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Which came first: the subject line or the email?

Should you write the subject line or email first?


I hyped this email up quite a bit in yesterday’s email.


So here’s what I want you to do:


If you’re standing, sit down. My answer will make you jump out of your seat (and I don’t want you busting your cranium on your ceiling).


Okay, so what’s my answer?


…hold one. wait a second….


This scene is missing a few things.


First, make sure you have a cup of coffee ready. (Preferably black.)


Okay, now I need your help with a…


…Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrum-roll, please?


(We need more drama before I reveal my answer because it’s that good.)


Do I hear something?


Shh, be quiet…


I think I can hea—pudda-pudda-pudda-pudda.


Okay, can we make it a little louder?


​​PUDDA-pudda-PUDDA-pudda-​​PUDDA-pudda-PUDDA-pudda-​​PUDDA-pudda-PUDDA-pudda


Yes, we’re grooving now.


Add more oOMPH


​​PUDDA-PUDDA-PUDDA-PUDDA-​​PUDDA-PUDDA-PUDDA-PUDDA-​​PUDDA-PUDDA


HERE IT COMES…


3…


PUDDA-PUDDA-


*string section comes in*


-PuDDA-PUdda-


2…


pUDDa-PUdDa-


*saxophone solo*


-pudda-PUDDA


1…


*in my best WWE announcer voice*


Anndddd in the left corner, clocking in at 190 lbs is the notorious email copywriter John “bookoobucks” Brandt with his even more no-no-notorious answer to whether you should write subject lines or emails first…


…the answer is…




It depends.


Ha!


Got you, didn’t I?


Here’s the trooth:


Sometimes I write a subject line first. Other times I write an email first.


If my brain can cook up a great subject line, I’ll write it first.


If it can’t?


I’ll write the email first, and let my brain cook up ideas as I write it.


Don’t overcomplicate it.


Plus, I’d be a terrible host to these daily emails if I didn’t let you in on a little secret:


Sometimes I think I write a killer subject line before writing the email. But then one of two things happen: Either the subject line doesn’t align with the email content (paving the road to clickbait). Or I realize there’s a better subject line “hidden” in the body copy.


In both scenarios, I swap out the subject line for the better one.


Capisce?


Need help coming up with subject lines, angles, and email copy which makes your wallet burst at the seams?



John


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