How to Create a "Hela’uva" Subject Line (and Get Your E-Mails Opened)

The better you are at composing intriguing e-mails the better your tele-sales results.

E-mail and voice follow up (either live or voice mail) go to together in today’s marketplace like peas and carrots. However, this supposes that your e-mail is intriguing enough to get noticed and opened.

Therein lies the challenge. The majority of your clients and prospects are swamped with e-mail messages. To cope, they tend to devote no more that 2-4 seconds scanning your subject line. If that line does not grab them by the collar and tug their interest, the e-mail gets put aside and ignored, or gets deleted and forgotten.

So, in a nutshell, what you want is a ‘hele’uva subject line that screams to the recipient “Look at me! Open me! Now.”

Here’s how you do it.

Step #1: Use their First Name

When you insert the client’s first name in the subject line, they see it and pause. Your written name is not unlike your spoken name: it gets attention. When you use a person’s name in the conversation, they tend to listen very carefully to the next 12-15 words. No surprises here. People have been conditioned to respond to the internal radar of their name.

The same applies to a written name (especially the first name). It draws the eye like a powerful magnet to the remaining words in the sentence or phrase. This too is human nature. The name creates an itch that needs to be scratched.

Step #2: Use a Number in the Subject Line

The second step to creating a hela’uva subject line is to insert a numeric value.

There is nothing particularly mysterious about this approach except that it cleverly plays on human nature; on the average person’s sense of curiosity and wonder. By using a numeric within the subject line you get your clients intrigued. They wonder what the “10 ways” are or what are the “7 possible courses” or what are the “3 things” they must consider. Most recipients like to take a quick peek and et voila, the message is opened.

Subject Line Examples

The challenge for you is to create something that you can itemize. Here are some examples.

Subject: Sarah, Special Report: 10 Ways to Get Your Calls Returned

Subject: Eric, 5 Possible Course Selections for Accreditation

Subject: Dr. Anselmo, The 7 Ways to Increase Patient Traffic

Subject: Kirsten, 2 Quick Items

Subject: Steve, 3 Things to Consider

Subject: JP: 7 Elements that Impact Your Employees Effectiveness

Subject: Gina, Important – 1 Quick Question

Subject: Rachel, The Top 10 Things Every Single Mom Should Know About Investing

Subject: Mark, The 5 Reasons Why You Don’t Sell as Much as You Could (or Should)

Tip: Odd numbers seem to work better at arousing curiosity compared to even numbers. That doesn’t mean you can’t use an even number but where possible look for that edge. Incidentally, “Top 10s” (an even number) are always great attention grabbers.


These tips are not huge, earth shattering epiphanies that will sky rocket your sales results but they will help! They are small things but in sales, small things can give you an edge. These subject line examples are a bit unusual from most; they’re distinctive. And because they are you improve your chances of the client opening them and taking positive action. Make your next subject line a hela ‘uva subject line.