.

    What is an email autoresponder, and how does it work?

    “Autoresponders are the hardest-working, unsung heroes of content marketing. They’re a series of emails you write once and set up to send out at pre-set intervals to anyone who asks for them.”

    Beth Hayden

    Simply put, an email autoresponder is a series of pre-written email messages. They are sent at specific intervals after someone subscribes.

    You can think of email autoresponders as evergreen newsletters – rather than sending them out once a month, or every Friday, email autoresponders are sent in a predetermined sequence after subscription.


    The Secrets of Great Autoresponder Messages

    • The best autoresponder emails are repurposed from your best content.
    • They can be short, or long, but they typically only ask the reader to take 1 action.
    • Use a testimonial or a PS at the end.

    “The very first email you send to a new subscriber sets the tone for how they see you for the rest of their time with you – so you want to get this one right. It’s also the single best email for getting them to look at specific pages of your site, like popular posts or product pages.”
    Naomi Dunford

    How do you write the best email autoresponder, without creating tons of new content? Simple. Don’t start from scratch. Use your blog.

    Your blog is a pre-written autoresponder series waiting to happen

    Every time you write a blog post, you have a free email autoresponder message.

    This is a piece of content that your future email subscribers would be happy to read, if it’s on-topic and relevant. Chances are, they are not going to subscribe to your newsletter, and THEN go read every blog post you’ve ever written. The likelihood of doubling up here is very low, and the likelihood of presenting useful and interesting information is very high.

    “An email autoresponder easily makes use of the blog content you’ve already created. Most readers haven’t read everything you’ve written, nor have they read it in sequential order. Your email autoresponder groups related topics together and packages it neatly for the convenience of your readers, delivering it right to them.

    You don’t have to create new content in order to make this happen. You can use what you’ve already written for your blog.”

    Julie Neidlinger

    You can pick your own favorite blog posts, and decide manually; or, you can follow the data. The blog posts that are most successful on your blog are typically the ones that will make the best autoresponder emails.

    10-Step Blog-To-Autoresponder Email Series Writing System

    1. Go to Google Analytics, and find your most popular posts.
    2. Create a card for the title of each post in Trello, and link to the article on the card.
    3. Drag and drop the subjects until they make a sensible progression.
    4. Scrape a couple paragraphs from each post, and paste the content onto the card.
    5. Create a copy of the Stellar Email Template in Google Docs (linked below)
    6. Paste the content from the Trello cards into the template.
    7. Edit the copy in Google Docs. Add connectors, like ‘I’ll tell you all about X next week,’ and ‘Remember last week, when I talked about X?”
    8. Add a CTA (Call-to-Action) to each message. Sometimes, this is just a link to read the full blog post, but it may be ‘book a call with me’ or ‘reply’ or ‘buy this product.’ Make sure there is only 1 CTA.
    9. Migrate the content from Google Docs to the email autoresponder delivery platform.
    10. Subscribe with a testing email, to review the results.

    This final step is critical. There are so many moving pieces in any autoresponder email series, it is inevitable you will find things to tweak and edit only by being on the receiving end.

    Setup an email address [email protected]. Subscribe to your own newsletter. Make note of what you find, what needs to change, and what can be better.

    About The Author

    Caelan Huntress helps people sell their stuff online. As a website designer, sales strategist, copywriter, and digital marketer, he works with entrepreneurs, coaches, authors and public speakers to bring them more calls, more clients, and more customers.

    Get the Stellar Email Template

    (Fill-in-the-blank email autoresponder series)