This subject line is awesome!

“Ooooh. That’s good.”

“I forgot I put that in there.”

– me, having a look through the “Sent.”, my email writing course.

I know… what kind of egomaniac not only talks about himself in the opening line of his email… 


Answer: THIS egomaniac.

(Also – you probably think this is gonna end in a pitch to buy “Sent.”… and it totally does, but there’s still something useful here if you don’t want to pick it up)

One of my biggest flaws – aside from egocentric email openings (WHICH I’M AWESOME AT BTW!) – is my tendency to always be on the lookout for the next new thing.

I’m whimsical* like that.

* “whimsical” sounds more playful than “volatile”, “erratic”, or “unstable”.

Once I’ve created something, I lose interest and wash my hands of it. It’s dead to me.

(Though you’ll be glad to know I phrased it a bit nicer in my daughter’s birthday card.)

Continual growth is a good thing, but forgetting what came before can cause problems.

A magic-related story to highlight this? Well OK then…

A famous magician called Paul Harris talked about a time he was fooled by a trick at a convention. It messed with his head so much, he stalked the performer for days, begging to discover where he could learn it.

In the end, the performer relented.

He’d learned it from one of Paul’s books.

It’s easy to forget your past creations. But as my court-appointed social worker is always reminding me:

“[If you want me to loosen those straps] you shouldn’t.”

Like revisiting a good book, going back through your own work can be eye-opening.

Even though you created it, you’ll be amazed what new ideas and insights you’ll pick up as you react and adlib to the ideas your more youthful and attractive self came up with.

You’ll cement beliefs in certain ideas and improve others that don’t serve you quite as well as they used to.

It’s even a bit of an ego boost when you discover you came up with something pretty good (so they tell me).

(Also, I’ll warn you now. Warm up your cringe face. Especially if you revisit your earliest YouTube videos – yikes!!)

Going back through your stuff also gives you lots of new angles and hooks for future promos and content, saving you from those “discover your customer avatar” exercises you hate doing.

Here’s what I discovered when I looked back through “Sent.”…

I’d fallen into a bad habit with subject lines. As I read page 86 of “The Complete Sent.” PDF you get at the end, I said to myself…

“I’ve stopped using ‘Subject Line tip #2’…”

Weird thing is… I WAS doing this. All the time. But somewhere I’ve dropped the habit.

I have no idea when this happened. Or why. Or where. I only know who…

(The “who” part of “which jackass ballsed this up?” is usually an easy one for me to solve.)

It was a good reminder. And, as you can tell from today’s subject line, it’s helped raise my subject line game by at least three levels.

(“H-List” copywriter status, here I come…)

Don’t presume you remember everything you wrote in your book, filmed for your course, or shouted at a pensioner.

Dive back in. You’re a different person than you were then.

React to what you see and make notes.

In between the “dear god, what was going on with my hair?” and “How the hell did I misspell ‘door’?”, you might get an idea for a brand new course or the perfect upsell.

You never know.

I don’t recommend buying “Sent.” so you can put yourself out of your misery and discover what Subject Line tip #2 is, but…

If you’re looking for a not-terrible approach to writing engaging emails… it’s not the worst thing you could buy.

It’s also got the least intimidating email copywriting checklist you’ve probably ever seen too.

Having said that…

It’s NOT on special offer…

There’s NO deadline looming…

I’m NOT running desperately low on stock…

There are NO fast action bonuses…

There’s not even a link in this email you can click to buy the damned thing…

Oh wait… yeah there is.

John Holt